Chris Perez Rips Cleveland Fans, Says Free Agents Don’t Want To Sign Because Of Lack Of Support

As is his wont, Chris Perez shot off in the locker room after the Indians 2-0 win over the Marlins on Saturday. Only this time he wasn’t getting into tussles on Twitter or with the opponents. Perez ripped the Cleveland fans, saying they don’t show up and the lack of support has hurt the organization’s pursuit of free agents. He specifically cited the club’s attempt to sign Carlos Beltran this offseason, saying the low attendance and support were a factor in Beltran choosing the Cardinals over the Tribe.

The Elyria Chronicle-Telegram’s Chris Assenheimer tweeted Perez’s comments from the clubhouse after the game:

He went into specifics, and as noted above, said the lack of support hurts the club in free agency:

Perez is a pretty prideful, if not stupid, guy so it will be interesting to see where he goes from here and if there’s any attempt to walk this back.

  • Ritz

    Like x 1000

    I understand it’s hard for some people to understand, but the Indians FO has done a pretty darn good job. No, not every trade worked out, never does, never will. But, the economics of the market and team right now dictate a certain strategy which the Indians have done rather well at.

  • Ritz

    I am not trying to make light of anything, but tickets are very cheap, like 10 bucks. That’s not even close to unaffordable. Again, not trying to say this about your specific situation but I don’t think people realize games are actually cheap.

  • ChadF

    Now average the three lowest Season ticket prices and divide by $1.7 million. That’s roughly 2175 tickets. That’s also 2,175 buying concessions, memorabilia, paying for parking, etc, which in turn profits the company you work for allowing them to have more revenues for something like employee salary. Not to mention you get to claim charitable donations on your taxes in turn lowering your federal and state income tax.

    Sorry for the rant, but if you don’t respect the people that root for you by coming to the games, watching you on TV or buying your jersey for themselves or their kids for being an entertainer and get a millions of dollars to play a game then maybe you should retire and become a fireman, a teacher, a police officer or a social worker. Then you’ll see just how easy it is to bring a family of four to a game for maybe half of their weekly salary.

  • ChadF
  • Hypno_Toad

    Were you planning on making a point with your post?

  • Ritz

    The team is good, very good in fact. See, the people that go to games and watch the games on TV actually know that.

  • Hypno_Toad

    You’re telling me. Half of the posts on this article aren’t even saying anything!

  • Eli

    The worst part about these comments are that all they cause Indians fans to waste energy arguing with each other over nothing. People will go, or they won’t and there are fifty different reasons why. Let’s talk about baseball and a good win today

  • Ritz

    Huh? What exactly are you trying to say here? It’s the PR departments fault the Indians (or Brewers, or Royals, or Padres, or Pirates, or Rays, or Twins, or Cardinals, or Braves – need I go on?) can’t afford Fielder??

  • Ritz

    No – please explain…

  • Ritz

    I mean yes, explain. He says he watches on TV and goes to games… Your point is lost on me.

  • Hypno_Toad

    I think Perez is right. This is a first place team that is playing fun baseball right now. Even in most losses the team is still in the game late and the game is interesting.

    But I also think the fans have a right to be upset. In what other sport in the world are you forced to trade your players away to the large market teams because they get too good? 

    Baseball is the problem. Baseball is broken. I love baseball and always will but it’s something I’ve come to terms with. There is no salary cap so teams have to get rid of their best talent because they won’t be able to keep them. What fan wants to get invested into their team when they know in 2-3 years the best players on the team will be playing in NY, BOS, LA, or PHI. 

    Yeah the Tampa Bay Rays have had a good run the past 3-4 years. But look at the teams below them in payroll: Pirates, Royals, Astros, A’s, Padres. Pretty awful. 

    The problem is that in baseball the small market teams have to look for “windows of contention” in between 5-6 years of terrible baseball while the large market teams can view contention as a yearly possibility.

    Chris Perez is right, but the blame doesn’t lie on the shoulders of the fans. 

  • deuce

    News flash for mr perez….. Cleveland fans r not to be poked and prodded. Stop collapsing a half of every season and being 1 of 3 major disappointments in this cit. He must want to b traded

  • Wow

    I couldn’t agree more!

  • Xonstage

    It’s not like he’s lying.

  • Having contempt for your audience is always a good path towards engendering their support.

    Right on, CP54.

    (Whoever let him use the computer at the Indians team shop should be fired.)

  • tribe48

    Here is the gig. Dolan paid a premium for the team….then put a crappy product on the feild and is mad at the fans for not showing to watch this awful product. Now in a poor economy an average closer at best calls out paasionate fans. I am a diehard Tribe fan but for a guy who is more fun than Disneyland on most nights to watch close out a game, this is a bad move. Lets sell out the house to boo him out…Sorry Perez bad move here !!!!

  • Modellsux

    Whatever you say jocksniffer.

  • Robbie

     And, unfortunately, the jerky fans are way more proactive and enthusiastic when it comes to expressing themselves than the more level-headed fans, especially in places like Twitter where they can hide behind their phones. Which is partly why I think athletes should enter that world at their own peril and not rip the rest of us when they get bombed.

  • Robbie

     Having to trade away two Cy Young winners is more of a MLB problem than a Cleveland problem.  And the payroll situation involved is integral to why Cleveland has a hard time snagging the primo free agents.  If they can’t afford their homegrown talent, how could they afford other teams talent?

  • Tpistone6

    Somebody needs to tell Perez to look at the right field stands. That “455” painted on the wall with the retired numbers was not a players number. Like it has been said many times, “if you build it. they will come” If you put a winning product on the field, the fans will show up. I was there during those mid ’90’s teams, a lot of fun. Perez needs to worry more about his pitching and consistency than who the Indians wil or will not sign.

  • Robbie

     You just don’t buy a ticket, though.  You have to drive ($), you have to park ($), then you get the ticket (which MAY be the cheapest crappy seat, $), then you’re going to buy things to eat and drink ($$) and if you have kids I would guess they’ll want souvenirs of some sort ($$).

    2/3 of the way down this thread and this is the first post to mention the fact that the economy just isn’t that great.  If a family has to make an occasion out of a day at the ballpark, it may not be the most spontaneous thing.  And it’ll BE an occasional thing.

    Not to mention the fact that HD televisions are more prevalent nowadays and it’s not that bad to watch at home.

  • Gbwoy

    Here are the facts:  The Indians are currently in 1st place.  It may be early, but that means that the team on the field is NOT playing bad baseball.  Period.  They’re actually a really young, talented and well coached team.  So to all those complaining about a bad product being put on the field, that just isn’t true.

    I think the problem is Cleveland fans get too attached to specific players.  The reality in baseball is that the truly elite talent goes where the money is.  That means a small market team will lose guys like Sabathia and Lee.  So you root for the laundry.  YOu root for the kids being called up, but know that theres a good chance they might not be here past their 5-6 years before free agency.  That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a 1st place team though.

    I get the agnst. but really, this team is playing good baseball.  What else do you need?

  • Mmmmm… apples.

  • I just thought the 455 was from a really fat player’s jersey that got retired.

  • perez must be suspended without pay for ten games.

    1.  rule number one in any business is dont insult your customers.
    2.  this is not is first offense.
    3.  if the indians dont take any action on perez, then they are condoning his statements.

    ps— the handwringing among the some the fandom in this thread and some of your radio personalities on twitter is pathetic.  

  • Nobody

    Well, he’s right…can’t really argue with it. Maybe more people will show up with this comment…

  • theeMrSanity

    I think the signings of Santana and Cabrera would say otherwise, and reveal what this really is…

  • Craig

    I went yesterday to see the 2-0 win and a group of 4 Indians fans were mercilessly heckling Shelley Duncan in LF.  Sure, he’s Shelley Duncan, but what’s the point?  Didn’t say jack to Miami’s LF till about the 7th.

  • MrCleaveland

    When the Tribe was filling the Jake every night, Clemens and Shilling still turned them down. Not to mention Belle, Ramirez, and Thome.

    Perez ought to keep his stupid mouth shut. What a jerk.

  • i smell a beckett for perez deal coming.

  • Brick

    No offense intended, but I think this mindset is where you go all wrong. Tickets are $10-15. Parking is $5 if you know where to go and don’t mind walking a little. Eat and drink beforehand. You can even bring bottled water and some food into the stadium! If you don’t have the money to buy kids souvenirs, then don’t! Trust me, unless they’re spoiled, they will be thrilled just to be going to a ballgame.

    I know when I was a kid growing up in the mid-90’s, we’d sit in the nosebleeds and NEVER get food or souvenirs. My mom did do a good job at picking promotion dates (bobbleheads/t-shirts). Also, one of the most memorable experiences of my childhood was going down to the player’s parking lot after my first Tribe game and getting Lofton’s autograph. Going to the games, despite the cruddy seats, influenced my love and appreciation for the game more than anything. I’m afraid kids are missing out on that these days.

    My point is: Sure, games can be expensive, but they don’t have to be.

  • HangMikeVick

    he has a right to say whatever the hell he wants. its called freedom of speech. Dont get angry at him because he’s not afraid to tell the truth. Stop whining and support your team or maybe you wont have a team to support much longer

  • Bob

    I have been a Tribe fan since the late fifties.  I now live in Indianapolis, however, my brother has been a fan since then as well, lives in Mentor, drives to games, etc.  We know what loyalty means, we have been tested.  Let me take you back to the mid-nineties and Jose Mesa.  We are loyal, and we will taste victory one day with or without Mr. Perez’ comments.

  • i will respond once to you as youre demonstrably ignorant and likely trolling. 

    1. no one is saying he should be imprisoned.  thus, this is not a first amendment issue.  
    2. his private employer has the right conduct business in a way that does not alienate their customers.  this includes disciplining employees who insult their customers.

    that your foolish premise seems to be shared by an alarming number of mis-informed people is concerning.

  • Swig6

    They used to send a couple of players here in Erie, Pa the last 48 winters to drum up fan support…until THIS year. You reap what you sow…

  • Brick

    Forgot to acknowledge that your comment about it being an “occasion” is actually a really good point. Back in the 90’s, it HAD to be an occasion, since tickets would sell out the first available day. Remember how big of a deal that was? I think a lot of people are still in the mindset that you can’t just spontaneously go to a game, even though it certainly isn’t the case anymore.

  • Swig6

    …also when the Indians were contending with Belle, Lofton, Barraga etc, john Saunders & Manning always bragged its the 47th…69th, 119th consecutive sell-out etc every stinkin’ game. No attendence comment now, huh Sparky!

  • Also a long way from the sellout days: sellouts

  • Jared in LA

    Carlos Barraga was a great player for the Tribe during those 90’s years, but I think the guy who gets overlooked the most was Paul Sorrenzo, dude could mash and was supremely Italian.  Then again, I can’t believe how awesome Orel Hershayner and Dennis Martinoz was at the end of their carreers.

    Anyway, to get on topic, my brother went to the game yesterday and said he had a great time and the Tribe won.  I went to check the highlights and these CP comments were being reported.  Why now?  Why after a victory?  Why a 1/4 into the season?  I don’t think Cleveland fans will be Tampa Bay fans, where they couldn’t fill a freaking playoff game and had to beg people to come out.  It’s early in the season, it’s barely summer and I for one am skeptical about if they can keep this up.  I can’t attend games (live out of state), but I do check the scores, so it’s great to see them in first place.  I they are in first place 3/4 into the season, the Jake should be 65-75% full….but we’ll deal with that when the time comes.   

  • The_Real_Shamrock

    What I miss, lol?  Pure Rage if it ain’t on the field it’s off.  The only thing better then Perez comments and his reactions to “fans” is “fans” reactions to him!  I love it.

  • Mntymontalvo

    cleveland fans have backed the teams there even when they didn’t deserve it.the owners always trade off the best players for a cheaper payroll payout.and all great jobs there been shipped overseas or south of the boarder for decades, nowonder folks don’t show up , low employment rate! ohio always has raised outstanding athelets and great people and they learn soon enough to get out of ohio if they want to be very successful, thats one reason why the champions have all left cleveland forever!so perez blame theowner/ establishment not the fans.the cleveland choke curse lives on,cleveland will never have any champion pro sports team . 

  • DQ

    Baseball is a dying sport.  The games tend to last 3+ hours, add another hour for getting there and home, your looking at a long night and very time consuming.  In a world of of multi-tasking going to a game isnt really the best opportunity when you can watch the game at home and do plenty of other things, not to mention that baseball isnt the most fast paced exciting sport and the season is so long and they play everyday.  Packing the stadium for a roster that changes every few years doesnt really seem to be the best outcome given the economy and the way the world works now.  People will go or they wont but calling out the fans for not showing up is classless when you make millions of dollars to play a sport.  Your job is to play the game regardless of the amount of fans in the game.  Do teachers call out their students for being sick one day? No they just go about there work because thats what there paid to do, to do your job as if no one is there.  Also, we saw the Tribe play this well out of the gate last year only to collapse in the second half of the year.  Prove you belong in first and people will show up when they want to go.

  • Jimmorlica

    Cleveland fans will sell out cleveland browns staidum though. Thats how dumb the fans are in cleveland.

  • Midget_pooh

    Cliff Lee was a 29 year old minor leaguer who had one good season and won the cy young award. Of course, in retrospect, Indians fans want to pretend he was Randy Johnson. Although you’re of course going to say you knew he was no fluke, trading him high was absolutely the right call. We lost the trade— it happens— but to look back in retrospect and act like it was an unthinkable trade to dump that guy (and to stay away from the ballpark for YEARS because of it) is crazy.

    How many times have the tribe won fewer than 80 games since 2001? Not many.

  • Sda4124

     again I ask. How far are they really going ? I dont see them winning the division.

  • Sda4124

     Keep in mind the Cavs have an owner that is dedicated to winning. The Dolans see only the bottom dollar,They will win If its in they’re budget which is fine.but I  see only the bottom dollar also. We will go to a game year still. It costs us around $ 200  because we live an hour away. Now I know we could go and drive back but if I’m spending $50 for a day out, I’m staying closer to home. As far as TV? My wife puts up with Cavs games and Browns games. So we watch  a few but that’s it. I’m as dedicated to the Indians as they are to me. No more, no less

  • Steve

     Because 30k on maybe the best night of the year, for a first place team playing another good team that won’t be around for a while again is still not a great crowd.

  • This smart mouth punk kid has no clue!!! he has the nerve to make the kind of remarks that he made about the fans and he has ABSOLUTELY no idea what this city has gone through with these lethargic sports teams of ours decade after decade.

    I’m sorry, but this city has seen it all and heard it all before and we are f—–g sick and tired of all the excuses, front office and lousy ownership that doesn’t seem to understand how to put a consistent contender out on the field, only to falter half way through the season year after year.

    Gilbert gets it! Lerner gets it! WAKE UP DOLAN!!! Shapiro and Antonetti should have been canned a LONG time ago, they’re both clueless! and it’s time for you to sell the team to someone that can afford it Mr. Dolan! not many people are very happy losing two Cy Young pitchers only to get ABSOLUTELY nothing but crap in return.

    You want 20-25 thousand fans every night, then spend the money, stop signing AAA (let’s see if we can catch lightening in a bottle) players and 40 year old has beens and quit giving us these lame @ss excuses as to why so and so wanted too much money B—S–T! we’ve been hearing that same ‘ol song and dance every year for how many now??

    Let’s get ready for another fire sale folks, because we’ll be in last place in our division by the all star break, because as long as we have an incompetent front office like this and an owner that won’t spend the money we will never win a World Series EVER!!!