CLEVELAND: Chris Perez insisted he wasn’t trying to get himself traded when he criticized the front office and ownership a month ago in Detroit.
But he left no doubt what he thinks about fired manager Manny Acta, saying, “A lot of frustration from those comments [I made], a lot of my problems walked out the door last week. I’ll just leave it at that. It doesn’t mean everything is in tip-top shape over here. Obviously, we fell short of our goals and we need to see why.”
Manager Sandy Alomar’s reaction to Perez’s comments: “If you understand the guy, it’s not detrimental to the team. Sometimes people are not perfect for every organization. But in the locker room, Chris is great. He gets along with everybody.”
Does Perez think he will be traded?
“I don’t know,” he said. “That’s a question for Chris [Antonetti]. They’ve got to make some decisions this year, and I think what they do with some of us, trade us or not trade us, is going to tell you which way the team is going to go.
“I want to come back. I’ve spent three-plus seasons here already and built up a good foundation down there in the bullpen. If they do decide to keep us all together and compete again next year, then we’ve got a pretty good foundation down there.”
COMFORT LEVEL — When coaches become managers, they often have to make a subtle shift in their behavior from teacher and confidante to boss. Alomar doesn’t think he’s changed in the few days he’s been interim manager.
“I have guys come into my office — I’m not saying it’s my office yet — and I use the couch. I don’t sit in Manny [Acta’s] chair. But I feel like I don’t have to change. I don’t know. I’ll tell you the same thing to your face either way.”
LAST HURRAH — Travis Hafner will get one more chance to be the Tribe’s designated hitter, tonight in the season finale.
“He’s supposed to play tomorrow,” Alomar said. “I talked to him, and we agreed that he would play in one game each series [on the final homestand].”
Hafner began his Cleveland career in 2003 but after hitting his peak production in 2006 (42 home runs, 117 RBI), injuries began to sabotage his career. Few observers feel that he will be back next season, with the Indians paying a $2.75 million buyout rather than exercising a $13 million option.
“His power numbers aren’t there anymore, but it seems like we play better when he’s in there,” Alomar said.
— Sheldon Ocker