Chris Perez's Rant Among 10 Great Indians Player and Announcer Quotes
Chris Perez ripped Cleveland Indians fans on Saturday for lack of support and for not showing up to cheer on the first-place Tribe.
The Cleveland Indians are a small-market team that doesn't receive a lot of national exposure. This does not mean, however, that the team has players or announcers who are afraid to speak their mind on matters they are concerned with, fired up about or amused by.
This slide show revisits 10 great quotes in 2012 by Indians players and a few by radio play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton.
The quotes range the gamut from inspirational to funny to controversial.
I hope you enjoy 10 great quotes overheard so far in the 2012 season.
Indians Closer Rips Tribe Faithful
After recording his 13th save of the season in a dominant appearance in which he struck out the side (on 10 pitches) in the ninth to preserve the Indians' 2-0 shutout of the Miami Marlins on Saturday, Tribe closer Chris Perez decided to air his thoughts on the lack of fan support.
As reported by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com, Perez discussed being booed during his appearance on Thursday afternoon in which he struggled and gave up a one-out single to Justin Smoak and a walk to Casper Wells:
They booed me against the Mariners when I had two guys on. It feels like I can't even give up a baserunner without people booing me. It's even worse when there's only 5,000 in the stands, because then you can hear it. It [ticks] me off. I got two guys on, Perez added later. 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.
Perez then got out of the inning with no further damage, but was sarcastically cheered when he struck out the Mariners' Jesus Montero to end the inning. Perez said, ""The mock standing applause just adds to it. You see their true colors."
Perez is not unreasonable about his frustration here. Yes, he is maddening as hell to watch, but he has not blown a save since Opening Day and is 13-for-13 since the debacle against the Blue Jays.
"Pure Rage" also commented on the horrible attendance of the Tribe fans so far in 2012. "It doesn't go unnoticed—trust us," Perez said. "I'm not calling out the fans. It's just how it is. ...Nobody wants to play in front of 5,000 fans."
The timing of this whole rant was a little odd as the announced attendance was the largest since Opening Day—29,799.
It's funny that he says, "I'm not calling out the fans." Uh, yes you are, and you have a right to. The Indians are in first place, for God's sakes. What are the Cleveland faithful waiting for? The fans need to show up at the gates or they risk team-wide frustration and lack of motivation to perform.
Perez Part Deux
As reported by Bastian, Perez commented on his unusual Saturday outing:
"I'm tired of getting booed at home," Perez said. "So I figured I'd throw some strikes today. You can quote that."
Thanks, Chris, I think I will.
Funny here that he recognized that he isn't usually a slam-the-door-with-ease closer that he showed on Saturday. More outings like Saturday's, and the boos and derisive cheers will surely subside at Progressive Field.
Tom Hamilton on 'Chickengate'
As reported by Bob Hohler of BostonGlobe.com, Josh Beckett was a central figure of "Chickengate" when Beckett and fellow hurlers Jon Lester and John Lackey chose to drink beer, eat fried chicken and play video games rather than support their teammates through a huge September collapse that saw the Red Sox miss out on the postseason on the last game of the 2011 season.
On May 10 of this year, Beckett went 2.1 innings, gave up seven hits, seven runs (all earned) and surrendered two home runs. While Beckett was being yanked, with the Red Sox down 7-1, Indians radio play-by-play announcer Tom Hamilton had this to say (as reprinted by "The Positive Tribe" blog):
"All Josh Beckett needs to do to finish this off is order some fried chicken and beer!"
Hilarious and timely comment. Beckett's pitching that night was a complete mess, and Hamilton likened that performance with the other debacle that Beckett was involved with.
Pretty genius and very funny.
Hamilton on 'Golfgate'
Beckett got embroiled in another controversy which Hamilton jumped all over.
The big deal?
It was reported that Beckett went golfing the day after getting scratched. The controversy was highly commented on, and on May 10 a fan tweeted Hamilton's comment that was heard on the radio broadcast during the early stages of Beckett's start against the Tribe:
"If the @Indians can rough up Josh Beckett tonight, the next time he goes golfing, he'll have to pay." Tom Hamilton.— Ryan Mirabedini (@Ryan_ALSD) May 10, 2012
Again rubbing a little salt in the wounds and making a hilarious, appropriate comment at the right time.
The Comedy Stylings of Shin-Soo Choo
On April 14, Shin-Soo Choo was hit by a pitch by Royals starter Jonathan Sanchez. The next inning, Indians starter Jeanmar Gomez retaliated by drilling Mike Moustakas in the lower back.
Each subsequent at-bat by Choo resulted in the Kansas City crowd lustily booing him for his part in the skirmish that ensued after Choo got plunked.
Via Paul Hoynes' Twitter account, Choo displayed his comedic talents and commented on the crowd's displeasure of him:
Choo on getting booed by KC fans: "It's OK. I'm used to Cleveland. They say Choo. It sounds the same as boo." #Indians.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) April 15, 2012
Choo seems like a very low-key, focused ballplayer, so this funny comment came as a bit of a surprise. It seems as if the comedy was purposeful.
Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Shin-Soo Choo! Free parking in the rear, two-drink minimum and please, please...tip your waitress.
Hannahan's Got His Boys' Backs
After the bean-ball battle vs. the Royals, Hoynes reported on Cleveland.com Indians third baseman Jack Hannahan's explanation of the Tribe's team concept:
This is the way baseball has been played for a long time. You hit our studs. We hit your studs. That's the way it's always been played and that's the way it should be played.
Ya gotta love this attitude if you're an Indians fan. An unwavering, defiant support of your teammate. Literally willing to fight to support him.
How Was Your Round, Josh?
As recalled by Ryan Mirabedini on Twitter, upon the pitching coach's trip to the mound, Hamilton had this to say about Beckett's round of golf:
"The pitching coach got to the mound and the first question to Beckett was, 'Did you birdie #9?'" - Tom Hamilton. Love it.— Ryan Mirabedini (@Ryan_ALSD) May 10, 2012
I was actually listening to this game and thought this was a hilarious comment by Hamilton. Can't you just picture this? Beckett is absolutely getting shelled, and the pitching coach rubs it in even more by talking about Beckett's controversial round of golf, a round that was probably better off not played.
The "JK Kid" Has Confidence
After the Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder in January, baseball pundits everywhere handed the AL Central Crown to the Tigers before the season even began.
But guess who wasn't the least bit fazed or intimidated by the Tigers signing Fielder to go with one the most feared offensive bats in the majors, Miguel Cabrera?
I must admit, my confidence in the Tribe's overtaking the Tigers this year in the AL Central was severely diminished after the Tigers signed Fielder.
Kipnis's and other Indians players' confidence in themselves, however, brought my confidence back up.
You have to love this confidence that the young Kipnis has in his team and in himself, and so far his confidence and the team's has produced a first-place standing midway through May.
Vinnie Pestano also commented on the Fielder signing and expressed his confidence in his teammates and himself in competing hard with the Tigers for the AL Central crown:
Im not trying to act tough and say it doesnt matter. Its a big sign for them but I have all the confidence in the world in our guys.— Vinnie Pestano (@VinnieP52) January 24, 2012
and he added:
Besides I like being an underdog, I like proving people wrong been doing it my whole life. If you're scared get a dog #neverbackdown— Vinnie Pestano (@VinnieP52) January 24, 2012
Pestano was saying he knew the Tribe would be underdogs, but he didn't care whatsoever and felt confident the Tribe would still compete.
Choo Is Afraid
Shin-Soo Choo has been drilled by pitches already five times this season and got hit for the second time in two seasons by lefty Jonathan Sanchez.
Last year, Sanchez drilled Choo on the left thumb and broke it, causing Choo to spend six weeks on the disabled list.
So, you can't really blame Choo for being a little jumpy at the plate against lefties, but Hamilton reported and commented on Choo's admission that Choo was indeed a little uneasy at the plate against southpaws. As retold by another Indians fan on Twitter:
Tom Hamilton, on Choo's admission he's afraid of being hit by pitch: "That's like telling your prom date you have 4 or 5 canker sores."— Stephanie Liscio (@stephanieliscio) May 15, 2012
In other words, this would not be something you would not want to admit. This was another hilarious comment by Hamilton and dead on.
The book on Choo, admitted by Cleveland teammate Joe Smith is to pitch him inside. Why would you want to admit you are scared to get hit? Hopefully, no scouts or American League pitchers were listening to this or received a report of Choo's admission.
American League pitchers already believe they can get Choo out inside; therefore, Choo can expect to get an even more steady diet of inside pitches.