A big part of me and a big part of my game is having the ability to go out and enjoy myself and enjoy the game. When I'm having fun, I show it.
The funny part is that I'm a pretty different person when I'm not playing.
I don't know why it happens or how it happens, but when I cross the line, my mindset changes. My eyes change, everything changes. I don't know why, and I might now want to know why.
I watch the video afterward, and it sort of looks like a devil out there when I'm pitching. I put on a face like a gorilla. There's nothing else I can do. When I'm not out there, I support my team, my friends and myself.
I've always played baseball with this mindset. Back in the Dominican, going back to Little League, I always played this way; I always played with this attitude.
When I have fun out there, it is really to display my joy and emotion. My intention is not to disrespect the other team. I tell the media all the time that that's just me. I've tried to change, but I just can't and I don't know why.
Position players can have the same mentality. Guys here like Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez and Sammy Sosa always seemed to have fun. But I think I'm really the only closer who really demonstrates his love for his job.
I watch some guys -- guys who have done it as good as anybody else -- and they seem to be so stern. To me, this is just a game to be enjoyed. I always thank for God for the chance I've been given to play in the big leagues.
Converting 11 of 12 save opportunities, ceteran closer Jose Valverde is 1-1 with a 0.48 ERA for the Tigers this season. Signed to a two-year free agent contract over the winter, Valverde has saved as many as 44 games twice in his career.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.