Jose Valverde's newest jam

Updated: October 3, 2011, 9:21 AM ET
By Buster Olney

Phil Coke, the Detroit Tigers reliever who used to pitch for the New York Yankees, was buttoning his shirt after Game 2 when he heard what Jose Valverde had said a couple of feet away, and Coke's head turned. He glanced at the reporters, who were busily jotting down Valverde's unusual words in their notebook.

"You know they're going to write that, right?" Coke said to Valverde.

"I don't care," Valverde said, chuckling.

The Tigers' closer was in a good mood after navigating his way through a drenched and drama-filled bottom of the ninth inning and clinching a 5-3 Detroit victory over the Yankees. In the midst of his discussions with reporters, Valverde suggested that the Tigers would not be back in New York, and that they would win Games 3 and 4.

He did it all with a smile, punctuated by laughter, more in confidence and fun; this was not a Terrell Owens boast.

"It's over for the Yankees," Valverde said, grinning. "No more. One hundred percent. I want it over, because I want my team in the second round."