Grande Return to Tigers Organization?


josevalverde1Oh, yes DETROIT! Jose Valverde is back in the Tigers organization!

LOVE him or HATE  him, PAPA GRANDE is a BIG presence in the bullpen who has the capabilities of sealing the deal.  After  his recent  2012 playoff pitfalls, the relationship between him, the organization and the fans went far south. Were we too harsh on him? Was he out of gas or just over-hyped? Whatever happened, happened.  Now, perhaps after last evenings blown save and loss, the Tigers big brass finally realized that they need a true closer: someone who has a unique and electric personality. Someone with experience closing games and who can handle the ups and downs of clutch situations for a whole season. Who better to trust then the man that led them there last year?!

“FINE, I WANT THAT WORLD SERIES TROPHY, JUST CALL VALVERDE.”  is what I imagine Ilitch or Dombrowski had said last night after the 3-2 loss that really should have been a win. I know I said it deep down yesterday, too!

Or, was it more like Valverde made a call and said: “Look, I’m unemployed, I know the team, the city and your organization. I can STILL do this, guys! You kind of need a true closer, pick me!”

It’s true what they say. A team does need a true closer. I am not a fan of the closer by committee approach, myself and feel way more comfortable with a well paid superstar occupying that slot in the bullpen.  I was a huge Valverde fan, but MAN, did he ever make me nervous when he took the mound. Certain characteristics of him remind me much of my favorite goalie of all time: Domink Hasek. Both are prolific and both have unique and quirky attributes. Their situations are somewhat similar, too. Hasek retired, then came back amidst controversy. But, I can tell you, we wouldn’t have won the Cup without him in 2008. Ozzie was the goaltender in the playoffs, but Dom did a good portion of the work in the season. His mere presence made the team ELECTRIC. The same is true for Valverde. His mere presence makes the team ELECTRIC, too. He, like Hasek, also left Detroit and will come back amidst much fan controversy, partly because he has such a loud personality.

Folks, here’s the deal: We can’t win it without him. We need him to come back and take the reins. Personally, I love the energy he brings to the Tigers. Was I ready to break up with him and part ways after last year’s post season?  YES. I was not impressed with his “stuff” at the end of the season and even the baseball gods were seemingly against him. I was upset at his performances in the playoffs and his reliability was waning.  I stood by him longer than most, though. It’s because I like him. He’s a rockstar. I was living in Florida during his first season as a Tiger. He brought so much positive national media attention to the city of Detroit.  You couldn’t help but stare at awe as he saved 49 games in 49 attempts. He redefined what it was like to be a Tigers closer and set the Tigers single season save mark. He joins the ranks of other great Tigers closers such as John Hiller, Willie (Guillermo) Hernandez, Mike Henneman and Todd Jones.

Will Valverde earn his spot back in the bullpen and be the final piece of the championship puzzle? Was this a bad deceision by Tigers management? Just how risky is this endeavor?

The Tigers actually played it pretty safely. They have signed Valverde to a minor league deal to evaluate him over one month’s time period. After this time period, then I believe it becomes easy for the contract to be terminated. So, if Valverde seems to fit and do well, we have a seasoned closer. If he still seems to be flaky and ineffective, then we continue to find another solution until the trade deadline.

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About MotorCitySportsGuru

Thank You very much for taking the time to stop by and read my commentary on professional and college sports here in our great state of Michigan. We have such a storied history and rich tradition of both professional and college sports, that I am sure to have many journal entries! My hope is that you find each entry well reasoned, well researched, well written, and from the heart. You may not always agree with my analysis, but I hope my commentary is discussed frequently around the water cooler, while amongst family and friends and even while playing Euchre, eh! Loyalty. Passion. History. I have been following Detroit and local college sports with enthusiasm for over 30 years! I have watched our teams triumph, fall, rebuild and hold us captive as we have rooted for them to win the big game. Well, in the Lion's case, just ONE game! I have seen our beloved players come and go and come back again for round two. Players like Gibby, DMac, Big Ben, Dominik Hasek and Dan Petry rank in that category. I have watched our state groom successful high school  like Magic Johnson, CWebb,  Mike Modano, Justin Abdelkader, Brian Rafalski and Tim Thomas. We have also produced successful college athletes such as  Tom Brady, Charles Woodson, Desmond Howard, Andre Rison, and Rod Brind'Amor, to name just a few. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat have touched and shaped my life!  I have had the pleasure of  seeing this region host a Super Bowl, World Series, and an All Star Game. I have seen Michigan win National Championships in football, hockey and basketball. I watched as Izzo and Michigan State won a National Title in basketball. I have seen the Tigers win a World Series and go to another one. Our Bad Boys have won three World Championships while appearing at five. I got the esteemed pleasure of watching the greatest running back  in Barry Sanders turn on a dime week in and week out for a decade.  I love my teams and I am happy to have created this outlet to share my thoughts and analyzations with you. Interactive and Engaging Please, feel free to visit my journals frequently. I am just starting this site and will continue to look for new and exciting ways to improve upon it. I plan on engaging my readers and offering a high level of interactivity to help you keep coming back for more commentary.

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