Cleveland Indians catcher Roberto Perez called arguably the game of his life Tuesday night with Shane Bieber on the mound.
He found himself right in the middle of some controversy one day later.
It is now Saturday and a strange narrative still exists surrounding Perez’s role during a historic night.
Perez came to the plate in the top of the ninth inning with one out as Carlos Rodon still had a perfect game intact.
Rodon then threw a breaking ball that broke too much and hit Perez in the lower leg.
The Indians catcher did not lean in at all, but for some reason people were mad he didn’t magically get out of the way.
No way Roberto Perez makes it to heaven after taking a HBP with 1 out in the 9th of a perfect game. That’s the Devil’s work.
— Gary Sheffield Jr. (@GarysheffieldJr) April 15, 2021
Perez did nothing wrong and the backlash is just bizarre.
The Situation in Focus
One Twitter user offered up a proper breakdown of the pitch that hit Perez.
There's a lot of hate toward Roberto Perez right now. This video is the best vantage point of what happened. IMO, it looks like Perez was going to swing (dropping his hands), was caught off guard, and didn't react in time. Probably guessed fastball. https://t.co/nPCVZeeRGc
— Eddie Kilroy (@eddiekilroyjr) April 15, 2021
Perez clearly has his front foot planted and looks like he is starting to swing.
Then the pitch keeps coming inside and all he can do is wait to see what happens.
There is no evidence of him leaning in at all.
In fact, he never moves his foot.
And just to be clear, he is not required to move in order to help the opposing pitcher throw a perfect game.
White Sox fans seem to be forgetting that simple point.
Rodon made a bad pitch and Perez also likely wasn’t thrilled with getting drilled by the ball.
Tensions High Throughout Series
Perez getting hit by the pitch didn’t seem that controversial to Indians fans at the time.
Clearly White Sox fans wanted the Cleveland catcher to give Rodon an assist.
That logic continues to be confusing.
But the drama did not stop there as Adam Eaton decided to start a bit of a skirmish with Andres Gimenez in Thursday’s game.
Benches cleared. Adam Eaton pushed off the bag by Andrés Giménez pic.twitter.com/xyvINTt5Yq
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) April 15, 2021
So it would appear the White Sox like to create problems where one does not previously exist.
Bumped on the bag while making a bang-bang play?
That is a cause for a fight according to Eaton.
Gimenez was probably just as confused as everyone watching at home.
A Bad Pitch Starts a Good Rivalry
Fans must remember this was the first series between the two teams in 2021.
It just happened to feature a no-hitter and enough storylines to make it feel like this was taking place in October.
Perez may now be a true villain in Chicago, while Eaton should draw some boos whenever the White Sox are in Cleveland this year.
If White Sox fans need to create drama to add to the intensity of the season-series, that is just fine.
The name of Roberto Perez can be used to make this rivalry real in 2021.
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