Chris Perez Takes Issue With Paul Hoynes on Twitter

I am sure some of you are sick of another article from me that involves Twitter.  I just can’t apologize when it has become a place where players, fans and media are all hanging out and engaging each other.  After yesterday’s win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Chris Perez was irritated with Cleveland Plain Dealer beat reporter Paul Hoynes.

A little background though.  Chris Perez had just finished thanking the fans for all their support on what he called the most difficult day of his professional career.  Perez’ grandmother passed away and it wouldn’t be surprising if his head wasn’t totally into playing baseball yesterday as he and his family grieve the loss.  With that frame of reference in mind, it stands to reason that maybe Perez was a little more sensitive yesterday than normal.  I wonder if maybe he will regret that tweet at Paul Hoynes sometime down the road.

As for Paul Hoynes, what can I say?  It seems that Indians fans either love Hoynes or they hate him.  Not a lot of in-between.  Personally, I like the guy.  I like the fact that he is sarcastic and sometimes guarded and pessimistic.  I think Hoynes could stand some major improvements to his abilities with regard to social media, but I’m guessing that was a mandate by his bosses.

In the end, I won’t pick sides because I like both guys.  I will say that maybe calling out the team’s beat reporter isn’t the best idea on a day when you are already sensitive from mourning the loss of a family member.  When I am sad and mourning, I am not at my most reasonable and rational.  I am guessing the same is true of Chris Perez.

At the same time, the things people say on Twitter aren’t necessarily what they would say out loud and in person.  Do you think for a second that Hoynes would talk like that in the locker room within earshot of Chris Perez and the rest of the Tribe players?  Well, now because of Twitter Hoynes can not only talk to the fans, but he is also communicating with players who will read that stuff after the game.

So, I think both are kind of right and wrong.  It is just a confusing time with relation to media, sports and communications on the Internet.  On the one hand, Hoynes is being compelled by his bosses – I am guessing – to broaden his scope of communications with fans using Twitter.  The fans get the benefit of hearing some of the things that Hoynes might have only muttered to other media in the press box.  At the same time, Perez and his teammates need to have a really thick skin.  It comes with the salary that they face high pressure situations on the field and have the world talking about them – both positively and negatively – throughout the season.

This Twitter thing is too big to be put back in a box.  Players, fans, media and everyone else are pretty deeply invested in it now.  That doesn’t mean that we won’t get better at creating social norms around using it.  Hopefully Hoynes and Perez can talk this over in person so that they at least understand where each other is coming from.  This isn’t the first time something like this has happened.  Remember when Shawn Rogers called out Tony Grossi earlier this year for asking “dumb” questions? It won’t be the last, either, I am quite sure.

  • mgbode

    honestly, Perez shouldn’t be following Hoynes. what good could possibly come out of that?

    writers praise when things are going well (players need to be kept grounded at this time); writers criticize when things are not going well (players need to stay optimistic at this time)

    twitter has got to be a managers nightmare (as you said, in an article or in person, Hoynes likely doesn’t come across this way)

  • Swig

    If people do not want to read articles about twitter they should go buy a newspaper.

  • MrCleaveland

    You can’t win a fight with the media. They always have the last word. That said, Hoynes would be smart to just let this go.

    Besides, I don’t care what all the writers say about their objectivity, most of them root hard for the team they cover, provided that the team isn’t full of jerks who antagonize them. Covering a winner gets a writer a little reflected glory. That’s just human nature.

  • 216in614

    What would PureRage_Perez say?

  • Ben

    Chris Perez has not been here long enough to know that EVERYONE at the Plain Dealer enjoys losing. It’s what they do best…I do hope that he does not follow anyone from WKNR…that could be fun.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    Asking someone about the time Tony Grossi was asking stupid questions is like asking someone about that time they woke up in the morning.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com Scott

    “Twitter has got to be a managers nightmare”

    Acta was wholly against it for a while, but after some solid education provided to him and his players, the team is all about the medium. I do agree though that it’s a fine line between player-fan interaction and that of player-media. Just a part of the continuing evolution.

  • http://twitter.com/cpmack Chris M

    “You can’t win a fight with the media

    You certainly can when the fans know that it’s all b.s.

    Besides, Twitter really took away the media’s ability to get the last word in. The athletes can respond whenever and however they want to reporters, and selective editing on the part of the paper won’t apply at all.

  • http://waitingfornextyear.com @WFNYTD

    Perez needs to have a thicker skin…or call him out privately to his face. It makes him look soft when he tweets at Hoynes like that.

  • mgbode

    @Scott – good point on Acta embracing it.

  • Harv 21

    Read the tweets, get upset, have a party, Chris. Fine by me as long as you’re thick-skinned in the 9th.

  • http://blog.clevelandsportstorture.com/ CleSporTorture Doug

    Hoynes is a beat writer for a newspaper, not a member of tribe’s PR staff writing for clevelandindians.com. The Indians have been struggling and it’s Hoynes’s job to point out faults. Perez’s tweet is a little ignorant IMO.

  • NJ

    Well done, Chris.

    I find most of the Cleveland media to be extremely negative (and downright annoying). And that’s just with what I read on the net. Based on what others have said here and elsewhere, the talk show guys have been savaging this team from day one. Even when they were winning. So good for Perez for saying something. The local media played a significant part (imo) in running Mangini out of town so best to keep your guard up and speak out when you feel the need.

    Oddly, I don’t mind Hoynes. He always seemed pretty fair compared to the rest.

  • Jake

    Yes, Perez needs to shake off those tweets because he will receive a lot of criticism during his professional career, so one tweet by a Cleveland reporter is the least of those criticisms. But Perez was grieving, so I think he deserves a pass, I know how I can be when I am emotional, and its good to see Perez get emotional sometimes, because he happens to be the closer, a position that relies on emotion as Borowski so elequently put the other night in the booth.

    Now for Hoynes… You are allowed to say whatever you like, but as all reporters know, anything you say you should be willing to defend. Hiding behind a computer screen while calling athletes out makes a person a coward, not a beat reporter. Especially when it comes to twitter. Now I know what he said really wasn’t that bad, and I don’t think Hoynes meant much by it or was acting cowardly at all.

    I think Craig is reading into this a bit too much because in my honest opinion, Perez and Hoynes really dont care that much about what the other said. Hoynes was just tweeting, and Perez got defensive. Big deal!

  • Karsten

    Or you could give him a break, his grandma just died and he was a little off. I’d probably snap at someone talking down at my team too if I just had a close relative die as well.

  • jimkanicki

    i think perez is the one in need of a social networking primer. that’s one whiny tweet above.

    i stopped following him last weekend when he tweeted about his hipster breakfast spot in SF, known only by locals and him.

    http://twitter.com/#!/ChrisPerez54/status/85013889892360192
    http://twitter.com/#!/ChrisPerez54/status/85015172405661697

    tweeting about breakfast = your motorcycle is halfway up the ramp fronting the shark tank.

  • http://www.whitecollarredneck.com Narm

    Paul Hoynes probably blames the financial crisis, global warming and SARS on the Dolans.

    From all accounts he is an extremely nice guy – but he lacks any sort of journalistic credibility in that he presents articles as facts but skews them to reflect poorly on the team.

    The Dolans take a huge chunk, but Hoynes does his best to continue the negative narrative and turn off most Clevelanders from this team.

  • DCTribeFan

    They both would have been well-served to have left the last sentence off their “TWEETS”.

    Having said that, the PD sports coverage is pretty lame and thin in its coverage of Cleveland sports in general. The only in depth writer of any value was the big guy who wrote about the Cavs, and he turned out to be a shill for LeQuit. I thought the DC writers (that I’m subjected to daily) were weak, but Cleveland coverage is a few notches below even that.

  • Believelander

    Gotta say, having someone in your family die, then having a Cleveland sportswriter drop some negativity about your team on a day where there’s some positivity to be found, and snapping at that guy, is kind of understandable. I mean, I remember the day -my- grandma died, and it’s pretty much on my top 10 for worst days of -my- life.

  • EdTheRevelator

    Pure Rage was being overly sensitive to this tweet, but Hoynes kinda needed to be put in his place. He’s a pretty lazy journalist, and and seems to suffer from an unusual sense of cynicism (given his position) that many Cleveland fans do, coupled with a lack of (or ignorance of) knowledge about the modern business of baseball, only he has a *very* public forum to voice his opinions. It is impossible to be a completely subjective journalist, opinions always seep into articles. But Hoynes is downright blatant about it. The Indians have been FAR from a perfect franchise in recent years but Hoynes appears to always be longing for the 1990’s, not realizing that was 20 years ago. Then, there’s the issue of his flaunted ignorance of advanced statistics. I get it, he’s an old-school reporter. So’s Terry Pluto, and while he isn’t perfect by any means, he at least tries to use them. If this was the tweet that got Perez to point it out, so be it. /rant