Chris Perez out as Cleveland Indians closer

Chris-Perez-IndiansIf not for the poor play of Chris Perez down the stretch, the Cleveland Indians would likely have clinched a playoff berth already. Perez was lights out as the team’s closer in the month of July, recording eight saves and posting 0.60 ERA. Since then, the right-hander has been incredibly shaky.

Perez has blown three saves since August 5. He nearly blew a 6-1 lead against the Minnesota Twins on Thursday and almost cost his team a crucial victory. His 9.64 ERA in the month of September has caused his overall ERA to balloon to 4.33. As a result, the Indians are now without a closer. On Friday, Cleveland manager Terry Francona announced the Perez has been removed from the closer’s role for the foreseeable future.

Obviously, this is not an ideal time to be without a closer. Francona said he will use a closer-by-committee approach going forward with Joe Smith, Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw or Justin Masterson all potentially pitching the ninth inning in certain situations.

The Indians and Tampa Bay Rays are both currently one game ahead of the Texas Rangers for the American League’s two wild card spots with two games remaining in the season. Closing games requires a certain mentality — especially in the playoffs. Cleveland’s lack of a closer will be something to watch as they fight for a playoff spot. Should they reach the postseason, plenty of people will be wondering if Perez’s late-season implosion could eventually prove costly.

Chris Perez reportedly under investigation over drug incident

Chris-Perez-calls-out-Indians-fansCleveland Indians closer Chris Perez is reportedly under investigation involving a narcotics package that was delivered to his home. According to authorities, a package that is believed to have contained a controlled substance was delivered to his address in a Cleveland suburb on Tuesday. Rocky River police said they had been tracking the package.

On Wednesday, Rocky River Police Chief Kelly Stillman told reporters the operation likely began when a package looked suspicious to postal employees who were working with it. A regional narcotics unit and postal inspectors were involved in the investigation of the delivery on Tuesday.

Indians General Manager Chris Antonetti released a statement about the investigation on Wednesday, via SI.com:

“Earlier this morning we were made aware of a situation involving RHP Chris Perez that occurred yesterday in Rocky River. We have talked with Chris and are currently in the process of gathering additional information. We will not have any additional comment at this time.”

Perez has not been charged with anything, but Stillman said charges will be filed depending on what the substance was and how much of it there was. Terry Francona addressed the situation prior to his team’s game against the New York Yankees but had very little to say.

“I spoke to him this morning, called him, just wanted to make sure he was OK,” Francona said. “Out of respect to everybody involved, that’s really all I can say.”

Police reportedly said they have been to the house numerous times over the years before Perez lived there. He is renting the house, so it’s possible he has nothing to do with the package:

Perez is currently on the disabled list with an injured right shoulder. He has become a player that fans love to hate because of his outgoing nature, which will inevitably lead some to jump to conclusions with the investigation. We recommend waiting until all the facts are laid out.

Chris Perez deletes his Twitter account following rough outings

Chris-Perez-IndiansCleveland Indians closer Chris Perez is one of the more emotional players in baseball. There are times when his emotions get the best of him, but his fiery personality has made him one of the better relievers in baseball over the past few seasons. That being said, Twitter is not always the best place for someone who is clearly bothered by the things fans say to him.

On Saturday, Perez blew a save against the Seattle Mariners but ended up getting the win after his teammates bailed him out. He then gave up a solo home run in the ninth inning of a tie game against Seattle on Monday, but Cleveland went on to win in extra innings. Following that outing, Perez disappeared from Twitter.

As Pat McManamon of FOX Sports Ohio pointed out, Perez was blasted on Twitter all weekend following his sub-par performances. Followers hurled all the usual “I can say this because I’m hiding behind a computer” insults his way before Perez had apparently had enough.

Perez is not the first noteworthy athlete to abruptly leave Twitter and he certainly won’t be the last, but his exit serves as a reminder that even professional athletes get sick of hearing negative comments from fans. Sometimes it’s just not worth it.

Chris Perez continues to showcase the fact that he can’t handle losing

Losing is not fun. It’s something that every professional athlete has to go through at some point in their career, and very few enjoy it. Some are able to handle it better than others. Others are like Indians closer Chris Perez.

Perez, who has been nothing shy of a completely d-bag to reporters and the Indians front office all season long, remained in a horrible mood after notching his 37th save of the year in a 4-3 win over the White Sox on Tuesday. Here are some examples of his postgame chat with reporters, courtesy of the Plain Dealer:

Reporter: How did it feel to play the spoiler today?

Perez: “I could care less. I’d rather be playing for something.”

Reporter: How have you managed to stay sharp between save opportunities?

Perez: “I’ve had a lot of practice this year.”

Reporter: What’s been your routine because you wouldn’t expect to go six, seven or eight games between save opportunities?

Perez: “Have you watched us this year? We haven’t been in seven or eight games in a row.”

If the last part seems like it was completely unnecessary,  that’s because it was. Perez ended his media session with reporters when he said, “It will be a fun last couple days of the season when I’m allowed to talk again.”

Does this guy need the whambulance or what? The Indians have had some bad seasons and Perez has been pretty good during them — we get it. But there are plenty of guys on losing teams who find a way to grind it out without ripping their own fans or cursing at fans on the road. Perez obviously feels he is bigger than the team. If I worked in the Indians’ front office, I’d be dying for the offseason to get here so we can get rid of this guy.

H/T Hardball Talk
Photo credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Perez rips Indians ownership and front office, says Tigers want to win

Chris Perez is not afraid to speak his mind. Since the start of the season, the Indians closer has emerged as one of the most outspoken players in all of baseball. When you take an outspoken person and combine him with a 5-24 record in the month of August, you’re asking for trouble. Whether the Indians front office has been asking for it or not, Perez decided to give it to them following Cleveland’s most recent loss to the Tigers.

When asked why Detroit has been able to find success and the Indians have not, Perez told Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com the following.

“Different owners,” he said. “It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Tigers owner Mike Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.

“You can’t miss. You have to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick. Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to (pony) up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”

This is the same Perez who cursed out an A’s fan before a game earlier this season, so we know he isn’t shy. It’s also the same Perez who ripped the Indians fans for booing and not showing up to games, so it sounds like he is just unhappy with the overall situation in Cleveland. Perhaps dealing him would be a good place for the front office to start fresh.

H/T MLB.com
Photo credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

Chris Perez says fan he cussed out has been harassing him for years (Video)

Indians closer Chris Perez is one of the more emotional players in baseball, and we saw yet another unique example of that on Monday before Cleveland’s game in Oakland. During warmups, Perez walked over to the stands and got into it with an A’s fan. Players are typically advised not to engage in this sort of behavior since it gives the fan exactly what he or she wants, but according to Perez he has heard it from the same guy for years and finally grew tired of it.

Here is the video of the exchange, which contains some very NSFW language:

[Read more...]

Chris Perez projectile vomits on the field after notching a save (Video)

Chris Perez earned his MLB-best 20th save over the weekend, and it may have been his toughest of the season. On paper, it looked like a nice easy 4-1 win over the Cardinals where he had to do very little to secure the lead. As you can see from the video above, Perez’s usual celebration antics were toned down a bit on Saturday just before he projectile vomited all over the field. It was pretty hardcore stuff.

After the game, Perez wrote on his Twitter account that the sickness was the result of warm water not settling well in his stomach. As you may know, the Indians closer has irritated a lot of people this season with his fist pumping and chest pounding after recording saves. While you never want to see somebody get sick on the mound, I’m sure there was a handful of players from across the league who couldn’t help but smirk a bit when they saw the highlights.

Thanks to SI Hot Clicks for the story