Right Field

Return of the Spitball

Tigers closer Jose Valverde is not often in the news for his pitching ability. The 34-year-old right-hander currently is 4–1 with 12 saves (in 15 opportunities) and a 3.91 ERA.

However, Valverde has been in the spotlight recently because of a 1–2 pitch delivered to the Reds’ Devin Mesoraco in the ninth inning of last Sunday’s game. The pitch — a 94-mph fastball — garnered national attention once a YouTube video surfaced that showed, allegedly, Valverde spitting onto the ball inside his glove.

Today, Major League Baseball, having reviewed the video, has formally discussed the incident with the Detroit Tigers, although not officially warning or reprimanding Valverde.

When asked, Valverde strongly denied all accusations: “It’s nothing. I never did anything wrong. I put my glove on my mouth, yeah. Why? Because I sweat too much. That’s it. . . . Everybody can say whatever they want to, but I wasn’t doing anything wrong because I’ve never spit on the baseball. . . . Cincinnati is so hot — I sweat too much.”

Below is the video: Be the judge yourself.


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