People 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 MLB.com 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.
Yankees rookie second baseman Gleyber Torres has a fun streak going right now: He’s homered in four straight games, becoming the youngest American League player to do so.
The historic knock arrived in the seventh inning of Friday’s series opener against the Angels. With two outs and the bases empty, Torres pounced on a 1-3 fastball from Jim Johnson and posted it to the right field bleachers for a go-ahead run:
It was just the Yankees’ second run of the night (the first having also been provided by Torres on an RBI single in the second inning), but the only one they needed to maintain an edge over the Angels.
Torres, 21, is off to a torrid start this season. Following Saturday’s 2-1 win, he now carries a .333/.393/.646 batting line, nine home runs and a 1.038 OPS through 106 plate appearances. In the past four games alone, he’s gone 7-for-15 with five homers (including a pair of solo shots, a two-run homer and three-run homer) and nine RBI. He’ll have to collect a home run in his next five games if he wants to set a new all-time record, however: Dale Long (1956 Pirates), Don Mattingly (1987 Yankees), and Ken Griffey Jr. (1993 Mariners) currently share the record for the longest home run-hitting streak, at eight games apiece.