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Indians closer Chris Perez will do his part to improve attendance in Cleveland

May 20, 2012, 11:43 AM EDT

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“Guys don’t want to come over here and people wonder why,” Indians closer Chris Perez told the Elyria Chronicle-Telegram after Saturday’s defeat of the Marlins, attended by just over 29,000 fans.

“Why doesn’t Carlos Beltran want to come over here? Well, because of that. That’s part of it. It doesn’t go unnoticed—trust us. That’s definitely a huge reason. … You had a choice of playing in St. Louis where you get 40,000 (fans) like Beltran chose to do, or you can come to Cleveland. … That’s just how it is.”

The first-place Tribe rank dead last in attendance in the major leagues, averaging only 15,518 per game. Things seem to be getting a little better, but not at as quickly as one would expect in a big sports town.

Perez’s comments were brash and he didn’t apologize for them Sunday, but he is attempting to atone for the harshness with a system on Twitter that will put a small dent in the club’s poor gate draw:

He asked a little personal trivia for the tickets to Sunday’s game: “What is my favorite movie?”

The answer: “Back To The Future.” The first three people to reply correctly got two tickets.

  1. brewcrewfan54 - May 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM

    Calling out fans for not attending games is never a smart move even of what he said was true. At least je’s doing something about it though. Andrew Bogut when he was with the Bucks paid for a whole section every home game and gave them to the rowdiest fans he could find.

  2. cur68 - May 20, 2012 at 12:15 PM

    Good move on Perez’s part. Some big name players on other poorly drawing teams should maybe try this. Can’t hurt to improve name recognition, put butts in seats and get a good feeling for the club going.

    Just one thing, though. With the likes of Strange Brew, The Coneheads, and the timeless classic Hinterland Who’s Who: The Beaver out there and he goes for Back To The Future?? No accounting for taste, I guess.

    • brewcrewfan54 - May 20, 2012 at 12:23 PM

      For a guy only about 26 year old I’d say Back to the Future is a big surprise. A very quality pick if ya ask me.

      • cur68 - May 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM

        Can’t argue with you on the classic-ness of his pick, but there are better from around the same time. Surely an intervention can be carried out? Can’t have a decent dude going around with that as his favourite movie. Consider it a public service for Chris Perez so as he’s cooler than everyone else, regardless of age.

      • brewcrewfan54 - May 20, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        I can’t argue with Back to the Future. There certainly were some other quality movies from that time though that would be in contention. BAck is a movie I’ve always enjoyed and lucky for all of us who do enjoy it cable hasn’t ruined it for us by having it on every 10 minutes.

    • jimbo1949 - May 20, 2012 at 1:52 PM

      One would think that a guy on a Cleveland team playing way above expectations might be more amenable to “Major League”.

  3. paperlions - May 20, 2012 at 12:22 PM

    When a team loses for a long time, it always takes time to rekindle fan interest. The Philly fan base is considered one of the best right now….when that team was losing and the played in the Vet, they were among the worst in attendance.

    A proper response to poor attendance and booing, regardless of what a player really thinks, is: “I didn’t do my job. If I don’t want to hear boos, I’ve got to do better as a player and we have to do better as a team. We’d love to see the park packed every night, but the truth is that this city hasn’t had a winner for a long time. It is our job to keep winning to draw people to the park.”

    Bitching about people that will be lucky to make in 20 years what you make in 1 year not spending money to watch you play a game shows a massive lack of perspective.

    • Baseball Beer Burritos In That Order - May 20, 2012 at 12:36 PM

      This seems like it would apply with the caveat that the issue in Cleveland is not player performance, it is bad management. At least, that’s what I’ve heard from a bunch of Cleveland fans over the last two days. And I can sympathize, because my Mutts are a shameful franchise right now but I don’t pin any of the blame for that on the guys on the field.

  4. ridgeavenuehr - May 20, 2012 at 1:07 PM

    As a suffering Pirate fan for the last twenty years, I have to support the players on this one.. We’ve been saying, “Give us a winning team, and we will come.”. If Cleveland is winning, the fans should come. Shame, shame, shame on the fans! And Back to the Future is indeed one of the best of all time!

  5. daburghdabest - May 20, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    Mistake on the lake, as crappy as ever. That city is one giant sewer.

    • Old Gator - May 20, 2012 at 2:02 PM

      And when you go to the fish market to order a smoked lake whitefish, you get the lamprey free! Hint – use any recipe you have for eel. Good stuff, but a horrible face that will shock you; I recommend staring at a Kevin Youkilis baseball card to build up some resistence before attempting to scrape it off your whitefish.

      • Old Gator - May 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

        PS — all the zebra mussels need is butter, white whine and cracked pepper….

    • The Baseball Idiot - May 20, 2012 at 2:08 PM

      That comment was about Municipal Stadium. It had nothing to do with the team. Learn a little history before you shoot mouth off about something you don’t know anything about.

      • daburghdabest - May 20, 2012 at 3:38 PM

        The city IS the mistake. The stadium was just symbolic. If you flee for your life someday I’d advise not by boat, they can even set water on fire.

  6. duncanisland - May 20, 2012 at 2:03 PM

    You obviously do not know much about Cleveland and it’s suburbs to make that comment.

    • Old Gator - May 20, 2012 at 2:04 PM

      Those aren’t suburbs. They’re exclusion zones. And the guys in the biohazard suits are just the local traffic cops.

  7. watchfullhose - May 20, 2012 at 2:34 PM

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t the Indians set a sellout record from 1995-2001 that wasn’t broken until the 2008 redsox (in a considerably smaller stadium)? They were good last year but tanked the last 1/2 of the season…maybe the Indians fans aren’t to blame here.

  8. simon94022 - May 20, 2012 at 2:47 PM

    Watchfulhose has it exactly right, Cleveland not that long.ago was the attendance model for MLB. They stopped giving their fans much to hope for and — surprise! — attendance and revenue declined.

    This happens in every market (and if you go back a few decades you’ll find it used to happen regularly in places like Boston, Philly, and St. Louis.

    There is no such thing as a “baseball town” and it is just bad business to blame your customers for not buying tickets.

  9. blantoncollier - May 20, 2012 at 5:40 PM

    The Tribe sold out THE JAKE over a baseball generation ago. With an owner that acted if he was committed to winning. Under Larry “I want to win multiple championships” Dolan the team has become a “model small market fiscally sound franchise”. Which roughly translates to, “the owner wont spend on free agents his own or others. He creates the only the team owned cable network that is not providing extra revenue to the team. And in place of stocking the minor leagues with talent, trades away major league talent for over rated minor league talent that cant perform in the big leagues.

    Message to Chris Perez—come June or July after the team starts to slide Larry/Paul/Mark and Chris are going to trade you because they wont pay you! And the fans still wont come!

  10. ridgeavenuehr - May 20, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Quit your griping and support your team! Go to the games you losers!

  11. xnumberoneson - May 20, 2012 at 9:54 PM

    I’m not an Indians fan, but I lived in Cleveland for a portion of those glory years in the ’90s. During that time it seemed like everyone’s lives revolved around the Indians’ games. Downtown was electric every night. Everyone at the office would talk about the game at work the next morning. Opening Day was treated like a holiday. Cleveland is a GREAT baseball town just waiting for an owner who is as passionate about the team as they are.

  12. brownyelf - May 21, 2012 at 6:55 AM

    DaburghDabest……just another moron Pittsburgh resident that has never been to cleveland and relies on events that happened probably before he was born to make fun of a city he knows nothing about.

    • Old Gator - May 21, 2012 at 12:15 PM

      There are so many good reasons to know nothing about Cleveland that I hardly know where to begin. Even Howard the Duck hitchhiked out of town.

  13. pens5829 - May 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM

    Perez needs to STFU and simply play baseball. Pis**s me off when I hear these over-paid idiots act like prima donna’s. EXACTLY why I don’t ever want to attend anothe MLB game. Go try to get a job in the “REAL WORLD” Perez. You don’t work for a living. You play a damn game!

    In reference to @ridgeavenuehr’s comments above:

    Crap! Crap! Crap! Winning a few games (i.e., two months) doesn’t constitute winning. Bucco fans showed up in record numbers last year when the team was successful. There was more excitement about the team than there had been in 20 years. Our reward? Nate McClouth (.143), Clint Barmes (.165), and Rod Barajas (.220).

    Want fans to show up? Prove your comitted to winning and the educated, smart baseball fan will show. NOT the one’s that show up for fireworks, bobbleheads, and old, washed-up bands.

    Note to Bob Nutting: PLEASE SELL THE TEAM and quit holding Bucco fans hostage!!!

  14. savocabol1 - May 21, 2012 at 12:27 PM

    I’ve been to pittsburgh and I can honestly tell you that I have never been in a dumpier town in my life. The ass backwards freeways are a joke, the food is dumpster worthly, and the smell coming from the buildings is terrible. All that I could be ok with, but the the fact that pittsburgh has some of the ugliest women in the US is where I draw the line in the sand.

    You guys may have a better football team than Cleveland. But you literally have nothing else better going on. I find it hilarious when pittsburgh trolls try to knock other towns when they clearly don’t realize how bad their own city truly is.

    • pens5829 - May 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      @savocabol1: We keep it that way to keep trash like you out.

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