Chris Perez continues to be, um, colorful, gets into profane exchange with a fan

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Chris Perez has seen his fair share of controversy this year. He’s challenged the fan base. He has gesticulated and emoted in ways that have really pissed off the opposition. He got all Internet Tough Guy and tweeted about how he’s gonna plunk Royals hitters.  He, inexplicably, went to war with the beloved Kenny Lofton.

But — and I am only linking, not describing, because it’s a bit NSFW for us — Deadspin explains that he’s now getting into the kind of thing that could lead to a suspension.  Just ask Braves pitching coach Roger McDowell. And yes the fan was being a jerk too, but the player has to not take that kind of bait and certainly not get into profane exchanges with fans. Bad, bad form in my view.

But even if Perez doesn’t get in trouble over this, it’s bad news for him.  Because it’s not like we haven’t seen this story a million times. A high-energy, colorful in-your-face relief pitcher wears on people’s nerves, though generally gets ignored and gets eye-rolls when he’s saving all of the games. The second that fastball goes away, however, he becomes just another bullpen arm. That attitude wears thin, and his life expectancy in the game is way shorter than your average, workaday reliever.

But hey, if Perez wants the Kenny Powers career path, that’s his prerogative.

Zack Cozart thinks the way the Rays have been using Sergio Romo is bad for baseball

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The Rays started Sergio Romo on back-to-back days and if that sounds weird to you, you’re not alone. Romo, of course, was the star closer for the Giants for a while, helping them win the World Series in 2012 and ’14. He’s been a full-time reliever dating back to 2006, when he was at Single-A.

In an effort to prevent lefty Ryan Yarbrough from facing the righty-heavy top of the Angels’ lineup (Zack Cozart, Mike Trout, Justin Upton), Romo started Saturday’s game, pitching the first inning before giving way to Yarbrough in the second. Romo struck out the side, in fact. The Rays went on to win 5-3.

The Rays did it again on Sunday afternoon, starting Romo. This time, he got four outs before giving way to Matt Andriese. Romo walked two without giving up a hit while striking out three. The Angels managed to win 5-2 however.

Despite Sunday’s win, Cozart wasn’t a happy camper with the way the Rays used Romo. Via Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic, Cozart said, “It was weird … It’s bad for baseball, in my opinion … It’s spring training. That’s the best way to explain it.”

It’s difficult to see merit in Cozart’s argument. It’s not like the Rays were making excessive amounts of pitching changes; they used five on Saturday and four on Sunday. The games lasted three hours and three hours, 15 minutes, respectively. The average game time is exactly three hours so far this season. I’m having trouble wondering how else Cozart might mean the strategy is bad for baseball.

It seems like the real issue is that Cozart is afraid of the sport changing around him. The Rays, like most small market teams, have to find their edges in slight ways. The Rays aren’t doing this blindly; the strategy makes sense based on their opponents’ starting lineup. The idea of valuing on-base percentage was scoffed at. Shifting was scoffed at and now every team employs them to some degree. Who knows if starting a reliever for the first three or four outs will become a trend, but it’s shortsighted to write it off at first glance.