Chris Perez expects to be booed at All-Star Game

Baltimore – Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and closer Chris Perez are going to Kansas City for the All-Star Game on July 10.

It's the second straight All-Star selection for each player and a sign they are establishing themselves among Major League Baseball's upper crust. One reminder for Perez, who has converted 23 straight saves: Bring earplugs.

Perez, a closer who speaks his mind, has ripped Indians fans, Browns fans and LeBron James haters in the first half. But he has saved a special place for the Kansas City Royals, who call Kauffman Stadium home.

“I'm prepared to get booed,” said Perez, who celebrated his 27th birthday Sunday. “I'm hoping there's a lot of national baseball fans at the game. Not just Kansas City fans.”

Perez was fined $850 by MLB for a Tweet earlier in the year after the benches cleared during an April 14 game between the two teams. Later, Perez – while ripping Indians fans for not attending games – used the Royals and Pirates as examples of franchises that never win.

On May 28, after hearing the Royals were upset and “were coming after me,” Perez struck out Jarrod Dyson in the ninth inning and waved his hand across his face, copying WWE wrestler John Cena's “You Can't See Me” sign.

“Chris isn’t on the All-Star team because of what he said,” said Tribe manager Manny Acta. “He’s been pretty darn good after Opening Day. Has there been anybody better? He’s an All-Star closer.”

Perez and Cabrera were selected as a result of a vote by Major League Baseball players.

Perez is 0-1 with a 2.67 ERA in 32 appearances. He has converted 23 saves in 24 chances with 32 strikeouts, seven walks and 19 hits in 32 innings. The opposition is hitting .209 against him.

The most recent Indians closer to be named to consecutive All-Star teams was Jose Mesa in 1995 and 1996.

“I have to give most credit to my bullpen mates,” said Perez. “Vinnie Pestano, for sure. I only get the opportunities he converts, and he’s been outstanding since last year.

“And my teammates overall. I only get as many opportunities as they give me.”

Perez received a $50,000 bonus for making the All-Star team. Cabrera received a $100,000 bonus.

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