Jose Valverde thinks he’s only gonna be in the minors a short time

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Jose Valverde wants Tigers fans to know that they’re not safe from him for long. Here’s what he told Jeff Seidel Detroit Free Press:

“I didn’t have a spring training,” Valverde had said, a few hours earlier in the clubhouse. “I think this is like a spring training.”

“Will you be here for six weeks?” I asked.

“Hell no,” he said, in a big booming voice. “I’ll be here two or three weeks. Something like that.”

And with that Jim Leyland lit another Winston, shook his head and imagined what life would be like if he had even a mediocre bullpen to work with.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.