New celebration in store for Valverde All-Star save?
“This is where I started playing baseball,” Valverde said. “This is where I threw my first pitch in that stadium. I have good friends. I have exciting moments in that stadium.”
That, of course, set up the logical question: Did Valverde celebrate his saves the same here?
“I think I had more here,” he said. “I don’t know. You can ask my boy Tony Clark. He’s here.”
Clark is a former Tiger, of course, but he was also a teammate of Valverde in Arizona when Valverde first came up.
“He was consistent,” Clark said.
Valverde celebrated a bit in last year’s All-Star Game after he retired the side in the 9th inning with the American League trailing. If he closes down the game Tuesday — AL manager Ron Washington said he’ll turn to Valverde if there’s a save chance — he almost has to bring out his celebration. His former fans in Arizona would expect no less.
“Oh, yeah,” Valverde said. “I have a new one for tomorrow. I practiced it last night in the hotel. I have a new one for all my family here. I practiced it last night for two hours.”
Valverde tends to kid, to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to determine when he’s serious. He sounded serious this time, because he said the same thing to somebody else.