Indians closer fined $750 for 'reckless' tweet
By JANIE McCAULEY
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez is considering appealing a $750 fine from Major League Baseball for a "reckless" message on his Twitter account after a bench-clearing scuffle last weekend in Kansas City.
The pitcher said Friday he wants an explanation from MLB about what is and isn't acceptable on Twitter, because he believes his post was far from egregious.
"Obviously MLB did. It caught me off guard," Perez said Friday in an interview with The Associated Press before Cleveland opened a weekend series at Oakland. "I can go through the union and I'm still waiting to hear back what my agent wants to do. It's not really about the money, it's about the principle. I don't know if I'm the first one ever. I'm getting the most publicity out of it. I don't want to just lie down and let them have full reign, because right now there are no guidelines, so how are we supposed to know? That's what I want to get out of it. If I crossed the line, fine, but what's the line?"
After batters for both the Indians and Royals were hit by pitches, touching off two bench-clearing dustups last Saturday, Perez posted a message on his account, (at)chrisperez54, that said: "Huge team win tonight; time for a sweep to tell the Royals it's not `Our Time', it's (hash)TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we hit you. Period."
On Wednesday, Perez received a fine from Joe Garagiola Jr. in the commissioner's office. He told Perez he "demonstrated a reckless disregard for the safety of the players on both clubs."
"I think he overreacted," Perez said. "If I were to tweet and then I pitched on Sunday and hit somebody or we did, then that could be intent. That's a little different. We had a normal game. The way we look at it, I think everything's in the past. I don't think the next time we play them there's going to be a beanball war. We've been competing against each other, basically the same teams, for four years now. We both want to get to the same spot."
Perez isn't sure Garagiola Jr. even saw the post, which the pitcher said "our fans, obviously they liked it, and the Kansas City fans hated it."
Cleveland won the game Saturday at Kansas City 11-9 in 10 innings and had won five of six entering the series with the Athletics.
"It's not like I called out a particular person. It wasn't even meant toward the Royals," Perez said. "It was more meant for my teammates that I know are on Twitter: `It was a great win, let's go, let's turn it into something,' which we have."
Perez, who earned his fourth save Thursday, said he always abides by the Indians' rules for Twitter, too: No tweets 30 minutes prior to the game or for an hour afterward, so not in the clubhouse.
"There's no need for it inside the locker room, which is fine. I totally agree with that," he said. "With them pushing it - everywhere you look it's hashtag whatever - so if they're going to push it, of course the players are going to push the envelope a little bit sometimes. I'm not one to back away. I stand by what I said. I don't really care. I really don't think it was too bad. I mean, it's the unwritten rule, but you can't infer what I meant. It's so vague. Nobody knows what my true intent was. Maybe I was talking about, `you hit our pitching staff, our hitters are going to come back and hit your pitching staff.' In that series, we had a lot of hits."
Updated April 20, 2012