It’s pretty ridiculous that the world today gets their news from Twitter first. If you wanted, you could seemingly get a play by play of the entire game via the popular social media site. But just because someone tweets breaking news, doesn’t mean it’s credible…even if they are beat reporters for your favorite team. Twitter erupted yesterday with the news of the apparent arrest of injured Cleveland closer Chris Perez after “an obscene amount of weed” was delivered to his Rocky River home in Cleveland, Ohio.
Everything began once Indians beat writer for MLB.com Zach Meisel tweeted that the Indians closer was arrested for drug possession. The man who was already on Cleveland fan’s bad side was seemingly digging himself a deeper hole the day he was to resume throwing activity after a minor shoulder injury. Then, everyone began chiming in with their thoughts and before anymore information, Tribe fans, myself included were inditing him based off that one piece of information. Meisel’s original tweet that started the wildfire of panic has since been deleted but not before other media outlets picked up the information and are investigating the situation even more.
After just one tweet from Meisel, media outlets all over the state and seemingly the whole Midwest picked up the news and ran the story with what little information they knew. But this is when the journalistic “two source rule” and attribution come into play as in reality there was no such arrest. As Cleveland media jumped the gun to be the first to break the story, good journalism flew out the window. One media outlet even gave out Perez’s address.
Luckily, attribution came into play as the media had to back peddle. There was no such arrest in the Chris Perez case. So, what happened yesterday to cause a panic in Cleveland? A suspicious package was delivered to Perez’s home in Rocky River, Ohio. The package, filled with “narcotics” was analyzed by investigators and is “believed to be marijuana” — according to the Plain Dealer, Rocky River Police Chief Kelly Stillman has only referred to it as “a controlled substance”. What else do we know? Well Meisel has since tweeted that a search warrant was conducted at Perez’s residence and evidence was obtained. Perez rents his home in Rocky River, and the previous inhabitants were investigated “on numerous occasions for quite a volley of incidents” according to the Rocky River Police Chief Kelly Stillman.
During a press conference yesterday, Rocky River Police Chief Kelly Stillman made clear that neither Chris Perez or his wife Melanie were arrested. Stillman also made note that police had been to the Rocky River home multiple times in the last 10 years, but not since Perez has lived in the house. Neighbors of Perez said they had complained about drug activity in the home but the problems ceased once Chris and Melanie moved in.
The 27 year old closer has been a topic of discussion since he arrived in Cleveland back in 2008 after a trade with St. Louis that sent Mark DeRosa to the Cardinals. Perez has 98 saves in the past three seasons. Perez represented the Tribe in the All Star Game the past two seasons.
Last season, Perez was fined $850 by the MLB for a derogatory tweet about the Kansas City Royals after an on the field fight between the two squads. Last May, Perez ripped Cleveland Fans for the lack of support for the Indians who were in first place at the time. Fans weren’t coming to Progressive Field and Perez said the poor attendance was the reason the ball club couldn’t attract big time free agents. Not much longer after that, Perez continued to criticize the Cleveland faithful for their blind allegiance to the struggling Browns and “failure to forgive ex-Cavalier Lebron James”.
Perez wasn’t just a critic of the fans, he also was quoted as saying that the Owners of the team (Larry and Paul Dolan) didn’t spend enough money in the front office, and that GM Mark Shapiro made terrible trades; “”You can’t miss. 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.” Before that outburst, Perez had a (not so nice) profanity laced argument with a fan in Oakland that, of course ended up on the internet.Perez began to struggle in May of this season and never seemed to fully recover. After a blown save a few weeks ago, Perez deleted his twitter account leaving fanst his “Song Of The Day” tweets. Just days after his account was deleted, the hashtag “Blame Chris Perez” became a trend on twitter giving fans at least some entertainment. Then, just about two weeks ago during a game, Perez left that game after loading the bases with a minor shoulder injury that landed him on the DL.
Perez has not been traveling with the team on their 9 game road trip but will hopefully have his name and shoulder cleared for the next home stand.