I have a soft spot for Jose Valverde. I admit it.
I love his pumping, squatting and kicking after he closes out a game for the Detroit Tigers. I love his personality. During my first-ever visit to spring training in 2011, Papa Grande was the most fun guy to be around, posing for pictures, talking to fans and enjoying the life of a major league ballplayer.
But he shouldn't be the Tigers' closer anymore. He can't get opposing hitters out and Detroit has to pull the plug on him before he costs the team more games they should win.
Valverde and the Tigers are the subject of my latest post for The Outside Corner.
[...] to win consistently, a team needs someone who can perform the role reliably. With a 4.15 ERA, along with eight runs and 13 hits allowed in 17 innings, Valverde is not that guy.
The Tigers have given Valverde every opportunity to demonstrate he can be their closer, but it's not working. Opposing batters aren't swinging and missing at a 92 mph fastball. And that splitter has no movement, allowing hitters to tee off on it. Valverde doesn't have anything else.
I try to write about the Tigers whenever I can for my national baseball gig, so as much as I'm ticked off about Valverde, I welcomed the opportunity his suckitude has provided.
Why didn't I write about Valverde at The Daily Fungo? And why haven't I written there lately? Well, the Fungo is Mike McClary's baby, so he should be the one to tell everyone what's going on with his site.
But I'll be looking for a new place to hang my Tigers-writing shingle. Maybe that will be here, maybe that will be on another blog. I don't know yet. Regardless, I'm grateful for Mike letting me write at the Fungo and wish I could have done more there over the past few months.