I’ll start by saying Chris Perez’s comments were ill-timed. The announced attendance on Saturday was just shy of 30,000, the highest since opening day. That said, the Indians had also just returned from a road trip during which the lowest attendance was just over 32,000. The lowly Minnesota Twins, who have no real shot at finishing above .500, let alone making the playoffs, drew over 32,000 on a Monday night game in May against the Indians. And followed that up with over 35,000 for a Tuesday afternoon game.

But Perez’s comments about the attendance are not my primary concern. What bothers me most is that Perez has to even deal with questions about being booed. What has Perez done in his career in Cleveland other than stabilize a critical position which has been shaky since the days of Bob Wickman?

For some reason there’s a perception that Perez has been unreliable in the closer’s role and that’s simply untrue. Since the start of the 2011 season, his first full year as the Tribe’s stopper, Perez has slammed the door in 90.7 percent of his save opportunities – the 4th highest percentage among closers with at least 40 opportunities.

But some fans apparently want more. Afterall, Perez got the job done on Saturday but was booed just for putting runners on base.

So you want perfection from your closer? Well, short of finding the next Mariano Rivera, it doesn’t get much better than Perez.

Over the past two seasons, only Rivera, Francisco Cordero and Joel Hanrahan have produced a higher percentage of three up-three down saves. Perez’s rate of perfection is significantly higher than more high-profile closers such as Brian Wilson (26.1%) and Jose Valverde (29.3%).

What more could Perez possibly do to win you over? How about give away free tickets?

Now I fully understand some of you are upset with Perez’s comments, and to an extent I don’t blame you. But everything this man has done has been great for the team and the city. He’s among baseball’s best closers and has always been willing to interact with fans and the media. So instead of booing Perez, let’s prove him wrong. Show him how great Indians fans can be and finally welcome him as one of our own.


  • joeybiz says:

    the lowly twins keep plyers past arbitration yrs.(mauer,morneau)not trade em away.like (sabathia,lee)or let them leave via free agency…that list is too long to list.the lowly twins also spend money in the off season on decent players like (willingham)…not journeymen like kotchman,or 38yr old pitchers like (lowe).its only a matter of time before he breaks down.or tires out.plus it doesent rain almost everyday in april in may in minnesota..like it does in cleveland.

    • Josh says:

      I get so sick of hearing the same tired reasons for people not going to the games. The real problem is that people need to quit making excuses (see above) and just get to the ballgame and enjoy your first place Indians. I drive 2 hours to see games on a regular basis, and i was there in april when it was 40 degrees outside. But, boy oh boy was it rewarding to see cleveland walk off against LAA. (not to mention get weaver out of the game after just 6 innings)

    • Ryan McCrystal says:

      The Twins overpay to keep players past arbitration, then they break down and morph into mediocre players at key positions eating up over half of their payroll essentially destroying the franchise.

      Meanwhile the Indians trade their over-priced upcoming free agents to acquire young cornerstone players like Masterson, trade their mediocre veterans for players like Santana, Cabrera and Choo, and spend their offseason convincing teams like the Braves to pay $10M to pitchers on our staff who go 6-2 with a 2.15 ERA.

      Now which front office was it that you said you wanted?

    • Kevin says:

      Well I guess your city doesn’t deserve to have a Baseball team then eh? Please just someone admit that if they are gonna keep making excuses. Cleveland fans don’t deserve to have the three main sports in their city. Ship em to Columbus.

      • Mary Jo says:

        Says the guy who’s own Columbus doesn’t fill the 10,100 seat park for the Clippers. *insert eyeroll* This year’s opening day number? 8,576. How about this week’s Dime-a-Dog night? 7,507, the second-largest crowd after opening day. Can’t even fill the rink where your professional hockey team plays. Stick to what Columbus knows – Go Buckeyes!

  • Mary Jo says:

    There has been speculation that the fans in the seats were booing because of Thursday’s non-save situation when he gave up a hit and a walk. Or because Acta didn’t put him in at the top of the inning (a normal time for your closer). Who knows? But the timing on both sides couldn’t have been worse. As hard as it is for Cleveland sports fans they need to learn to boo in the moment, not for perceived past mistakes.

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    My friend is a Twins fan and he HATES the Mauer deal. Wishes they would’ve just let him walk…thinks it could cripple them for years. I’m just using this to say that the grass isn’t always greener on the other side; sometimes those big deals end up looking pretty awful.

  • Kevin T. says:

    Overall, I’m okay with Perez. He has a brazen attitude which is good for a closer. It’s just simply not a good idea to criticize the fans. Everyone seems to be talking about how the Indians are hard to buy into because of the constant rebuilding by management, but it’s deeper than just the Indians. It’s pent up frustration from all Cleveland professional sports.

    As far as Perez’s ability as a closer, his issue may be who pitches in front of him. I love watching Pestano pitch and feel comfortable with him in a tight game. I imagine other people feel the same.

  • mike says:

    i love the guy who asks us whether I would rather have the twins FO or the tribe. I will take my chance with ole Chris in charge, seeing that the twins are garbage with all their “awesome” players

  • Mark says:

    This year, the Twins have 2 things going for them in terms of attendance: 1.) The novelty of Target Field and 2.) The pre-season perception that the Twins would contend. Both points ensure high season ticket sales. The opening of Target Field alone increased their attendance by 10,000. That will pass. And, so quickly do people forget that Minnesota was drawing 12,000 in 2000. By contrast, the Indians were drawing 42,000. Well, the Twins got better, the Indians got worse, and the roles sort of reversed. However, even in their WORST years in Progressive/Jacobs Field, the Indians never dipped below 17,000 per game on the season and were usually around 24,000.

    Face it, Chris Perez shot his mouth off and is now trying to get the crap back into the horse without admitting that he made an absolute fool of himself. Shut up, play ball, and win. When school lets out, there will be 30,000+ in the stands… that is if you don’t pull your typical roll-over-and-die routine in the 2nd half of the season.

    • GG Allin says:

      I already watched Around the Horn and PTI – your comment is an EXACT transcription of what Woody Paige and Michael Wilbon said.

  • GG Allin says:

    Perez is right. I remember those halcyon days in the 90s when the Jake would sell out game after game. The fact that Clevelanders are more interested in the Browns, who havent done anything in years, says a lot about the state of Sports in Cleveland. I wonder how long until the Tribe is shopped around.

  • Sam says:

    I see nothing wrong with what Perez said. I drive into Cleveland from South Central Virginia to catch 3-4 ballgames a year. It’s a travesty that the fans can’t go out and support a team that is playing great baseball. He called out the fan base and received a standing ovation in the ballpark after doing so … perhaps the critics need to actually show up with the real fans and watch the games.

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