Baskin's Blog: Go ahead, boo Indians' Chris Perez

'Pure Rage Rant' lights an Indians fire

CLEVELAND - Ask Miami Marlins hitter Omar Infante if he wants you to boo Indians closer Chris Perez. He should say no. After you are done with Infante, ask Hanley Ramirez and Greg Dobbs. I think you will get the same answer.

On Saturday, the Indians closer said, "I was tired of getting booed at home so I figured, I'd better throw some strikes. You can quote that."

If this is the motivation Perez needs, please Indians fans, boo Perez as loud as you can. Simply put, Perez's outing on Saturday made all of Northeast Ohio stand up and notice.

Infante, Ramirez, and Dobbs were Perez's victims to end the ball game. Perez was awesome in the win over Miami. 

Chris Perez has earned his own title for this story. In honor of his nickname, it should go down as the "Pure Rage Rant."

He pitched his best game of the year against Miami.

He called out fans who booed him for his outing against Seattle. 

He clearly stepped on the hearts of Clevelanders who are very sensitive about free agents not wanting to play in Cleveland (let's call that the LeBron rule).

He came back and addressed the media a day later.

He didn't back down from what he was saying when addressing the negativity towards the media or the fans again on Sunday. 

He actually piled on more by calling out ownership saying, "Some ownerships in this town are not accountable."

It prompted his boss, Indians President Mark Shapiro, to comeback and say, "We as an organization clearly disagree with him (Perez) about our fans. We appreciate our fans, we respect our fans, we certainly want more to come. We are working hard, truly hard, to make that happen and understand the emotion and passion and the competitiveness that drives his performance." 

Here are some bigger issues. The Indians are in first place in the standings, and Indians fans are in last place in attendance.

On one hand, you can look at Chris Perez as one of the top closers in all of Major League Baseball. You can love his passion for the game. His spirit for the pastime he knows as work, and the average person looks at as an escape from reality.

On the other hand, you can look at Chris Perez as a baseball player. An entertainer who makes $4.5 million a year. A closer who normally should be in for three outs per game. Perez is averaging 63.5 innings over the last two seasons. In the real world that's $24,000 per out. The real world is averaging $26,000 per year if you live in Cuyahoga County.

I'm not one to boo. I think not cheering can be much worse. Silence can be much more deafening. 

I'm not going to discount the fact Perez is refreshing in not holding back in his opinion. I respect him for being honest about his thoughts. If he chooses to speak for others, he needs to be ready for backlash. I wouldn't be surprised if his teammates feel he has their back on this issue.

Indians fans want to embrace guys that love playing in this city. It's hard for Tribe fans to be excited about a team that trades the big names in the game to rebuild. As my father reminded me again today, it happens all the time. It has been going on for 40 years. This is nothing new.

In the end, we are talking about Indians baseball. Not about the Browns, the Cavs, or what is going on in South Beach.

Despite the fact the team has been on top for over month, we have seen very little buzz about the Indians. I don't think that has anything to do with weather or attendance. 

Perez may have just stuck his hand in the hive. If you care, you have been stung by this Indians story.

Now, let's see if the bees care enough to come out to the park, and get some first place "Pure Rage" honey.

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