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Jose Valverde Should Have Less Fun When Pitching

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Jose Valverde, dancin' foolI 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.

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  • Frank

    The biggest problem I have with it is that when Joba pumps his fist it becomes a national discussion, but the only mention I could find of this clown Valverde and his bush league antics is here.

  • Pete

    Tigers Fan Here… Doest seem that annoying when you are on the other side of the table.. he struck out 3 of the best hitters in the game in a row to save a game. i was fist pumping at home in fron tof my tv too!!

  • BRapp

    Nick Swisher – best hitter in the game?

    Well, I’m blushing now….as a Yanks fan that’s quite the compliment…I think what Jose did was bush league…Joba does his fist pump but does it after the 3rd out of a big at-bat that ends the inning…Valverde did it after all 3 batters, each time, dancing around like a fool…it’s Mid-May, and had the Yankees threw Andy out there tonight this game would surely not have come to that….

    Can’t see the Tigers in the playoffs in the same division as Minny, and most likely with TB stealing the Wild Card. Dance all you want Jose…come October, the only dancing you’ll be doing is in a Salsa Club .

  • David

    Marv Levy said it best: “Act like you’ve been there before”.

  • Charlie Doherty

    Remember former Sox/Marlins/Tigers closer Ugueth Urbina from the early-mid 2000s (when he was firing fastballs instead of firing gun shots as he was charged with in his native Venezuela in 2004)? His leg splits and fist pumps weren’t meant to show up opponents either but looked stupid after a while.

    Valverde should just save the antics and dances for AFTER the game is saved (like Papelbon :).

  • Chris

    We haven’t had this many complaints about on-field baseball etiquette since Alex Rodriguez crossed Braden’s mound.

  • Freetz

    I’m a Tigers fan, and it’s definitely annoying when the Big Potato does it, and definitely hilarious reading Yankees fans try to thread the needle about why it’s less annoying when their fat pitcher does almost the exact same thing.

  • WA WA WA

    I LOVE this… it’s like a latino Mark Fidrych… keep going crazy out there Jose

  • Adam V.

    Joba pumps his fist, may let out a scream when he K’s the last batter of a game…Valverde pumps his fist, screams gets on one knee, takes his hat off and says a friggin prayer after every single out! that’s a bit much! that makes KRod seem humble!

  • Rich

    Even as a Tigers fan, I watch him and cringe after each time he does it. A lot of pitchers do it now, and its becoming more of a common-place, but that doesn’t make it an acceptable thing.
    I do think Valverde takes it a bit far though, i’d like to see him calm it down just a bit.
    As for the Yankees/fans that are complaining.. Take a look at Joba you toolboxes. You have a pitcher that does something similar!

  • H Gordon

    Sometimes the emotions of our favorite and not so favorite players takes control of them in those pressure situations. I always believe that a professional should act like a professional. But, these guys are entertainers, at least that is what they claim to be when negotiating $50 million dollar contracts, and their “acts” are part of the entertanment.

  • Tony

    The guy is — as said a number of times — a clown. There is a big difference between pumping your fist when you get out of an inning (which I don’t really agree with either) and doing the moon-walk every time you throw a strike. It isn’t an unwritten rule of baseball. Its a rule of etiquette in any sport.

  • Mark

    Jose has 8 or 9 times as many reasons dance as Joba does… Both pitched 30 innings so far… Papa Grande has allowed 9 times less runs, and saved 8 times as many games as Joba… Don’t get pumped for a hold allowing two runs Joba….. Do something big for your team and then dance around a bit… I thinks a man with 30 IP, 16 saves, and 2 earned runs has all the reason in the world to be happy on the mound