and speaking of the tigers and baseball superstitions (as i did the other day) and our ace closing pitcher, josé valverde (as i did the other other day), i had no idea that my slight superstitions were far surpassed by his. i think this is terrific (and it seems to be working for him, given his success):
"valverde has a laundry list of rituals before he throws a pitch:
• play catch in the sixth inning, three innings before he has any chance of entering the game, then warm up in the eighth.
• grab a bottle of water when he gets the call, take one big chug, pause, then chug again until his mouth is full.
• walk through the bullpen entrance, spit water to his left, right, then straight ahead. take a hop-skip, with his cap in his right hand, then slap his cap off his right knee on the skip, then jog out to the mound. take another hop-skip, slap the cap off the same knee, between shortstop and third base.
• pick up the baseball, exchange it for a new one from the home-plate umpire, grab some dirt off the front of the mound, stand on the back of the mound, back turned to home plate, bow head, punch glove, turn around, then warm up.
• walk off the mound to the first-base side, do three deep knee bends, another slap of the cap, get back on the mound, and pitch.
• and get a new ball, every play.
valverde has not deviated from this as a pro, he insists. call it superstition, routine, whatever.
'i think everybody's superstitious,' valverde said. 'i think it's not only me. i think it's everybody. do i have more? maybe, i don't know. but it's everybody.'"
the above excerpted from a longer biopic article i really enjoyed.