SEATTLE (AP) — Cleveland Indians closer Chris Perez says he won’t apologize after being caught on camera in a profanity-laced verbal exchange with a taunting Oakland A’s fan.
“I don’t regret it,” Perez said before Monday’s game with Seattle of the incident that took place the day before. “Looking back it’s not the best thing to be on the Internet and stuff. I had no idea they were videotaping it. I wouldn’t have done it. Looking back, that’s what he was planning. So he got me.
“You have to live and learn. Luckily, I didn’t say too bad of stuff. It was pretty, bad, but it could have been worse.”
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The video, which has gone viral, shows the back of Perez while he’s yelling at the fan. Perez said the exchange needs to be put in context. He said that particular fan has been riding him in Oakland for the past four years when he shags balls in the outfield before the game.
“I ignored it for 1 1-2 groups. Then I just said `What’s your problem?'” Perez said. “If you got something to say, come down to my face and say it down in the bullpen. That’s what happened.
“It’s one of those things … four years and I’d had enough. I’m not even playing the game. I’m shagging. I understand during the game it’s all part of the game. It wasn’t just a random guy that I just pointed out. It was the same guy for four years who has just been on me and on me. The video shows his ulterior motives. It’s unfortunate. It’s out there and I’ve just got live and learn from it.”
Indians manager Manny Acta said, “we spoke to Chris. He knows what happened there. He’s going to handle it better going forward. He obviously was set up.
“It just didn’t happen overnight. I guess the guy has been on him for four years.”