CLEVELAND, OH - Rafeal Perez, left-handed relief pitcher for the Cleveland Indians, had enough of the recent treatment he had been receiving. It finally boiled over Thursday, August 14 against the Baltimore Orioles. While in the club house preparing for that night's game, even with Jensen Lewis jamming on Guitar Hero with the volume way up, Perez overheard an interview between indians.com reporter, Andrew Gribble and Tribe pitching coach Carl Willis. He heard Willis' mentioning of how they were keeping an eye on Masa Kobayashi because he has already pitched more innings this year then all of last year in Japan.
This left Perez thinking, I guest that is the difference between making $3 million a year and the league minimum. When the team has a lot invested in you, they worried about your physical condition. When you're making $400K a year, they're willing to pitch you two innings a night, every night, until your arm falls off. Perez may be referring to fact that he had already pitched 61 innings this year coming into Thursday's game, compared to 60.2 all of last year with a month and a half left in the season.
Perez entered Thursday game determined to take things into his own hands, he figured if he gave up some runs, it would lessen his use in future games for the remainder of the season. So, Perez promptly allowed three hits along with four runs and then was pulled for Edward Mujica. Perez continued his plan the following Friday night in Arlington, allowing the Rangers to put up three runs on the board in two innings.
Unfortunately for Perez, it does not seem that his message has been heard. Following Cleveland's 7-5 victory over Texas Friday night, Wedge commented to reporters that "What hell do you expect me to do. If I don't bring Perez in, I'm bringing in someone that is certain to allow 3-4 runs. Do you realize I was AL manager of the year last year? I have a reputation to uphold. If a pitcher can't handle pitching every game, perhaps they would like to go back to doing what they did before baseball!"