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Checking Perez' mail at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario

Checking Perez' mail at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario
June 5, 2013
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It’s a sad day here at the Corner of Carnegie and Ontario.

I originally wrote this piece last night after the loss against the New York Yankees preaching patience for the Cleveland Indians, who are stuck a bit in the mud as we speak.

I was preaching patience for a team that seems to hit all at once, or not at all.

I was preaching patience for a team that had their strength in what appeared to be a loaded bullpen, only to find out that it could be a weakness.

I was preaching patience for a starting rotation that was good most of the time, but always seems to be on the edge of something a lot more nefarious than winning baseball.

I was preaching patience for Terry Francona, who I firmly believe is the best manager in baseball, and his staff, who may equal their manager as they begin to gel as leaders of this team.

I was preaching patience for a team that has battled more injuries than many, and has yet to really field their regular nine all that much in 2013.

That all went out the window this morning with the news that Chris Perez was being investigated for what I’m gathering is shipment or receiving controlled narcotics in the mail.

You can’t make this stuff up.

According to every news source that I’ve read, the Rocky River police have confirmed that they have been tracking a shipment that was addressed to a home in Rocky River that belongs to Tribe c loser Chris Perez.

Chris Perez hasn’t been arrested yet, and no formal charges have been made as of 2:45, at the time of this writing, but it appears as though they could be coming as early as tonight.

Adding intrigue, it appears as though the folks that lived at Perez’ house prior to his family renting were investigated for numerous occasions. I’m not sure if this tidbit was added to perhaps give a sliver of hope that this wasn’t directly related to Perez, or if they were just trying to connect the house as some potential lightning rod for evil doing.

Either way, the story is just strange, which is becoming normal for Perez at this point.

It makes me angry…sad…angry…sad…

Look, Chris Perez is a lot of things to a lot of people. I get that.

He laced Indians fans and management last year for not attending games, and for not acquiring a winning team.

He was right on both counts, at the time. I have no problem with what he said, but I generally have a problem with folks that say it.

Why?

“Let he who is without sin cast the first stone…”

Unfortunately for Perez though, many have been casting ridiculous stones in his direction since his statements last year. I was critical, but more for the fact that I think professional athletes should just shut the hell up in general. Many don’t agree with me, and that’s fine. I get both angles.

My point is, I don’t begrudge Perez for what he said. Like I said, he was right. My antipathy is with critical big-time athletes who open their mouth all the time.

Just. Play. Ball.

Don’t. Be. A. Distraction.

To his credit, Perez has stayed out of the media, at least from his end, in 2013. Sure, he had to close down his twitter account, but that was to “maintain greater focus on the success of the team this season and our shared goals moving forward. We have an extremely positive and supportive group of players, coaches and staff members in our clubhouse and I want to participate in activities and routines that contribute positively to the culture we are building here. Out of respect for my teammates, I want to minimize any potential off-the-field distractions so this is the only time I will comment on the topic. Thank you for your understanding."

He’s had his ups and downs this season, and it has including a current stint on the DL, where he is now.

Now this.

Lightning rod.

Marijuana isn’t legal. Should it be? Does it matter? Last time I took a ride down to the Pharmacy, I didn’t see a bottle of Chronic on the shelf. I’m not here to argue the points and counterpoints of whether or not pot should be legal.

Which leads to Perez, and the distractions that he causes this team.

He’s a loud player, and it has nothing to do with yelling and screaming.

I’m not a pot smoker, nor have I ever been a pot smoker, but I do have to ask a simple question: Is this something you order from an online catalogue? To get the good stuff, do you phone in to 1-800-555-Weed? Do you call your friends and say, “Dude, I need the weed. Send me a pound or two in a Fed Ex box, with my name and address on it!”

I’m not pushing the “smart” way to purchase drugs, but none of this seems all that smart mature.

Look…Perez is a closer. I suppose this is something that folks should come to expect from the guy that comes into the ninth inning. These are the guys that tend to have quirks…who tend to talk to moonmen…grow their beards to their toes…and wear garter belts for every Thursday day game.

Perez is no different, and there’s nothing wrong with that…

…unless you are more about your quirks than your performance.

If it’s true, Perez’ stock plummets, both with the Indians’ management, and with the rest of the league should the Indians want to deal him. Now, because he has been an issue in the past, it’s likely to hurt him whether it’s true or not.

That’s why you don’t be THAT guy.

The hope here is that Perez didn’t use do any of this, and that it was related to the previous residents at the address. Do any of us really think that’s the case?

If all of this turns out to be true, I’ve got two words for you Chris: Grow up...or maybe shut up…or maybe…go away.

I guess that was six…but at least you have a choice.

Now let's get on with today's Corner...after I go and check the mail. You never know...

Mike Aviles got ejected from the game on Tuesday night after the game was over. Seriously? The umps were terrible in that game, and had blown a phantom foul tip call that irritated Aviles and Francona. The kicker to all of this though was the umpire chasing Aviles down as he walked to the dugout. He blew the call. It was clear that he blew the call. Does Mariano Rivera really need the help?

So what the hell was he doing?

He missed the call…then threw Aviles out after the game…then proceeded to taunt one of the most respected men in baseball.

Talk about Bush League.

The best umpires are the ones you never see. Tony Randazzo, the umpire in question, is an umpire that I even remember. It actually involved Terry Francona and the Boston Red Sox a couple of years ago. Jason Varitek had been thrown out by Randazzo earlier in the game while Jonathan Papelbon was pitching. On his next pitch, Papelbon threw a strike, was still agitated, and Randazzo literally went after him.

This is a guy that looks for excitement, and clearly has some issues with Francona.

There are umpires that make mistakes, and then there are umpires that think the game is all about him. When you do both, you should be gone.

Who is the bigger surprise right now, Corey Kluber or Ubaldo Jimenez? Sure, Kluber got clobbered early today, giving up six runs in the first two innings, and then went four scoreless innings. There’s something about this kid that has me believing? Mickey Callaway really may be something special as the pitching coach.

Ubaldo's K/9 this year is 9.1 as we speak. If the season would end right now, it would be the highest in his entire career. His velocity is down, so do you really have to believe that he’s just “figured it out and started throwing strikes?"

Boy, if these two really pan out, then you really could keep Kazmir as your fifth starter. Talk about lengthening the rotation.

The truth of the matter is that the Indians could still use a starter. I'm all in on Trevor Bauer, but I would be equally okay with the Indians making a move to pick up a veteran presence.

I could hammer you with random folks out there, but I'll leave it to IBI's own Steve Orbanek, who made a case for Ricky Nolasco nearly two months ago. At the time, he was talking about replacing Ubaldo Jimenez, but after the recent turn of events, I'd be looking at moving Kazmir or Kluber to the pen.

Perhaps this isn't a move you make now, but come July, it may be necessary.

Other guys that are out there are Scott Feldman, Matt Garza, Bud Norris, Jason Marquis and some cat named Clifford Phifer Lee.

Could you imagine that?

Tony Lastoria, Steve and I have talked about that possibility several times on our radio show over the past month, but it would take a package of players, that would likely start with Francisco Lindor/Jose Ramirez/Tyler Naquin, and include a Danny Salazar/Cody Anderson/Carlos Carrasco in the mix.

My point is that the price would be high for the Cliff Lee, and he's not getting any younger.

I wouldn't do it, unless the price was right, and unless I thought the Indians could win the World Series this year.

I don't.

My point here with regards to the starters is that the Indians could kill two birds with one stone. They could bolster their bullpen with both Brett Myers and Scott Kazmir, then solidify their rotation as well.

The key is to not sell the next three or four years while doing it...so don't go hogwild, and don't do it unless the bullpen is addressed as well.

Rearviewmirror…

Francisco Lindor has the potential to be a really good ballplayer. I know that I’ve said that before, but for those of you in Ohio, when he comes to Akron, just go and watch him play. There’s really only one word that I can use to describe him, and that’s professional. This kid has professional written all over him. I do think they would trade him, but it would have to be a home run.

You don’t get Ubaldo Jimenez for a deal involving Lindor, and I don't think you bother even for Cliff Lee. It would have to be an ace at the other end, and one with some control to make it worthwhile.

Travis Hafner hit his 10th homer today against the Indians. Is it me, or does it feel like he’s hit 100 against us?

Check out another episode of Sunday Night's Cleveland Sports Insiders, with Steve Orbanek and myself. We have a ton of fun, give it a listen, then join us for Indians, Browns and Cavaliers talk every weekend. Here's last week's episode:

Listen to internet radio with Indians Baseball Insider on BlogTalkRadio

Smoke Signals from Tuesday Night:

 

Listen to internet radio with Indians Baseball Insider on BlogTalkRadio

Jim is currently the senior editor and Columnist, as well as  the host of IBI's weekly online radio shows, Smoke Signals and Cleveland Sports Insiders. You can follow Jim on Twitter @Jim_IBI, or contact him via e-mail at jpete@indiansprospectinsider.com.

User Comments

Jim
June 7, 2013 - 7:21 PM EDT
Yo Jwahoo...you probably caught me on a bad day...

not trying to trigger an internet war here...so if I pissed you off...sorry...

I respect your opinion...whether you agree or don't...
Jim
June 7, 2013 - 5:12 PM EDT
"The fact that you think the Chris Perez situation changed my message of patience for the Indians current state...as opposed to how it only changed the direction of my column is where I'll leave my retort to this post..."

Again JWahoo...that was what I said in reply to your previous post. I believe I answered the question that you asked me fairly clearly: "it only changed the direction of my column."

I don't really care about the rest of your previous post because it really doesn't have a thing to do with anything I wrote about. If you're okay with Perez purchasing pot...and incensed about the police...good for you. You said it, I didn't...nor was it my point.

I wasn't trying to argue with you about anything...I just don't care to talk about anything you wrote.

I'll let the writers and readers of this site dictate if I was trying to argue with you, or who was trying to argue to begin with.

Trust me bro, I honestly don't care if you agree with me or not, nor do I care if anyone agrees with me or not.

Now...as to your second post...in what I can only imagine is you trying to call me out: I really have nothing to say anyways...since you essentially just copied and pasted my original story (which I wrote, and remember) to prove your point...

snarky is as snarky does, right?

So...

I already said it changed the tone of my article...and not my beliefs... that was in my initial reply (which I reposted here way up at the top, since that's what we're apparently doing).

You see jwahoo, it's called an inference, and it's in the third grade language arts curriculum in Ohio...and in the common core curriculum that's used across the country. It's also in every grade after that. It's when you read a piece, and infer from it something the author is trying to say....which apparently you asked about...and I answered, fairly clearly, in my first post. So there you go. I answered again.

And just to clarify...if in the future a reliever gets busted buying a dimebag...or even more than a dimebag...via the mail...I won't then decide I don't have any patience for the Indians plight on the field. However, I may then change my article from a piece on Ubaldo Jimenez and Corey Kluber...to a piece on the aforementioned reliever who bought the dimebag.
Jwahoo
June 7, 2013 - 1:41 PM EDT
@ Jim. Why do you feel you need to leave me a "retort" anyway? You brother a police officer or something?

And look I wasn't trying to start an argument with you or anything. Just asking a simple question but that seems to be what your looking for so I will read you your own words.

Here is where you own words start:

I was preaching patience for Terry Francona, who I firmly believe is the best manager in baseball, and his staff, who may equal their manager as they begin to gel as leaders of this team.

I was preaching patience for a team that has battled more injuries than many, and has yet to really field their regular nine all that much in 2013.

That all went out the window this morning with the news that Chris Perez was being investigated for what I’m gathering is shipment or receiving controlled narcotics in the mail.

"That all went out the window"

Sounds to me like your saying your message changed. If not I am not sure why you couldn't mention Perez and stick with the same message you wanted to give before. I have been very supportive of this and of its writers. Its little bit frusturating to be belittled every time you ask a question instead of just blind praise. Some are worse then others. You could have simply explained your message instead of getting all defensive. You do realize your writing blogs about a pro sport right? People are going to ask questions. Some are even going to challenge you. Its part of the job.

Sad to say I assume you will just ignore this post, now that you got your cheap shot in.


Again, I was simply asking you why the Perez incident made your message of patient "fly out the window" as your own words suggest. Not trying to start any argument but that seems what you get here with some writers every time you ask a simple question.
Jim
June 7, 2013 - 7:23 AM EDT
Brian--perhaps that was slight hyperbole. my point was that this team hasn't really had a chance to be a team on the field. There's been a lot of shuffling because of injuries in the rotation, to Bourn, Chisenhall's demotion, babies being born, not Drubs in the middle of a hot stretch...the bullpen. So I don't actually have a gauge of how that compares to the rest of the league, but I still say this team's roster has been in a state of flux early on with shuffling on the field. It hasn't come close to settling yet...and with Asdrubal likely out until July, won't settle until the break or so...right when the deadline hits.

Yeah Joey...Kluber is something right now. With Ubaldo, there was always "the other side" of his badness that we saw in 2010, and while nobody thought he could return there, there's always the potential. With Kluber, it was always a head-scratcher because he couldn't seem to translate his stuff onto the field with any consistency. Now he has upside. Crazy. Think about Kluber to remember though is that he would have waves of play like this in Columbus, then take sizable drops...so we'll see if this is something he can maintain.
Jim
June 6, 2013 - 2:58 PM EDT
The fact that you think the Chris Perez situation changed my message of patience for the Indians current state...as opposed to how it only changed the direction of my column is where I'll leave my retort to this post...
Jwahoo
June 6, 2013 - 1:15 PM EDT
This story disgusts me. The police in Cleveland who let three women stay kidnapped and abused under their nose for over ten years and have serious violent crimes on a daily basis are wasting their time because Chris Perez wants to relax and maybe give his sore body some releif? Pathetic. They are lazy and only do their job when its easy. Not when it matters.

I am going to say it. Fuck the Cleveland police. Some of the most pathetic in the U.S. I know your suppossed to support them to be a "good" american but no, I will not enable just to be politically correct.

He is not hurting anyone. With that said he picked a boneheaded method of delivery. If nomal regular people can do it without being investigated by the police an pro ball player with millions of dollars should have known better then to try and get it in the mail. Just stupid, stupid all around.

Although, I am not really sure why this changes your message of patience? Why does it?
Lisa
June 6, 2013 - 12:19 AM EDT
Pot should be legal if booze is, it's already legal some places and overall legality is almost inevitable sooner rather than later. As long as Perez pitches well for us I don't care.

Now if he's using it like Tommy Chong and it's the reason he's scuffled lately, that's different.
Joey
June 6, 2013 - 12:11 AM EDT
Fangraph has followed klubers last 2 starts prior to todays. They call him way underrated and showed how his pitches broke 12 and 14 inches against the red sox. Pretty interesting and good to see sources outside of cleveland noticing him
Brian
June 5, 2013 - 10:54 PM EDT
I don't necessarily think that the Indians have had more injuries than most. Bourn, Perez, Pestano and now Cabrera will have missed a few weeks early in half of a season. I feel as though we've been relatively healthy so far. Maybe I'm biased because of the Sizemore/Hafner days
Matt underwood
June 5, 2013 - 9:53 PM EDT
I don't get the whole "people that lived at Perez’ house prior to his family renting were investigated for numerous occasions" - what the hell does that even matter? Did the say Chris Perez or didn't it. That's all that matters here.
Norm
June 5, 2013 - 6:40 PM EDT
Best article I have read on the Perez situation. Nice to see some balance, Jim.

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