In an interview with FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, Cleveland Indians All-Star closer Chris Perez was asked to discuss the difference between his team and the Detroit Tigers. He obliged, and rather handsomely.
“Different owners,” said Perez. “It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”
The payroll of the Cleveland Indians is roughly $50 million shy of their division rival Tigers. When asked for specifics, Perez, once again, provided. The Indians, in contention near the All-Star break, went on to win five games in all of August due to an utter collapse by the pitching staff coupled with a relative inability to produce runs and now sit 15.5 games back in the AL Central.
“You can’t miss,” Perez said. “You have to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick.
“Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to [pony] up for that last year. That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.”
Perez has been a sounding board for the duration of the 2012 season on topics ranging from attendance woes to the Browns and LeBron James.
[Related: Indians 3, Tigers 2: What a Real, Live Baseball Team Looks Like]