Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Prep sports: How Chris Perez became Cleveland's unlikely spokesman

photo by Amy Sancetta/AP
Closers rarely became a baseball team's de facto spokesman.
That role typically falls to an everyday player.
Chris Perez, however, has become a the go-to quote guy with the Cleveland Indians. It helps that he's good - he's made two All-Star teams and has converted 26 of 28 save chances this season - and it also helps that Perez enjoys speaking his mind.
Remember earlier this season, when Perez chided the Cleveland fans for not flocking to Progressive Field while the Indians were fighting for first place?
"Whenever asked, I've always told how I felt," Perez said Wednesday at Tropicana Field before the Indians met the Tampa Bay Rays for the third game of their four-game series. "Now, I've been getting asked more so it's getting more attention."
A Holmes Beach native who went to Manatee before transferring to IMG as a senior, the 26-year-old Perez prides on himself on being honest rather than just telling people what they want to hear.
"People are tired of just getting the same interviews all the time," he said. "People know if they ask me a legitimate question, I'll give them a legitimate answer. I don't deal with that political correctness b.s. just because you already know all the answers.
"You ask me something, I'm going to tell you how I feel."
For more on my interview with Perez, check out Thursday's edition of The Bradenton Herald.

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