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Mark Shapiro Addresses Chris Perez’s Comments On Indians Fans, Attendance

Both Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti met with Indians closer Chris Perez on Saturday morning, presumably to discuss his controversial remarks about Tribe fans and attendance at Progressive Field. Both parties did not reveal specifics of that meeting, but they did speak separately to the press. As you’d expect, Shapiro articulated that the club disagrees with Perez’s assessment. Via Zack Meisel of MLB.com:

I, myself, and we, as an organization, have a lot of respect and appreciation for Chris. I understand the emotion and the passion and the competitiveness that drives his performance. I mean he’s been one of the more dominant closers in baseball this season. What drives him to succeed in that role is his emotion and his competitiveness. I think a lot of that was what behind he said yesterday. Talking to him with Chris Antonetti, it’s clear that what’s behind that emotion is how great he feels our situation is. How incredible he feels the team is, the ballpark is, and his desire for more people to experience that. That’s the root of it.

We as an organization clearly disagree with him. We appreciate our fans, we respect our fans.

Shapiro also indicated that he thinks most players don’t feel the same way as Perez, and they enjoy playing here. The club President doesn’t think his closer disrespected fans and that the remarks won’t further alienate them. And he’s also hoping to spin some positive out of it:

Talking to [Perez], I think some of his hope is that’s what he’s saying. He’s saying, ‘Hey, pay attention. Good things are happening here. Look at this ballpark, look at what you’ve got here. Come on out.’ I don’t know whether that will happen, but I would conjecture that part of his desire is for that to happen.

[Related: Chris Perez’s Comments: The Good, The Bad, And…The Bad]

  • Kdgtchr

    I agree with Perez.  I live an hour and half from the park but we do get to games 4 to 5 times a season.  The people in the fine city of Cleveland need to start supporting this team.  I know if I lived in the city of Cleveland I’d be at every game I could.

    As for Shapiro he’s nothing but a politician.  It’s my guess he, deep down in his heart, agrees with Chris but doesn’t want to cross the fans.  They help with his paycheck.  I’m not a Shapiro fan. 

  • BIKI024

    it’s not really so much being a politician but being a professional, afterall he is the President of the team and the fans are his customers, of course he’s not going to cross the fans.  but i think he did as good of a job as he could to try to make-up for the PR situation CP put the team in and I agree with his psychoanalysis of CP’s mentality and passion for the team/game.     

  • DonFelder

    I’ve heard nothing but good things about Mark Shapiro on a personal level. Just sayin.

  • Only 4 or 5? Chris Perez takes issue with your lack of support.

  • Wow

    I wonder how he felt after today’s attendance was announced.

  • bnagel81

    Perez is right.  Attendance has been horrible and embarrassing for years not months.  I respect the fact he came out and did a follow up interview.  The way it comes off, to me at least, is a plea to fans and not a malicious lashing out.

    Absolutely hilarious though that in the same sit down he complains about being booed and than singles out Philadelphia as a perceived “fun” place to play. 

  • mgbode

    “How incredible he feels the team is, the ballpark is, and his desire for more people to experience that. That’s the root of it. We as an organization clearly disagree with him.”

    Uh Mark, you may want to rephrase this portion.