I’m all for getting annoyed when Rage comes in and melts down spectacularly. But yesterday felt like something different; like it wasn’t just about displeasure with a bad outing.
Give it a rest, people. This isn’t Manny Acta’s watch anymore.
Yes, Chris Perez opened his mouth more often than he probably should have. Yes, it would’ve been nice to have a PR guy at his side at all times to zip his lips shut before whatever potentially ridiculous comments that he has formulated in his mind had a chance to spill out onto the papers, cameras and blogosphere.
Unfortunately, the disappointing part of the fuller houses that have been a point of contention lately made an unwanted appearance. The residual bitterness stemming from Perez’ tirades last year cascaded down from above immediately after giving up consecutive solo shots (there’s the comeuppance that he and the Indians were due because of Review-gate) that spoiled another superb outing by Zach McAllister. Perez ended up with the win anyway on Mark Reynold’s game-winning fielder’s-choice.
But if there’s one thing that Perez should possibly know by now is that Cleveland fans have long memories. We remember his chiding. So if he blows up on a healthy-sized crowd, he’s going to get an earful that would rattle the brain.
It’s unfair. Borderline stupid. And it needs to end. Save that crap for LeBron.
For one thing, he’s not Lee Smith or Mariano Rivera. He’s not even Eric Gagne, with his sham 84 straight conversions. He’s a mortal closer; the kind in which stat-heads like to use to deride the validity of. We haven’t had a shut-down closer since Jose Mesa, and he had a hand in blowing the biggest win in our lifetimes against the Marlins. And he doesn’t get anywhere near the grief that Perez seems to get (Mesa’s beef with Omar Vizquel notwithstanding). Should Perez’ mouth really that much of a sticking point?
He’s going to give up a couple here and there. Most closers do. But I’d trust him more than anyone else in the spot right now; even more than Vinny Pestano or Cody Allen, who seems to be fast-tracked to being the closer of the future. But the key word is “future.” Not right now.
If holding comments over his head from last year (and Chris was more correct than we’d like to admit) is the majority of the reason for booing him, then some people need to just stay home. Apologies to the attendance crusaders.
Otherwise, let’s wait until he hits a clear rough spot before we give him a full-throttle piece of our minds.