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Perez on fans: 'I don't care anymore'

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08:12 AM ET 05.21 | Tasked with putting out fires from the mound, Indians reliever Chris Perez is now starting them off the hill. Saturday, after the Indians' 2-0 victory over the Miami Marlins, before the second largest crowd of the season at Progressive Field (29,799), Perez ignited a raging blaze as he ripped Indians fans for not supporting the team, and said because of the lack of fan support players don't want to play in Cleveland. ... Perez, speaking again to reporters prior to Sunday's game, said he's not worried about any fan backlash from the comments. "I don't care anymore," he said. "I have to do my job, which is to play baseball. If the fans come, they'll come. If they don't, it will be like April. Who cares?"

The News-Herald

Manny Acta, Icon Sports Manny Acta, Icon Sports
Comment #1 has been removed
May 21, 2012  08:24 AM ET

'because of the lack of fan support players don't want to play in Cleveland'. Well..could be more than that!

May 21, 2012  08:27 AM ET
QUOTE(#2):

'because of the lack of fan support players don't want to play in Cleveland'. Well..could be more than that!

hears Pink Floyd's Money in the background ...

May 21, 2012  08:29 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

hears Pink Floyd's Money in the background ...

That's more like it.

Comment #5 has been removed
Comment #6 has been removed
Comment #7 has been removed
May 21, 2012  08:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

CHA-CHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG

Having problems there Mick?

May 21, 2012  09:15 AM ET

The comment by Perez was incredibly immature and only added conflict to an organization that doesn't need it. The Indians are playing good ball right now, so why rock the boat ? For a person being paid as a professional, Perez is behaving like an unhappy kid. Just what the TEAM doesn't need !

May 21, 2012  09:15 AM ET

Too bad he's a reliever. If he was a starter, his games would all be sell-outs!

May 21, 2012  09:22 AM ET

Lack of fan support- perhaps a result of lack of on-field success in recent years? I watch many Indians games and it seems that fan support increases as the team succeeds, and declines when they suck.......go figure.

I have sat though rain/snow storms at Progressive to watch this team....I have also flown out and watched them in Spring Training at Goodyear. The team makes do with minimal talent on the field. When you lose two consecutive AL Cy Young winners, and are forced to start young pitchers who really aren't ready for the majors- you get what you get.

May 21, 2012  09:41 AM ET

He's right. The Browns notwithstanding, Cleveland fans are a fickle bunch. In 2007, the Indians had the best record in the majors, yet ranked 23 out of 30 in attendance.

This year, they're in first place and have some exciting young players to watch. They rank 30th in attendance -- the A's, whose stands are notoriously empty, have drawn 23% more fans.

It's pathetic.

May 21, 2012  09:47 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

Lack of fan support- perhaps a result of lack of on-field success in recent years? I watch many Indians games and it seems that fan support increases as the team succeeds, and declines when they suck.......go figure.

The Twins are another small market team and are arguably the worst in the majors. They're in the basement of the AL Central, nine games behind the division-leading Indians, yet have drawn 111% more fans than the Indians.

May 21, 2012  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#11):

When you lose two consecutive AL Cy Young winners, and are forced to start young pitchers who really aren't ready for the majors- you get what you get.

Sabathia made it clear that he had every intention of testing the free agent market. When he did, he signed the richest contract for a pitcher in the history of baseball. What, exactly, would you have had the Indians do?

You gotta be realistic.

Further, when two of your core hitters sign extensions, then stop taking steroids and subsequently fall apart, you get what you get.

May 21, 2012  09:50 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

The Twins are another small market team and are arguably the worst in the majors. They're in the basement of the AL Central, nine games behind the division-leading Indians, yet have drawn 111% more fans than the Indians.

Is the symphony in session?

Comment #16 has been removed
May 21, 2012  10:28 AM ET

The fans and Perez will get over this as long as he doesn't implode on the mound. Dude spoke the truth. He could have been a bit more diplomatic but he was essentially correct. The team is in first place, playing some good ball and the place is a ghost town. And I admit that I haven't been down there yet this season. 455 is a distant memory (number of consecutive sellouts, 1995-2001).

May 21, 2012  10:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#16):

Need to build a new ballpark in Cleveland to generate some excitement. Who wants to go to some 20 year old falling apart dump?And get rid of Pronk because he scares the kids.

And, in a rough part of town too.

May 21, 2012  10:45 AM ET

Perez is right but the issue is indicative of what's wrong with sports. I grew up during the 90's when the Indians were rockin' it and it was a blast to go to a game where you knew the team that was putting a solid product on the field. They had a good season last year and they are playing good ball this year (props to Acta), so I would hope more people would hit up the game. That being said, it takes a toll on a fan in Cleveland to not be able to recognize half the people who are in the game, probably recognize half of the other team for being with the Tribe at one point or another, while sitting back enjoying a $8 hot dog and a $8 beer. I hope the organization can find a way to promote itself and I hope the people of Cleveland come out to Jacob's Field again (see what I did there?).

BTW, I was at opening day for 16 freezing innings because Perez blew it, I don't have much sympathy for him.

 
Comment #20 has been removed

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