Before Sunday's game, Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez took a break from shagging flies, ambled over to the right-field foul line, and cursed out an A's fan. You'd think Perez would've known that players rarely come out ahead in public player-fan confrontations. Then again, this is only his fifth major-league season, so maybe he's still getting the hang of the whole heckling thing. Here at BP, we don't condone cursing at fans, but we do place a lot of importance on evidence-based arguments. That's why we've decided to evaluate Perez's responses based not on whether he was wise to make them, or even on the quality of his cursing, but on whether his spittle-flecked statements were supported by facts.
Perez: "I got more saves than your whole f****** team does, so why don't you go look at those stats, you f*****."
Verdict: True! Chris Perez has 32 saves. The Athletics, as a team, have 31 saves. If saves determined the standings, the Indians would be in first place, as opposed to fourth place, where they are at the moment. But that wouldn't matter much to Chris Perez, because:
Fan: "Oh, what's the standings? Oh, we're ahead of you."
Perez: "I don't give a f***. I don't give a f***."
Verdict: Quite possibly true! Perez probably cares about winning, at least in the sense that it leads to saves, but he also probably takes some pleasure in the suffering of Indians fans. On the whole, winning is a wash.
Fan: "What's your salary? Who gives a s***? How many blown saves you got?"
Perez: "Four. Was I an All-Star again? Was I an All-Star again?"
Verdict: True! Chris Perez has four blown saves, and he was an All-Star again this summer. (He was also an All-Star in 2011.)
From a PR standpoint, Chris Perez is a team's worst nightmare. From a fact-checker's perspective, though, Perez is pretty much perfect.
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Unfiltered posts were designed, in general, to have a broader base of topics.
And yet, I too think this was a bad article. It was missing imbedded video.
Less seriously, relievers do have an awful lot of time on their hands in the bullpen.
#1. October 15, 1977. Tommy Lasorda was accurate that there were four hits up on the scoreboard and that lefty Doug Rau "couldn't get a lefty out." The first lefty, Mickey Rivers, had led off the game with a single, though a double play erased him. Leading off the second, Reggie Jackson had doubled, righty Lou Piniella had singled him home, and lefty Chris Chambliss singled. Rau was accurate that the previous day's pitcher had been left in with 3 runs on the board (when the Yankees put up a three spot against Tommy John in the top of the first). Lasorda was correct that they were now down two games to one.
#2. June 4, 1976. Tommy Lasorda was 100% accurate in his assessment of Dave Kingman's performance until he missed by one on how many runs (stated 7 vs. actual 8) he drove in against the Dodgers that game.
#3. June 30, 1982. Tommy Lasorda was wrong about Joe Lefebvre's and Kurt Bevacqua's batting averages (.130 stated vs. .156 and .267 actual coming into the game where Lefebvre was hit by Tom Niedenfuer).
On April 13, 2010 Chicago White Sox relievers argued with Jose Bautista about a man in white in the stands supposedly relaying signs to Blue Jays batters at the Rogers Centre, shouting things like "It's not so easy to hit home runs when you don't know what's coming, is it?"
Here are some problems with this:
Bautista was a) batting lead-off, b) had hit one home run on the season, in Baltimore two nights' previous, c) had a triple slash line coming into the game of .179/.333/.357, d) was zero for two with a walk in the game where the confrontation occurred, e) in 2009 he had hit 5 home runs at home (none against the White Sox) and 8 on the road, and f) the White Sox were behind 4-0 at the time and being no hit by Ricky Romero.
Though I've never been able to confirm this, I suspect it was Clayton Richard who was the Chicago reliever most into it. Bautista had homered off him in April 2009 (albeit in Chicago). Alternatively, it might have been Jesse Crain, who, though not victimized in 2009 by a Bautista longball himself, did see two Twins' teammates taken deep by Bautista, in Toronto, in September 2009 before moving to the White Sox for 2010.