Because I like to see interesting things, I watched Jose Valverde’s ninth inning save against the Royals last night in Detroit. Right now, Jose Valverde qualifies as an ‘interesting thing’ to say the least.
This is a man who supposedly lost 20 pounds, though I don’t know where he lost it. He looks like the same old Valverde to me. He is built like my grandfather, complete with a pasta-gut. He has stilts for legs and arms that are equally wiry.
Armed with a new wind-up motion (which is mostly horse shit) – Valverde threw 18 pitches – all fastballs. He got the final out by retiring Billy Butler on a ball that looked like it was leaving the yard. If Valverde continues to throw 100% fastballs, I can tell you right now there’s going to be a gang-bang on his behalf later this summer. In fact, there will be several.
But I realized while texting back and forth with a friend who is a Tigers fan last night that perhaps I’m being a little too hard on Valverde. After all, this is a man who was likely sitting in a San Pedro de Macoris bar about a month ago with his head in his folded skinny arms, fast asleep. You know he was. He was ordering up shots of Milagro, stacking the rocks glasses on his gut; just hammering them down one by one waiting for the call from Jim Leyland.
Jose Valverde is 1 for 1 in save opportunities by golly and this proves that the save is indefinitely an overrated statistic.