Outspoken Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez is in the news again.
Perez had some harsh words about the Indians ownership and front office in a sports media story about the success of small-market clubs. Basketball betting lines
One of the subjects Perez touched on was indicating the biggest difference between Indians owner Larry Dolan and Tigers owner Mike Ilitch, who has been known to be assertive in the free-agent market.
“Different owners,” Perez said in the tale. “It comes down to that. [The Tigers] are spending money. [Ilitch] wants to win. Even if the economy was down [in Detroit], he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you do not. But much of the time you do.”
The Detroit Tigers, contenders in the American League Central, opened the season with a $133.5 million payroll, while the struggling Cleveland Indians started at $65 million.
Perez’s criticism was not just at Dolan. He also insinuated that GM Chris Antonetti wishes to a do a better job of choosing the right players. The story pointed to how small-market GMs have a smaller margin for error when it comes to trading their key players.
“You can’t miss,” Perez announced. “You need to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick.
“Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to [pay] for that last year. … That’s the call they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”
According to a source, the Cleveland Indians pursued Willingham last winter, but he agreed a 3-year, $21 million contract with the Twins.
Cleveland Indians manager Manny Acta, when told of Perez’s comments, said, “That’s his opinion and I haven’t got anything to add to it.”
Antonetti failed to believe Perez’s comments were correct.
“While we work to understand various viewpoints, we disagree strongly with Chris’ comments,” Antonetti said.
“Nonetheless, we’re not satisfied with our fresh results and our complete organization remains committed to fielding winning teams and that’s the standard by which we are going to continue to operate.”
Antonetti, who talked with Perez, related the problem would be handled internally, according to the source.
Perez’s affirmations don’t mark the 1st time he’s made reports with his mouth in 2012.
Earlier this season, Perez blasted fans for failing to turn up when the Indians were in 1st place. Last month, Perez was caught on camera in a profanity-laced verbal exchange with a taunting fan of the Oakland Athletics. In June, Perez further said pitchers on every team who use pine tar and other substances to manipulate the ball.
Perez is 0-4 with 34 saves and 3.51 ERA this season for the Cleveland Indians, who are 58-79, 2 games out of last place in the American League Central.