Perez’s gesture fuels Indians-Royals rivalry

Associated Press


Defiant Cleveland closer Chris Perez has thrown some gas on the simmering rivalry between the Indians and Kansas City Royals.

The animated Perez angered Kansas City’s Jarrod Dyson for a gesture he made after striking out the Royals outfielder in the ninth inning of Cleveland’s 8-5 win on Monday.

After fanning Dyson on three pitches, Perez walked off the mound and waved his hand in front of his face to mock Dyson, who was unaware of the gesture until seeing it later on videotape.

“It’s just terrible,” Dyson said. “Nobody told me about it. As soon as I got done with my at-bat, I went down to see where the pitch was because I felt like the pitch was in and I saw him do that and it [ticked] me off even more.”

It’s the latest incident involving Perez, who recently criticized Indians fans for their lack of support and was fined earlier this season by Major League Baseball for an inappropriate tweet after the teams had a contentious series in Kansas City.

Perez said teammate Tony Sipp, who is friends with Dyson, had told him the Royals weren’t happy with some of the comments and they were “coming for me.”

During Monday’s game, Perez promised his teammates in the bullpen that if he struck out Dyson he would make the “you can’t see me” gesture popularized by pro wrestler John Cena.

Perez said before Tuesday’s game that the gesture was in response to what Dyson told Sipp.

“That’s the only reason I did it,” Perez said. “I said, ‘All right, you’re coming for me, I’m coming for you.’ If I strike you out, you’re going to get the ‘can’t see me face.’

“What happened? Three pitches. You can’t see me,” he said.