I hate it when Joba Chamberlain strikes out players on my favorite team then proceeds to jam, jab, and jabber after the K. It makes me want to sock him in the face with a bag full of quarters.
Know why? It's probably because the sonuvabitch struck out my favorite players.
Switch it around. While protecting a 5-4 lead in the ninth inning against the Yankees, Tigers closer Jose Valverde proceeded to strike out the 2-3-4 portion of their lineup: Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez. It might've been the most unreal ninth inning for a Tigers closer, perhaps ever. After every strike, and certainly every strikeout, Valverde was bippin' and boppin' around the mound.
Reactions, Yankees fans?
Kevin Stemle, True Blue — "Tone it down, dude."
@RiverAveBlues — "Valverde looks like a clown on the mound."
Fack Youk — "pretty annoying to watch"
Even Baseball Tonight host Karl Ravech posed the question on ESPN if this was acceptable behavior.
Uh oh. Is this another one of those unwritten rules? Are pitchers not allowed to express joy anymore?
Of course they are. These bloggers and tweeters are simply venting, and they've got every right to do so. Their guys couldn't finish the rally against essentially nine innings of relief pitching, and that's frustrating when trying to catch first place Tampa Bay. (Cheer up, Bronx faithful: you're probably gonna win the next three in Comerica.)
Austin Jackson and Johnny Damon are getting on base with regularity. Scott Sizemore is growing steadily at second base. Phil Coke is owning the setup role. Brennan Boesch hits nothing but freakin' extra-base hits with runners on base. Even the worldly Brad Thomas has admirably held the puke bucket for Dontrelle Willis whenever he can't pitch. But of all the newcomers, Valverde's in a class of his own when adding performance to exuberance.
This was also a festive night in Detroit. We've been celebrating — not mourning — Ernie Harwell's life for the last week, and after a pre-game memorial was held in the late radio announcer's honor, this was a perfect ending for any Tigers fans on this day.
In front of the home crowd, Papa Grande served up three straight Ks to Swisher, Tex, and A-Rod — the best cross-section of baseball's best lineup. It was, succinctly, awesome. Plus, Tigers fans are accustomed to Todd Jones hopping around as the closer, but only to back up the incoming throw to third base.
Dance like nobody's watching, Valverde. You magnificent sonuvabitch.