Chris Perez Tells Cleveland The Truth, Like It Or Not
By Christian Petrila
Chris Perez has recently taken on the role of “The tough-love voice of reason.”
After bashing Indians fans a month ago for poor turnout at home as well as booing home players, the Cleveland closer is at it again. This time, he’s getting on Cleveland’s case about “blindly rooting for the Browns” and rooting against LeBron in the NBA Finals.
You may not like to hear this, Cleveland, but he’s right.
Cleveland remains a football town despite the fact that the Browns have been to the playoffs once since returning to the NFL in 1999. The last couple of seasons of Browns football have been particularly unwatchable.
“Their whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why,” Perez said in the New York Times story.
While the Browns are busy playing football at a level that is the NFL equivalent of a junior varsity flag football team, the Indians are busy competing for one of the five coveted MLB playoff spots. Yet the support the Indians get is a mere fraction of the Browns.
Next, there’s the issue of LeBron James. I’ll be the first to admit that I was heartbroken when he uttered his famous, self-absorbed words, “This fall, I’m gonna take my talents to South Beach and join the Miami Heat.” I’ll also be the first to admit that I also rooted for him to fail. However, at no point did I let my hatred toward one man even remotely diminish my passion for the Indians. LeBron has nothing to do with the Indians. Heck, we’re talking about the same guy who showed up to a playoff game in a Yankee hat.
“I don’t get the psyche,” Perez said. “Why cheer against a guy that’s not even in your city anymore? Just to see him fail? Does that make you feel good? I could see if the Cavs were in the championship, but that’s their mentality.”
This is true because as much as LeBron’s departure bothered me, I couldn’t help but crack a smile when he finally won. So he didn’t win inCleveland. It’s always nice to play the “what if” game, especially inCleveland, but it doesn’t change the fact that the Cavs have a good, young foundation on which to build. Don’t let the bad taste linger when there’s so much more to look forward to from your own team.
The excuses for not supporting the Indians need to stop, Cleveland. There is absolutely no validity behind any of the excuses. All you’re doing is enraging one of the brightest spots on the Indians. He leads the league in saves and is purely dominant, but what good is it if the fans are only driving him away? If he leaves Cleveland, only the unappeasable fans are to blame. I know it seems harsh, but it’s true.
Basically, the choice is yours, Cleveland. Either support your team and accept the harsh truth brought upon by one of the most dominant bullpen guys in the league, or continue to be ignorant and be prepared to watch him and potentially others ride off into the sunset like so many other Indians have.
Photo: Getty Images