Chris Perez took Indians fans to task earlier this season and the Cleveland faithful seemed to back him. It'll be interesting to see if they continue after his latest comments about the city. Speaking to the New York Times, Perez said Cleveland is more interested in rooting against LeBron James than rooting for the Indians.
From the article:
“I don't get the psyche,” said Perez, who grew up in Florida. “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.
“They've had a lot of years of misery. They say, ‘You just don't understand because you don't live here.' O.K., maybe I don't. But that doesn't mean it has to keep going.”
He also went after the city's fervent support of the perennial losers, the NFL's Browns:
“That's what I don't understand,” Perez said. “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.
“It's head-scratching. It's just — they don't come out. But around the city, there's great support. They watch it in the bars. They watch it at home. They just don't come.”
Despite spending much of the season atop the American League Central standings, the Indians are last in average attendance, drawing just 18,408 per game to Progressive Field. From June 12, 1995 to April 4, 2001, the Indians sold out 455 consecutive regular-season home games. Much of that streak came during the four seasons the Browns franchise was inactive.
While I appreciate Perez's honesty and openness, I do find it slightly distasteful for someone who is making $4.5 million telling someone who is making significantly less how they should spend their money.