Over at Waiting for Next Year, Scott Sargent keenly points out that following the Tribe’s dramatic come-from-behind win against Seattle on Monday, closer Chris Perez deleted his Twitter account; in large part, of course, to the barrage of filth flying towards the way of the two-time All-Star.

Snippets of tweets at Perez, as Sargent points out, include:

 

@ChrisPerez54 Worthless piece of (expletive)

– Michael Barone (@MedinaHockey96)

.

@ChrisPerez54 you dumb fat (expletive), we should trade

your nasty (expletive) beard (expletive) (expletive) (expletive)

to the (expletive) cubs or pirates. We DONT need you #(expletive)

– Nate Testa (@TheRealGord)

 

Now to be entirely fair, I’m not a tremendous fan of Perez. Prior to the season the IPL staff was asked to make several predictions, one of which being whether Perez would last the year in Cleveland. My response: “I hope not. Look, Chris Perez is a fine pitcher but he’s overrated. Plus, he’s getting expensive. My only fear is that the team really punted on getting maximum return for him this past offseason.”

The root of my concern is quite simple, really: in a bullpen of eight, Chris Perez ranks no better than second (behind Pestano) and maybe as far down as fifth (behind Joe Smith, Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw).

And as anyone that’s followed my writings before coming to IPL knows, I tend to rant about the now-polarizing closer. But it’s always analytically driven, clean, and I never take any personal shots. And, to me, that’s OK.  I refuse to cross a line that apparently many Twitter users fail to recognize. And there’s a problem with that.

In a society that’s more become more reclusive and yet incredibly accessible, it’s fair to assume that not only does a professional athlete and celebrity open themselves up to such idiocy, but bravado becomes stronger when hidden behind the walls of technology.

It just doesn’t mean it is OK, though.

In fact, it’s wrong; it cheapens the player-fan interaction and more likely than not it causes a player to sour on the entire environment. Granted, Perez has a tendency to, shall we say, stir up the proverbially hornets’ nest. But these types of indiscretions by the fans put a stain on an incredible win.

 

11 Comments

  • nikki says:

    Twitter – where human decency goes to die. See also: chastising Angelina Jolie for her potentially life-saving mastectomy. Racist threats after Obama was reelected. Slur after slur following Jason Collins’ coming out. It really does bring out the worst in people.

    This blog makes it seem like Perez got off easy, considering what the people hiding behind their computer screens are capable of: http://publicshaming.tumblr.com/

  • Sean Porter says:

    I know this isn’t the crux of this well-written topic, but can someone please tell me exactly what Perez said last year that was NOT the truth?

    Concerning the topic at hand, I’ve got frustrated over the years with certain players on the Indians, Cavs, Browns, and Buckeyes… Players that I couldn’t wait to be released/traded/free agents.

    But what I’ve never understood is HATING a player because of their lack of talent. Was it frustrating to watch Casey Blake take two fastballs down the middle to start seemingly every count at 0-2? Was it frustrating to watch Derek Anderson throw five yard passes roughly 100 mph at his receivers’ feet? Yes, yes it was.

    But would I HATE them because of it? No, absolutely not. The only scenario where I could envision hating a player on my favorite teams was if they obviously didn’t try or did something horrible off-the-field. I might get frustrated with ineptness, but I can’t hate someone who is honestly trying.

    • Swift says:

      “I know this isn’t the crux of this well-written topic, but can someone please tell me exactly what Perez said last year that was NOT the truth?”

      I agree. Some people can’t handle the truth. ;)

  • Stephanie Liscio says:

    One of the things that I found most shocking about Twitter is the racist and crazy things that I’ve seen teenagers say. I know this is a dumb way to think, but I always think of that stuff as “dying out” that the younger generation will be better about that stuff that their parents and grandparents. Twitter has confirmed for me that it’s not necessarily the case!

    If you want to see more of the underbelly of Twitter (which you probably don’t, but just in case…) I suggest following @FanSince09. It’s a Phillies fan, but he occasionally looks for some of the worst things he can find and retweets them all consecutively. Like teenagers complaining about how they hate their maids.

    • Shep says:

      It’s really sad, and the main reason I do not use Twitter. It’s too easy for people to act like an ass without consequences.

  • Jeremy says:

    This is embarassing…..and ridiculous. It actually makes me sort of angry. People like this do not represent the majority of Tribe fans.

  • Adam Hintz says:

    I think what is most alarming to me is the blind and irrational nature of the venom being spewed at Perez.

    For example, in the BOTTOM of the EIGHTH inning yesterday, after Vinnie had given up the lead in the top of the inning, the trending topic on Twitter was #BlameChrisPerez. You can’t win with some of these people… there is no emotional or statistical appeal that will get to them because they just don’t care enough to realize they’re being ignorant.

    It’s unfortunate, and it leads me to think celebrities and athletes are going to need to leave Twitter, which is a real shame. The medium is great for baseball (I don’t use it for anything else, though I tend to swerve into other topics while covering baseball), and it is only through Twitter that I’ve had the chance to interact with some famous people.

    For mature people who want to have conversations over the internet with other mature people, Twitter is a fantastic way to meet and interact with new people. On the other hand, for immature people who want to troll famous people, it’s also a fantastic way to do that.

    I feel bad for Chris Perez and I feel bad for anyone at any level of society who gets bullied over the internet. Someone said in a comment recently that as bloggers we shouldn’t chastise fans or speak in absolutes… but really, if you’re a decent person and consider yourself to be a decent person, you can not go on Twitter and flame some random person and reconcile that with your status as a decent person… you just can’t. I don’t have a stomach for it, and I hope other decent people do not, either.

  • Chris Burnham says:

    I think it might’ve had more to do with saving himself instead of engaging the nitwits that love to get under the skin of other folks. He probably could’ve just gone on a blocking fiesta, but it’s probably quicker to just chuck it altogether.

    I doubt it’s permanent. Just give this a few days, or even weeks, to die down.

  • Steve Alex says:

    Being able to communicate with a player and have him read or even respond to your letter is a privilege, not to be abused. Being able to type immature kneejerk reactions in real time without thinking about what you are saying and then hide behind your keyboard is probably not something our players need to be a part of anyway. My apologies to CP for those few fans who embarrassed themselves with their remarks and made all of us look ignorant in the process.

  • Jordan Wilhite says:

    Maybe it’s a good thing he deleted it. He can now focus on his job like he should be doing and not worrying about “fans” being “fans”.

    IMO, if you resort to cussing out an individual on a social media format, you reflect how much of a coward you truly are and how poorly you were raised.

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