Touch 'Em All: Indians' Perez rips fans' lack of support

Posted: May 21, 2012

Chris Perez is treading on dangerous ground.

He's speaking his mind.

On Saturday, the Indians' all-star closer ripped the fans of Cleveland for not supporting the team with their hard-earned dollars.

The righthander told reporters, "Nobody wants to play in front of 5,000 fans. We know the weather stinks, but [other players] see 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."

Asked about his comments after Sunday's game against Miami's Josh Johnson drew 23,668, Perez said: "Baseball is supposed to be fun. It is like that in Philadelphia every day. It helps you. You draw energy from the fans.

"It's just a slap in the face when you're in first place and last in attendance. Last. Not 25th or 26th. Last."

Perez, by the way, is not a surly, clubhouse curmudgeon. He's a gregarious guy who uses social media to interact with fans regularly.

He'll probably have all the Tweets he can handle for the next month.

The Babe still sells

Babe Ruth's earliest-known jersey has sold at auction for $4.42 million, a record for an item of sports memorabilia, SCP Auctions of New York said in a news release.

Ruth's game-worn Yankees jersey, estimated to date from 1920, broke the record $4.34 million paid for James Naismith's rules of basketball.

The original rules of the game, written by Naismith in 1891, were sold Dec. 10, 2010, at Sotheby's in New York.

Around the bigs

Milwaukee reinstated outfielder Carlos Gomez (left hamstring) from the 15-day disabled list. . . . Oakland placed righthander Brandon McCarthy (sore shoulder) on the 15-day DL with a sore shoulder. ... Miami put outfielder Emilio Bonifacio (sprained left thumb) on the 15-day list. . . . Marlins' first baseman Gaby Sanchez, an NL all-star last year, was optioned to New Orleans Saturday. . . . San Diego manager Bud Black says lefthander Cory Luebke is strongly leaning toward having reconstructive surgery on his elbow.

Yankees ace CC Sabathia walked five in a 5-2 loss to the Reds, the most he has given up in a game since April 2010. . . . Reds infielder Wilson Valdez (you remember him) turned 34 on Sunday. . . . The Mets placed righthander Miguel Batista (back) on the 15-day DL.

Contact Don McKee at

This article contains information from the Associated Press.

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