June 30, 2012; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Jose Valverde (46) against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

Jose Bleeping Valverde

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Madness has been defined as the repeating of an action in hopes of just once getting something different to happen.

Is Jim Leyland insane?

We’ve already well established that his skills have eroded this season. We have watched this in the playoffs. Valverde is clearly not getting the job done in the ninth inning, so why does he keep coming back in?

It seems to me that playoff baseball takes the best laid plans of the regular season and throws them to the hounds. Starting pitchers make bullpen appearances. High-priced All Stars get benched. Wild Cards defeat top seeds. This stuff happens. What really gets my goat is that Leyland refuses to think outside of the box. He’s too stubborn to alter the strategies he’s harbored since 1992. I once heard a radio personality say that he honestly believes Leyland writes down his game plan before the game starts, and he goes by it as intensely as he can. There is no room for flexibility with this man.

The playoffs’ motto seems to be “Stick with the hot hand.” Why won’t he do this? Al Alburquerque has been pitching fantastically since coming back. Octavio Dotel has been more effective. Even Phil Coke looked good tonight for a bit. Heck, try out Smyly, see what he could do. Why stay with Valverde, whose hands could make a Popsicle out of a flambe? It makes absolutely no sense.

I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

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Tags: Al Alburquerque Detroit Tigers Drew Smyly Jim Leyland Jose Valverde New York Yankees Octavio Dotel

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