Jose Valverde is a fun loving guy. Really. Just ask his manager, Jim Leyland, who says, “He’s goofy. He’s a great guy. He’s a great teammate.”
While all that may be true, it might’ve served Valverde well to have not declared—in jest, according to him—that the series was over after the Tigers won Game 2 in New York to tie the ALDS at one game apiece.
Well, Valverde will get an earful—several earfuls, actually—when he sits in the bullpen tonight at Yankee Stadium, waiting for a possible appearance in the ninth inning of Game 5 of the American League Division Series.
You see, a good number of New York Yankees fans in the left field stands, located just behind the Tigers bullpen, will probably let Valverde know just what they’re thinking. And if Valverde enters the game in a tight spot, more than 50,000 fans packed into Yankee Stadium are sure to create a wild scene.
Will Yankees fans forgive and forget? (NOT!) Or will the stadium explode as Valverde exits the bullpen, spits water in the air and then runs to the mound with the Tigers holding a lead in the bottom of the ninth inning of Game 5?
Most Tigers fans would love to see that situation unfold because it would mean their favorite team is three outs from moving one step closer to the World Series.
According to those who know him, Valverde would love it, too.
Perhaps instead of making his bold prediction, Valverde would have been better off adhering to the Dale Carnegie Success Principle: “Begin with praise and honest appreciation.” He may have still had to return to New York, but at least the boo-birds in Yankee Stadium’s left field stands wouldn’t be chomping at the bit to let him know what they’re thinking.
Here’s an example of this principle in action from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Michigan:
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