Indians' fans strike back at Chris Perez

10:50 PM, May 21, 2012   |    comments
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Getty Images: Matt Sullivan

The Tribe is back in town Tuesday to start a series against their big rivals, the Detroit Tigers.

Will you be there? That's what Tribe Pitcher Chris Perez wants to know.

There are no million dollar salaries here.  Nor are there countless fans around the world.

On the little league baseball fields in Independence, you find the love of the sport. And where Major League dreams are often born - a major difference of opinion over the controversial comments of Indians closer, Chris Perez.

"They're a good team, so they shouldn't be booing him," said 9-year old Nathan Kuczmarski.  However, his father, Rick, pointed out, "They [the fans] pay a lot of money to go to the ball game. They have a right to boo."

Perez called out Indians fans for booing him, and for not showing up for games, even though the team is in first place in the American League Central Division.

"I got two guys on, " Perez said about the game against Seattle. "Yeah, my release point was all over the place, but really? I've got two guys on. They haven't even scored yet and you're booing me? You're saying, 'Get this bum off the mound?' Come on," he said last Saturday.

The comments stirred the emotions of long suffering Cleveland sports fans. At ESPN 850 WKNR, callers fired back.

"I understand it's frustration, but at the same time, he's gotta know where he's at," said one caller.

Radio host Bruce Hooley agreed. "I just don't think he understood maybe how people's emotions to the team are tied in a lot deeper than his history here," he said.

Fans blamed the economy for the low attendance. And as for the booing, some took the $4.5 million dollar pitcher to task.

"He doesn't need to say anything to me!" one angry caller said.

Fans say loving the sport - is much different that being paid millions to play it. As 9 and 10-year olds on the little league field said:

"I would yell at them!" said one.   "He should get booed, because if he drops the ball it's gonna be like a big let down," said another.

Spoken like the next generation of Cleveland fans.


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