PRINT SCHEDULES FOOTBALL | BASKETBALL | HOCKEY
Refresh  
  Page last updated on Mon Dec 22 01:18:45 EST 2014
TOP NEWS
VALVERDE, A DILEMMA OF LEYLAND FOR WORLD SERIES
Tue, 23 Oct 2012 02:30 AM EDT

Jose Valverde threw a few pitches during Detroit’s workout, and then returned to the dugout as upbeat as usual.

Valverde’s role for the World Series still isn’t clear, but the right-hander doesn’t appear to care.

”I don’t care. All I want is to be a champion,” he announced. ”If I had to start, I’d do it.”

Valverde has been Detroit’s closer for 3 years and did not blow a save through all of 2011, but this postseason has been ugly. He lost Game Four of the division series against Oakland and gave up 4 runs in the American League championship series opener against the Yankees. The Tigers went on to win that game and sweep the series, but Valverde hasn’t been used since.

The World Series begins Wednesday at either St. Louis or San Francisco. Valverde sounds confident he’s made the necessary mechanical adjustments, and so does manager Jim Leyland.

”I think everyone’s making too big of a deal of the Valverde situation. Valverde’s going to be prepared. There’s nothing wrong with Valverde. He is going to be fine,” Leyland recounted. ”I got a kick out of it. No-one wanted me to pitch him, but everyone asks me every day if he’s going to be the closer. I don’t know what they’re expecting, but I’m going to just see what happens.”

Leyland went with other options after Valverde’s meltdown against the New York Yankees. Left-hander Phil Coke got the save in Games 2 and 3. Baseball spreads

The more flexible approach to the late innings allowed Leyland to use Coke in crucial spots against a N.Y lineup that has plenty of left-handed power. Against the Cardinals or Giants, Valverde might be back in his old role. Apart from Coke, Detroit’s top relief options include right-handers Joaquin Benoit, Octavio Dotel and Al Alburquerque. Benoit has had difficulty keeping the ball in the park this season.

”Sometimes the most important out is in the 7th inning or 8th inning, not necessarily in the 9th inning,” Leyland asserted in the series against New York. ”That’s why when you start going by committee, that’s what ‘committee’ means. You said, ‘This is the most important out I must get. I am going to use my bullet now and take my possibilities later.”’

Still, Leyland sounds ready for Valverde to contribute again.

”To me, you have got to pinch hit in the National League cities, you’re going to have to use your pitchers, so if you support, that’s just the way that it is,” Leyland asserted. ”I think he’ll be a big part of this World Series.”

Coke, in the meantime, has been under the spotlights more than usual, and he’s actually enjoying the ride.

”I don’t have any idea what’s going on. I just know I’m having a good time,” Coke said recently. ”And we have got a common goal that we are making an attempt to achieve, and the last thing I want to be known for is the one that didn’t do his job.”

It has been a trying year at times for Leyland, who admitted his team underachieved for a lot of the season. But now Detroit is ready for a chance to shine on the game’s biggest stage.


Sponsored Links

Download Printable Schedules
Now you can download and print schedules for each sport so you can plan ahead and track your results.
UPDATED:
FOOTBALL: 8/3/2014 - 11/3/2014
11/4/2014 - 2/1/2015
BASKETBALL 12/16/2014 - 1/12/2015
11/13/2014 - 12/15/2014
HOCKEY 12/16/2014 - 1/12/2015
11/13/2014 - 12/15/2014
TOP TEN WAGERS
RK Team
1
Arizona Cardinals
2
Seattle Seahawks
3
Seattle Seahawks
4
Pittsburgh Steelers
5
New England Patriots
12/22/2014
Italy - SupercoppaJUVENTUS vs. NAPOLI09:00 AM PST
Turkey - Süper LigCAYKUR RIZESPOR vs. GAZIANTEPSPOR09:00 AM PST
Greece - Super LeaguePANATHINAIKOS vs. AOK KERKYRA09:30 AM PST
Israel - Premier LeagueB JERUSALEM vs. H BEER SHEVA10:55 AM PST
College FootballBYU vs Memphis11:00 AM PST
Portugal - Primeira LigaSP BRAGA vs. P FERREIRA11:00 AM PST
Germany - 2nd BundesligaRB LEIPZIG vs. TSV 1860 MÃœNCHEN11:15 AM PST
England - Premier LeagueSTOKE vs. CHELSEA12:00 PM PST
Portugal - Primeira LigaRIO AVE vs. BELENENSES1:00 PM PST
NBANuggets vs Hornets4:05 PM PST
NBAJazz vs Grizzlies5:05 PM PST
NBARaptors vs Bulls5:05 PM PST
NBATrail Blazers vs Rockets5:05 PM PST
NFLBroncos vs Bengals5:30 PM PST
NBAHawks vs Mavericks5:35 PM PST
NBAClippers vs Spurs5:35 PM PST
NBAKings vs Warriors7:35 PM PST
12/23/2014
College FootballNorthern Illinois vs Marshall3:00 PM PST
College FootballNavy vs San Diego State6:30 PM PST
12/24/2014
College FootballCentral Michigan vs Western Kentucky09:00 AM PST
College FootballFresno State vs Rice5:00 PM PST
12/26/2014
College FootballIllinois vs Louisiana Tech10:00 AM PST
College FootballRutgers vs North Carolina1:30 PM PST
College FootballNC State vs Central Florida5:00 PM PST
12/27/2014
College FootballVirginia Tech vs Cincinnati10:00 AM PST
College FootballDuke vs Arizona State11:00 AM PST
College FootballMiami Florida vs South Carolina12:30 PM PST
College FootballPenn State vs Boston College1:30 PM PST
College FootballNebraska vs USC5:00 PM PST
12/29/2014
College FootballWest Virginia vs Texas A&M11:00 AM PST
College FootballClemson vs Oklahoma2:30 PM PST
College FootballTexas vs Arkansas6:00 PM PST
12/30/2014
College FootballNotre Dame vs LSU12:00 PM PST
College FootballLouisville vs Georgia3:30 PM PST
College FootballMaryland vs Stanford7:00 PM PST
12/31/2014
College FootballMississippi vs TCU09:30 AM PST
College FootballBoise State vs Arizona1:00 PM PST
College FootballGeorgia Tech vs Mississippi State5:00 PM PST
01/01/2015
College FootballWisconsin vs Auburn09:00 AM PST
College FootballMichigan State vs Baylor09:30 AM PST
College FootballMinnesota vs Missouri10:00 AM PST
College FootballFlorida State vs Oregon2:00 PM PST
College FootballOhio State vs Alabama5:30 PM PST
01/02/2015
College FootballPittsburgh vs Houston09:00 AM PST
College FootballIowa vs Tennessee12:20 PM PST
College FootballUCLA vs Kansas State3:45 PM PST
College FootballOklahoma State vs Washington7:15 PM PST
01/03/2015
College FootballEast Carolina vs Florida09:00 AM PST
01/04/2015
College FootballToledo vs Arkansas State6:00 PM PST

x