Indians closer Chris Perez, no stranger to being a lightning rod for news in Cleveland, was in the middle of the action again Tuesday for a very 21st century reason.
He deleted his Twitter account.
Perez got into a verbal joust with fans last year over booing, and heard it again after giving up consecutive homers to blow a save Saturday followed by another ninth-inning bomb Monday. That’s when the otherwise fun feed at @ChrisPerez54 basically blew up with what’s become a sick, sad niche of sports fandom.
There was name-calling and profanity, much of it from anonymous lowlifes hiding behind cyber pseudonyms. But some came from people using their real names. Wow. By late Monday night, the Perez account was gone.
Prior to Tuesday’s game, the Indians released a statement from Perez that read in part:
“The decision to deactivate my Twitter account was a personal choice I made in order to maintain greater focus on the success of the team this season and our shared goals moving forward.
“We have an extremely positive and supportive group of players, coaches and staff members in our clubhouse and I want to participate in activities and routines that contribute positively to the culture we are building here. Out of respect for my teammates, I want to minimize any potential off-the-field distractions so this is the only time I will comment.”
Translation: Perez got fed up. I don’t blame him.
Many of you know I can be a seemingly obsessive tweeter at times at @BNHarrington. Part of that is because I’m closely following both the NHL and baseball. Part of that is because there’s a lot of solid, instant byplay with readers.
Twitter can be plain awesome and it can be plain infuriating, too. Reporters use it as a quick conduit for information but it subjects us to plenty of absurdity. If I were an athlete, I would run away. Far, far away.
Plenty of Sabres and young Bills tweet. Can’t imagine what the likes of an active and fun tweeter like Steve Ott sees at times. Good luck on that front, EJ Manuel.
People get so brave it’s ridiculous and there’s too much of a gotcha mob out there for my liking. Mets fans, still chafed by my criticism of their beloved organization the last four years, love to make that play, with the buzzards waiting for things to go their way before confronting you.
Last week, I questioned the Matt Harvey cover story in Sports Illustrated as New York City hype and they basically flipped. But funny how I didn’t hear from them Wednesday when Harvey pitched against his first top-10 offense of the season and gave up four runs and nine hits to the Reds.
I’ve had some Twitter ugliness recently with Mets fans and with a local website that’s anointed itself as some conscience of the city. I’m done with all of them. I changed my Twitter tune this week with a new policy that’s working great.
Profanity and name-calling get you blocked. No exceptions. All discourse and dissent otherwise welcome. Be civil.
Amazing what you can get. One example was an exchange with a woman Wednesday night over Vancouver GM Mike Gillis saying the media was out to get him from day one.
I thought that was absurd. She questioned my thought process. We agreed to disagree. No nasty names. Dissent but no disrespect. Too bad Chris Perez didn’t get more of that.