May 30, 2012

Should Pure Rage Calm It Down? Hell No

A closer has one of the most thankless jobs in professional sports.  He is counted on to come into high pressure situations in close games and to shut the door.  There is no love for a closer that cannot do his job.  You won’t be the closer long if you don’t get 25, 26, and 27.  There is always another young flame thrower or two just biting at the chance to be the ninth inning man.  You need the “closer’s mentality,” the innate ability to look at the heart of the other team’s lineup and say, “here I am, come and get me.”

The Indians have Chris “Pure Rage” Perez in the back of the bullpen to slam that door shut.  Perez has long crazy hair, a beard, and a fiery attitude on the mound that seems to get under the skin of just about every team he faces, most recently the Royals.  After striking out Royals Jarrod Dyson, Perez pulled out a WWE John Cena move by waving his hand in front of his face to say “U Can’t C Me.” Perez claims that this motion was done to his teammates and that he has also been doing it as far back as college.  After covering first for the last out on grounder to Kotchman, Perez did a celebratory spiking motion that almost had him on his behind.  This isn’t the first time that Perez has been making waves this season.  He called out the fans for not coming to the ballpark and watching their first place team.  .  Are these antics too much or should Perez be able to act like himself after leading the AL with 17 saves? 

It is much harder to get someone excited for something than it is to calm them down.  This goes back to the closer’s mentality.  If Perez is making hitters think about something other than the pitch count, the moment in the game, or whether he’s going to throw a piping fastball on the corner of the plate, good.  Any distraction that these batters are going to have to face while they aren’t paying attention to their at bat is a good thing.  Perez is clearly intimidating and rustling other people’s feathers, but the key is that he is still being effective.  After Opening Day people were concerned about Perez but he has been nothing short of brilliant since then.  Perez, keep talking, keep fist pumping, and keep closing games, because as long as that continues , I am all for the Pure Rage.  



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