I had long found it interesting that the two individuals who had been considered the primary candidates for the vaunted title of St. Louis Cardinals “closer of the future” back in 2009 have been among Major League Baseball’s most prominent Twitter users – until now.
A trade to Cleveland took Chris Perez out of the Birds on the Bat and into an Indians uniform, but I continue to keep an eye on the right-hander. Outspoken and honest, the former University of Miami hurler often shared his song of the day and other thoughts via social media. Last year, he also raised the ire of some fans by wondering out loud why the Indians were not receiving more fan support.
Recently, despite the first-place Tribe winning 18 of 22 games, Perez has come under increasing criticism on Twitter. As with any closer, there have been a few bumps in the road, but overall, the two-time all-star is having another fine season.
Yet, personal attacks from some of the most aggressive Indians fans have driven Perez to delete his Twitter account, according to FOX Sports Ohio. Sadly, they probably do not understand it is their loss.
When Jason Motte first took to Twitter, I had a conversation with a Cardinals official about the inherent risks of a player at such a prominent position interacting so directly with fans. I envisioned a Perez-like situation occurring in St. Louis when the inevitable blown saves occur and the mob mentality takes over.
The official told me, “There is nothing to worry about. Jason can handle it.”
Maybe he can and maybe he cannot, but the point is, why should he have to?
In all fairness, Motte’s 2012 performance generally kept the waters calm. With the closer out for the remainder of this season, we should not expect any turbulence regarding him until at least 2014.
It is a shame we might anticipate it at all.