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Alex Rios upset with Indians closer Chris Perez over fist pumping

Anyone who watches baseball knows that closers are their own breed. Many of these guys are weird, and they aren’t afraid to show it. Like many closers before him, Cleveland’s Chris Perez is one of the more animated players in the game. On Thursday night, Alex Rios took exception to that as Perez closed out a 7-5 win over Chicago.

According to MLB.com, Perez got the benefit of a borderline third-strike call to A.J. Pierzynski for the second out of the ninth inning and gave a strong fist pump. He then got Rios to ground into the game’s final out, which led to more celebrating and a heated exchange between him and the White Sox outfielder.

“Well, I don’t know what was wrong with him,” Rios said with a smirk after the game. “He just started yelling for no reason. I don’t know why he started yelling, and that’s it.

“When I hit that ground ball, he was yelling when (Cabrera) was throwing to first. He was yelling the whole way. I couldn’t tell what he was saying. He was just staring and saying something.”

Perez said he was yelling at his teammates because he was happy they came up with a crucial win and that his animation was not directed toward Rios — not that he cares what Rios thinks anyway.

“He’s on a different team,” Perez said. “I’m not friends with him. I don’t know him personally. I’ve just been playing against him. That’s it. If he’s mad, whatever. I don’t care.”

The more it bothers opponents, the happier guys like Perez are with their antics. The best thing Rios can do is pretend it doesn’t affect him.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: Mike DiNovo-US PRESSWIRE

Alex Rios Apologizes for Platinum Sombrero-Inspired YouTube Fan Tirade

Ladies and gentleman, the moment we’ve all been waiting for finally came. Yes that’s right, we had our first platinum sombrero of the season. As Gilbert and I were discussing in the comments, Alex Rios of the Blue Jays took an 0-for-5 with five strikeouts against the Angels on Thursday, earning the rare and coveted Platinum Sombrero, the second of his career in fact. Rios is a talented player who has what I’ve called the best-looking right handed swing in baseball (J.D. Drew wins my award for a lefty). But Rios has had his low points. Thursday would count as one of them, and I wish his story ended on the field. Unfortunately it didn’t. As documented by this video at Deadspin, some jerkoff fans heckled Rios who was coming out of a charity event, riding him about going 0-fer and getting upset when he didn’t sign an autograph. The video has plenty of F-bombs and profanity and seemed to be a setup by the fans:

What bothers me is that Rios is the one who later apologized (due to pressure from the club I’m sure, only because the video wound up online). But for anyone who watches the video I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the fans who should be issuing the apology. Just because they’re fans who support the team and because Rios is a public figure who makes millions doesn’t mean he’s not a person. That doesn’t give you the right to harass him outside the stadium when he’s on personal time. That doesn’t give them the right to make some mean-spirited remarks. They’re the jerks who should be apologizing for an embarrassing performance.

Also, as the Platinum Sombrero moniker has picked up steam all throughout the internet as a result of Rios’ tirade, let it be known that LBS has been up on this for the longest. Also, LBS is the only site that will also point out that Mike Cameron achieved the Golden Sombrero that very same day, his coming against the Marlins. You just can’t buy that type of coverage anywhere else!