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Is It Time To Cut Ties?
June 8, 2013 - Al Stephenson
As a baseball fan I have one major pet peeve. When a batter from my team (that would be the Tribe) takes a fastball down the middle for a called strike three, I become a little angry. I take that up a notch when one of the announcers suggests that said batter must have been looking for something else! Give me a break. I usually respond to this unfathomable situation by suggesting to anyone who will listen that the batter has my permission to take the pitch if the pitcher throws anything other than a baseball.
My goodness anyone who played little league baseball has been taught that when you get two strikes you choke up on the bat and swing at anything close. You do not guess what type of pitch is coming. You prepare to swing at anything that can remotely be considered a strike in the umpire's mind. A pitch right over the heart of the plate qualifies as "too close to take!"
Why the previous story? Because as all of you know if you are a baseball fan in general and an Indian fan in particular, Chris Perez the Indians closer has been arrested for possession of marijuana. That would be the equivalent of taking a called third strike right down the middle. Then I read that an attorney suggested that if Perez is found guilty he would receive a small fine and the incident would be the equivalent of being guilty of a minor traffic offense.
What the heck? The attorney and the announcer are justifying behavior that is quite frankly not justifiable.
Chris Perez has alienated a lot of Indian fans. He was the one that called out Indian fans for not coming to the ballpark when the Indians were doing well early the last couple of seasons. He then blasted ownership for not shelling out big bucks to attract free agents. All the while he was a better than average closer.
The fans were stung, but for the most part they still supported Perez, even though he blew a number of saves. Now he is on the DL and accused of a crime. That support is wavering.
As for the comment that the drug arrest fits in the category of a minor traffic offense - no way. Some minor trafffic offense occur because the driver is not paying attention. Others occur because the driver is impatient. In both cases the driver is likely to be forgiven by most folks. What Perez has done is totally different.
The package containing the marijuana was sent to the Perez home addressed to the dog. Yes the dog for crying out loud. Perez was very much aware that he was breaking the law and trying to deceive authorities by doing so. Is this the kind of guy the Indians want on their ball club?
The view from my seat suggests that if the decision to cut ties with the man were left up to Indians fans, Chris Perez would be gone. That may not happen, but most fans I have talked to would not be unhappy to see him let go.
For sure it will be hard to root for the guy from this day foreward.
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