Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Reliever Chris Perez has fashioned a nice career for himself after establishing himself as a quality closer for the Cleveland Indians over the past three seasons.
He's not doing much to win fans or management over with his mouth, however.
Perez found himself facing a firestorm of criticism last year for comments made about fans, management and his former manager.
He left no one group untouched, for sure.
First, Perez directed his ire at Indians fans for not showing up at Progressive Field.
"Nobody wants to play in front of 5,000 fans," said Perez. "We know the weather stinks, but people see that (low attendance). Other players know that.
"You had a choice of playing in St. Louis where you get 40,000 like (Carlos) Beltran chose to do, or you can come to Cleveland."
Then, Perez chose to take a shot at management.
“Different owners,” Perez said frankly, in reference to Detroit’s Mike Ilitch and Cleveland’s Lawrence J. Dolan. “It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Ilitch) wants to win. Even when 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 don’t. But most of the time you do.
“You can’t miss,” Perez said. “You have 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 (pony) up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”
And finally, Perez had some choice parting words for dismissed manager Manny Acta.
"The Manny [reporters] saw and the Manny we saw were different guys," said Perez. "He's not a very confrontational person.
"In this game, we're men. We can handle it. Sometimes we need a kick in the butt. He did it this year, but it was a couple of weeks too late.
"Last year, we didn't get it at all. He only gave us two speeches, one at the start of the season and one at the end and we were playing for first place up until September."
Remarkably, Perez is still in town and will presumably be the closer in Cleveland once again.