Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Gr8: #4 Jose Valverde, Perfecto
You can call him overrated, if you want. Many people feel that closers are. While you’re at it, you can probably call him overpaid, too. Go ahead. You can also call him lucky, I guess. Feel free. But you can also eat a poison-tipped dildo.
Because in regards to the 2011 season, I’m just going to call Jose Valverde perfect.
Papa Grande went 49 for 49 in save opportunities this year. If you include the playoffs, up that to 52 for 52. This does not happen, people. Mariano Rivera blows a few saves a year. So does Jonathan Papelbon, Joakim Soria, and Brian Wilson. Where’s Valverde’s annoying Taco Bell commercial, huh? “Estoy BLACK OPS!”
The Tigers recently picked up Jose’s $9 million option for the 2012 season. Hooray, right? Actually, the majority of the reaction I’ve seen online has been “meh”, “ugh”, and “eww”. Allow me to channel my inner Zack Ryder and say, “Are you serious, bro?”
He looked like shit in most non-save situations. Yeah, I was watching…I noticed. But I also watched for years while Todd Jones and Fernando Rodney turned the 9th inning of a Tigers game with Detroit in the lead into a situation that felt like getting your teeth pulled. Actually, I’ve had a tooth pulled. It wasn’t nearly as stressful as watching Jonesey or Captain Crookedhat pitch, and I got cool drugs afterward. THE POINT IS, I thoroughly enjoyed watching a Tiger closer not blowing saves for once in my life.
49 saves led the American League. His 2.24 ERA was outstanding. 8.6 K’s per nine innings, all while experimenting with not throwing as many forkballs. He led all AL pitchers in games and games finished. And the 2011 AL Rolaids Relief Award winner continues to lead the league in awesome dances after strikeouts.
So shit on Valverde all you want, for whatever reason, people. I’m going to just tip my cap to the man who was perfect in his role for an entire season. Because we’re unlikely to ever see something like that again.
Dance, Fatty…dance. Bravo.