Sports with Shook: Perez unleashes ‘Pure Rage’ again

Nick Shook

Let’s start this column with a little bit of role play.

You work at a big-time company. You have a small role — pencil sharpener for Warren Buffet — but the pressure is outrageously high. Warren likes his pencils a very certain way, a sharp that is “just right.” You spend hours toiling over a mechanical sharpener, with boxes of Ticonderogas all around your desk, developing carpal tunnel in your wrists, all the while wondering why Warren doesn’t just get with the times and use a pen.

You decide you want out, but Warren loves your pencil sharpening skill, and deep down, you love yourself for it, too. You shoot your mouth off a few times about how pencils are too old-fashioned, and how Warren’s choice brand is cheap, and the rival company two floors up uses the latest ballpoint pen. It’s clear that you want out. But Warren doesn’t budge.

This is Cleveland Indians’ closer Chris Perez. He is the pencil sharpening specialist with a big mouth. Except he decided to chastise the Indians’ ownership duo of Larry and Paul Dolan about their lack of effective spending and even dropped the name of Josh Willingham during his interview.

Yes, that’s the same Josh Willingham that publicly stated he wanted to play in Cleveland in 2012. But the Dolans decided that they were too cheap to give Willingham a third year in his contract, and now the Indians are in fourth place in the American League Central and their closer is mad, again.

In a report by’s Jon Paul Morosi, Perez was quoted as saying:

“Different owners,” Perez said frankly, in reference to Detroit’s Mike Ilitch and Cleveland’s Lawrence J. Dolan. “It comes down to that. They (the Tigers) are spending money. He (Ilitch) wants to win. Even when the economy was down (in Detroit), he spent money. He’s got a team to show for it. You get what you pay for in baseball. Sometimes you don’t. But most of the time you do.”

Perez didn’t stop there.

“You can’t miss,” Perez said. “You have to be right. That’s why I say it’s not just ownership. They don’t make the trades. It’s the GMs. It goes hand in hand. The GMs can only spend the money the owners give them, but they pick who they spend it on or who they don’t. They pick. The owners don’t pick.”

That’s when Perez decided to bring it home with this little gem.

“Josh Willingham would look great in this lineup. They didn’t want to [pony] up for that last year. … That’s the decision they make, and this is the bed we’re laying in.” 

Shots fired.

I just hope the Indians take heed to Perez’s comments and don’t try to trade him. The Dolans turned a $30 million profit on the Indians last season alone, and didn’t invest it wisely in the team. Tribe fans have been saying this for years; it’s about time a player did the same.


Roddick exits without a racket

United States tennis great Andy Roddick called it quits after losing to Juan Martin del Potro in the U.S. Open Wednesday afternoon. The 2003 U.S. Open champion was once regarded as one of the top phenoms in the sport, but encountered peaks and valleys throughout his career.

One of his greatest moments actually came in a loss, a marathon match between him and Roger Federer in the 2009 Wimbledon Final. His loss was one of few matches in which I actually dropped everything I was doing to just sit back and watch.

Now I’ll be honest, I’m not an avid tennis fan. I grew up playing football, baseball and basketball, not tennis. But I appreciate the effort and legacies of greats, both past and present, and I believe Roddick, despite his struggles, deserves to be in that category. He was the last American player to win a Grand Slam event and be ranked No. 1 in the world.

At age 30, Roddick will retire on his own terms, with pride and dignity. He’ll also be remembered for his temper with reporters and chair judges, as well as his honesty. I hate to see him go, but congratulations, Andy. Turn that hat backwards and ride off into the sunset.


Fantasy football fever!

If you’re the loyal reader of this column like I hope you are, you likely read the fantasy football piece co-written by myself and my editor, Grant Engle. Now, it’s time for you to get involved.

I want to know how your teams fare in week one; the highs, the lows, the surprise performers and the running back who rushed all the way down to the 2-yard line, and then was immediately subbed out for the no-name backup who ended up stealing the touchdown. Those were your points! Those were your rightful six points, stolen from you and Marshawn Lynch by Robert Turbin. You now hate Turbin for the rest of eternity, and I don’t blame you one bit.

I want to know who your Robert Turbin was. Tweet your fantasy football moments to @NickShookDKS with the hashtag #SWSFF (Sports With Shook Fantasy Football). If you need to write a novel about your incredible comeback, email me. The best tweets and emails will run as part of one of next week’s columns.

Contact Nick Shook at [email protected].