When the Big Potato speaks …

So, did Jose Valverde just guarantee the Tigers would win the Division Series?

To the English-speaking reporters, at least, he came close.

“It’ s over,” Valverde told a crowd of reporters after the game. “Tomorrow’s the second game, and when’s the last game? Tuesday? Tuesday’s the celebration. …

Wait, what?

“I’m just kidding, guys,” he said, laughing out loud like somebody pulling a gag.

And that’s how we all took it. Another reporter double-checked the quote with me and another reporter who was there. I listened to it about a dozen times, remembered the laugh I saw, and came to that quote. So did several other writers.

To the Spanish-speaking reporters, supposedly, it was a little different. Here’s what ESPN Deportes’ Enrique Rojas is reporting Valverde told them:

“I think the series will finish in our house. They have a good team, but the series is not (coming) back to New York.”

That report said Valverde did not indicate he was kidding.

So which one is accurate? Well, here’s the problem: It’s hard sometimes to tell when Valverde is joking and when he’s serious.

When Valverde gives the belly laugh, that’s usually a sign he’s joking. That’s what we got when he said it. That’s what I got at the All-Star Game when he suggested he was coming up with a new dance to celebrate a save in the Midsummer Classic if he got. We never got to find out if he was serious about that one.

It’s hard for me to tell what signals he gave the Spanish-speaking reporters when I wasn’t there — or even if I was there.

Valverde has said at least twice this season, as far back as midseason, that he believes the Tigers have the best team in the American League. So he isn’t exactly hurting for confidence in his squad. On the other hand, he was laughing and joking around about how he thought he had that win tonight wrapped up.

As for the series being over, I’ll say this: It does not sound like a guarantee a closer would be making after coming within a hit of watching a four-run lead disappear in the ninth inning.


Papa has always stated that he wants to win the World Series.

last sentence should have *within🙂

I was unable to watch the game, but knew Valverde was pitching and saw a friend’s post of frustration on fb during that inning, “Aaaaaggghh, this game!” Knew I would have been venting my frustration at Valverde, as this was a frequent occurrence during the season! And from watching the commentators on FS Detroit after, two out of the three felt the same. Hope he gets traded after the season ends!

not that he can be traded. he’s coming back because there is a $9M team option for 2012.

49 out of 49, numbers don’t lie. Valverde ain’t getting traded. If verlander wasn’t so dominant, there would be some talk of Valverde getting some Cy Young votes this year. Relax TigerTurtle and enjoy the ride.

No matter what watching Valverde does to your heart (and stomach) you have to look at his stats – we haven’t had a closer like him before – I hope we keep him – look at his stats!

Are you kidding that you want Valverde traded at the end of the season? Perfect in saves is not quite good enough? I hope your wish does not get granted, he has had very few mistakes this year and got in trouble yesterday but he got the game over eventually. I don’t want that every game, but I don’t recall too many games where he made me feel nervous like that.

Interesting weekenf of baseball, Mister Fister did not do what we expected of him so hopefully he has shaken that off of him and is ready for his next start. Yesterday was a reversal, I expected Max to have me nervous and not Jose. Max did a terrific job. Miguel did his job as usual, driving in most of the runs. Funny how Maggs just has Garcia’s number, without his contribution yesterday Miggy would not have had the chance to hit in so many runs.

Hope JV isn’t too amped up tonight, in the old days he would let his emotion overtake his pitching, this year he seemed to have that in check so I am hoping that continues. come on guys, we have most the country rooting for us, no one wants the Yankees to win!

If JV has no control issues and we can put at least 4 runs on the board – then we’re looking good. Probably no VV or Benoit tonight.

Remember, these are the Yankees. I think Fister did great. One bad 2-stike pitch to Gardner. The Tigers had 2 hits off of Nova. So Valverde threw a fat one to Swisher and Posada. Then he didn’t throw any fat ones and walked a guy. Valverde shows his calmness and gets Cano. Brilliant! Is it 8:37 yet? It will be 72 and sunny today in Grand Rapids. C’mon Justin! Go Tigers!

I saw the game, i remember to see a couple of pitches that looked like strikes to me (and according to Valverde’s reaction too) then with rain and the amount of pressure in NY i think Valverde did just great, his first pitch was just bad luck but the important thing is that he remained calm and could handle the pressure.

Go Tigers we are at home now!

I’m still hoping Papa gets his baby (the splitter) back! If he does there won’t be any innnings like last night again.

dan, has he not been throwing his splitter more recently (I know he had gotten away from throwing it at all during like august). I thought he had been throwing it in Sept., but wasn’t throwing it yesterday because of the rain hampering his grip…..

I think it is more than the rain that has hampered his grip—I think he may have a slight finger injury that has kept him from being able to command it like he he once did. Gotta give him credit for finding a way though.
BTW, the Posada single up the middle that KO’d Max—I bet Fister, JV or Ricky P turn that ball into an out or maybe 2 outs. Max is never in position to field a ball with his “style” of delivery. He is pretty darn good about covering 1st base though.
Another thing about that game I though a little bizarre was Girardi PHing for Gardner with Chavez. He must have been thinking home run (Chavez had 2 during the season), but I was glad to see Gardner out of there. I find him more dangerous than chavez in a number of ways. Not sure why you would take out guy with speed and all warmed up and all to put in a guy cold off the bench that has limited possibilities. Perhaps he had some excellent numbers againts Benoit? I don’t know but I do know I was happy to see the move being made.
Leyland made some “out of formula” moves last night himself. And they were good ones and showed some proactivity for a change. Benoit coming in early in the 7th was a move I was surprised with. Could have brought Q in or Coke, or I guess even Perry. Kudos to JL for that move. It was one that takes him out of his comfort zone of repetition and predictability. Granted it means Benoit is hooped for tonight but it was paramount to win that game last night and Leyland knew it.
The flip side of the same decision was recognizing the necessity of removing Max even though they had not been hitting him. I give Mr Leylaand all kinds of credit for that decision. That is thinking out of the “JL Box” and not ‘hoping & dreaming”.
Good on him for managing the game properly.
Though I would definitly have had Phil Coke warming up in the bullpen after all the trouble Papa got himself into. Not sure—maybe he was.

Love the Yanks or hate them, you don’t feel like killing their closer after the game for showing you up. Mo just puts his head down and walks up to his catcher and shakes his hand. Very humble, very professional, doesn’t rub it in. Valverde is good, but he is a fat, obnoxious, skunt who dances in your face when he closes a game that he did nothing to get the lead in. He would not even get in the game if they weren’t winning (most nights). Last night he almost blew it and then starts mouthing off…

Often the toughest relief outing is the middle-innings “hold” when things are going bad and a reliever comes in to close the door. I don’t love the Save stat and would rather see managers put in their best reliever when late inning rallies start, not just when they have the lead in the final inning. This guy is very annoying to watch and root for, just like that fool Papelbon. (I am glad he is sitting at home knowing he blew it.) I hope that happens to Valverde, too, even though I like the Tigers and am friends with one of their 40 man roster players. Act like you’ve been there… I hope Cano drills one down his throat and out his fat, unprofessional, as*(erisk).

He is who he is and that is why the majority of Tiger fans love him. He is an elite closer. I have the utmost respect for Mariano because he’s good, and also an elite closer.
Papa fits Detroit like a glove. Shy, or flamboyant, both of them are true to themselves. Go judge someone else.

I guess it is easy to hate valverde if you want to, ‘braat; however most tigers fans just think he is non offensive (more on the silly and innocent side). I can be, however; and hope you get one drilled down your throat.

The problems with the Yankees is that the WHINE after every pitch. Nick Swisher was almost crying at a called 3rd strike. And the kid from Kalamazoo was complaining at anything not called a ball that he doesn’t swing at. I have watched Tigers games all year, and I can honestly say that the Yankees,and their “aura” and penchant for taking pitches makes the games brutally long. Of course they have talent, and yes many players on that team are liked in Michigan (Granderson, Jeter) but come one, stop crying. You get every call.

Dabrat, you know what is worse than being an overwiegh, flamboyant pitcher? Getting beat by one!


the only question is whether boston or NY is worse in that category…prolly NY

I really enjoy valverde. He talks to the fans. He shows enthusiasim instead of being some old foaggy stick in the mud. Their is nothing wrong with being confident in yourself and expressing it. Babe ruth was a braggart and a drunk but he was still better than any ball player today. So when greatness is here you need to watch and listen instead of running the lip. Ty cobb used to demand respect. If you dont like what he said; too bad your black eye and fat lip will make you think twice about talking poop again.

Wow, a team is made up of many personalities and so are blogs. I wonder who will be the closer for the Yankees when Mo retires? There are many things I could point out but I think Cano would probably ground out to 2nd base.

Thank goodness Cano hit to Santiago. (And not in the air) If that ball had been lifted out to LF in those conditions —–I shudder to think.

GAME 3 lineup:
Jackson CF, Santiago 2B, Young LF, Cabrera 1B, Martinez DH, Ordonez RF, Peralta SS, Avila C, Inge 3B, (Verlander P)

My comment(s): I like this lineup offensively because Santiago is batting in the 2hole. I think it’s a gamble to bat Maggs 6th and Alex 8th…but Alex hasn’t batted well this series (or, at all – i think) and Maggs is smokin hot. Inge hasn’t been batting horrible either.
Defensively, this is a huge upgrade over friday night because Santiago is in there at 2nd.

Oh yeah, ARod, Jeter, and Tex make more money than the entire Rays team! But money can’t but me love!

tigers payroll is 53% of the yankees payroll. and we ain’t on the bottom 2/3rds of that list either!

Good to see Santiago in. Smart. Dropping Avila is good too. He was non-productive batting 6th.
With Inge playing there was nowhere else to bat Austin but when Betemit gets in and if AJ is still looking like Billy Crystal at the plate they should drop him.

bahahah @ billy crystal reference.

Hey Greg, Verlander said that Inge is the best defensive 3rd sacker in the league. You are reading the blogs, right. Anyway, I like Inge and yes he has had some challenges. We need defense. I hope Justin does not drink too many red bulls🙂 Action Jackson is in line to set the tone. I would bunt on the first pitch.

Hey DB,
I’ve been reading every day. Just laying low with my comments and enjoying the run. I’m going to enjoy it as long as I can. I’ll have comments when our season finally ends. Our blog is really entertaining, but we get carried away at times. INge is still a class act.

Can’t help feeling this seasons ‘spell’ will only get broken if VV wilts.
Have loved the way the players we start getting down on usually have a blinder the very next game.

I wonder if the homeplate umpire tonight is going to screw us, again. In seven career starts with Gerry Davis calling balls and strikes, Sabathia is 6-0 with a 2.19 ERA, while Justin Verlander has a 6.57 ERA and .314 batting average allowed in two career starts (with Davis).

Dave, funny you should say that. When (on those rare occasions) I can convince my wife to sit with me and tolerate a Tiger ball game, I will often criticize a player for his failures, challenges, shortcomings or tendencies. She swears that every time I do that they come through. I do change my underwear (regularly) but I must admit I sometimes dliberately incorporate this cynicism into my TV fan behaviour, just to make sure it keeps working. I’ve been picking on AJ lately but, alas, to no avail

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