Add Jose Valverde to the closer dance party


Jose Valverde dance.jpgPeople have groused about Joba Chamberlain and Jonathan Papelbon’s post-strikeout and post-save fist pumps and histrionics for years now, but it’s time to add someone else to that list: Jose Valverde.  Check out his display from last night’s Yankees-Tigers game, which the good people at have so helpfully put on a single, 43 second reel.

Of course, this is not new behavior from Valverde. He’s been doing this for years. Just not on national television against teams like the Yankees.  When you dance after a strikeout in Houston, you’re just local color. When you do it against the Bombers: big issue. At least if the multiple references to it in the blogosphere this morning are any guide.

I view this as basically the same thing as touchdown celebrations. If it’s actual exuberance — which is what I think that Papelbon, Chamberlain and even Valverde are displaying — who cares? Silly, sure, but not an offense against nature.  If it’s more choreographed and premeditated it’s kinda bush league.

Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for Red Sox

Bob Levey/Getty Images

No surprise here: Chris Sale will start on Opening Day for the Red Sox, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. The Red Sox open the season on March 29 in Tampa Bay against the Rays. Sale will oppose Chris Archer.

Sale, 28, is the fifth different Opening Day starter the Red Sox have had in as many years, preceded by Rick Porcello, David Price, Clay Buchholz, and Jon Lester. Sale started on Opening Day for the White Sox in 2013, ’14, and ’16.

Sale finished second in AL Cy Young Award balloting last year and finished ninth for AL MVP. He went 17-8 with a 2.90 ERA and a 308/43 K/BB ratio in 214 1/3 innings. Sale and Clayton Kershaw (2015) are the only pitchers to strike out 300 or more batters in a season dating back to 2003.