Valverde denies he threw spitball

Valverde denies he threw spitball

CHICAGO -- Tigers closer Jose Valverde denied that he threw a spitball to strike out Reds catcher Devin Mesoraco for the first out of a perfect ninth inning in Detroit's 7-6 win on Sunday.

"Anybody can say what they want to," Valverde said. "But I wasn't doing anything wrong, because I didn't spit at the baseball."

Valverde, who said he has seen the video making its way around the Internet, claimed he brought his glove to his face to wipe away sweat, not to spit in it.

"I never did anything wrong," he said. "I put my glove toward my mouth. Why? Because I sweat too much."

Valverde said he's not surprised about the reaction the video has received. He said no one in MLB has talked to him about the incident.

"Everybody wants to say something," Valverde said. "What I want to do is throw my pitch and make a good pitch, and that's it."

Valverde struck Mesoraco out on an inside fastball. Spitballs are usually noted for their atypical movement. Valverde said he just made a good pitch.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said he was clueless about the situation until reading about it this morning.

"I didn't know anything about it until I saw something in the paper today," Leyland said. "I don't know what they're talking about, to be honest with you."