SEATTLE -- Indians closer Chris Perez is outspoken by nature, whether he is talking to his teammates, being interviewed by reporters or posting messages on his Twitter account. Perez is now paying for that aspect of his personality.
The vocal Cleveland closer was hit with a $750 fine by Major League Baseball for a postgame tweet that hit the Internet in the aftermath of Saturday's heated game against the Royals in Kansas City. Perez said he does not believe he violated MLB's social media rules and plans on fighting the punishment.
"I think the fine is ridiculous," Perez said Thursday. "I'm not going to change the way I tweet. I feel like I was in my rights as an American. I didn't break any MLB rules. I read and reread the social media policy. I didn't make a specific threat to anybody or anybody on a team."
During Saturday's 11-9 win over the Royals, Indians right fielder Shin-Soo Choo and Royals third baseman Mike Moustakas were each hit with pitches, leading to a pair of bench-clearing incidents at Kauffman Stadium. Indians pitcher Jeanmar Gomez, third baseman Jack Hannahan and manager Manny Acta each were ejected from the game.
Following the victory, Perez logged into his account (@ChrisPerez54) and wrote: "Huge team win tonight; time for a sweep to tell the Royals it's not 'Our Time', it's #TribeTime. P.S. You hit us, we hit you. Period."
On Wednesday, Perez received a letter from MLB explaining that he had been fined because he "demonstrated a reckless disregard for the safety of the players on both clubs." Hannahan was also fined for his part in Saturday's altercation, though the price of the third baseman's punishment was $500.
"A reckless disregard?" Perez said. "To me, that would be saying, 'Royals, you better watch out. I'm coming for you.' And then going out there and hitting somebody -- inciting it. Looking back, nothing happened that next day. We played a regular game. Nothing happened the rest of that night. I pitched that night and nothing happened.
"I still am kind of baffled that I got fined more than somebody [Hannahan] that got thrown out of the game."