From Waiting for Next Year:
In a recent interview with the New York Times, Cleveland Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez voiced his concern with the overall psyche of the Cleveland sports fan. This time, his issues weren't limited to the team's poor attendance. He focused on fan support of the other two sports teams in Cleveland, and he specifically questioned the animosity Cleveland fans have toward former Cavalier LeBron James.
“I don’t get the psyche,” said Perez. “Why cheer against a guy that’s not even in your city anymore? Just to see him fail? Does that make you feel good? I could see if the Cavs were in the championship, but that’s their mentality.
“They’ve had a lot of years of misery. They say, ‘You just don’t understand because you don’t live here.’ O.K., maybe I don’t. But that doesn’t mean it has to keep going.”
In addition, Perez called into question the rabid blind loyalty surrounding the Browns, a team that has made the playoffs once since returning to the city in 1999 and not had a record above .500 since their 10-win season in 2007. Perez wonders why there is very little support for an Indians team which currently is among the best in the American League.
“That’s what I don’t understand,” Perez said. “Their whole thing is, ‘We want a winner.’ Well, why do you support the Browns? They don’t win. They’ve never won. They left. You guys blindly support them. I don’t understand it. It’s a double standard, and I don’t know why.
“It’s head-scratching. It’s just — they don’t come out. But around the city, there’s great support. They watch it in the bars. They watch it at home. They just don’t come.”
Earlier this season, Perez blasted Indians fans for their lack of support and for booing him after allowing a base-runner in a game against the Seattle Mariners. On the season, Perez has converted 23 straight saves, striking out 28 and walking seven in 28.1 innings of work. He has not allowed a base-runner since June 18. The Cleveland Indians sit 1.5 games back of the Chicago White Sox for first place in the AL Central.
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