Ex-mates Montero, Valverde trade barbs

Ex-mates Montero, Valverde trade barbs

DETROIT -- It appears Miguel Montero and Jose Valverde will not be going out to dinner any time soon. The D-backs' catcher and Tigers' closer exchanged barbs Sunday, two days after Montero criticized Valverde for his antics on the mound while closing out Detroit's win Friday.

After that game, Montero said Valverde was "unprofessional" and questioned his intelligence.

"Tell Montero he's a freaking rookie and I can do whatever I want to," Valverde told The Arizona Republic on Sunday morning. "Tell him that. Put it in the papers. If he wants to do something, tell him to come to my locker and let me know. I never liked Montero."

When informed of Valverde's comments, Montero shrugged and said he went on the field Saturday looking to see if Valverde had anything to say to him, but that Valverde walked by him without saying anything.

The two faced each other for the first time since the verbal barrage began when Montero stepped into the batter's box with one out and Valverde and the Tigers clinging to a 3-1 lead in the ninth.

Valverde threw a fastball to Montero for ball one and then used a split-finger fastball to get Montero to ground out easily to the first baseman.

"He's a good pitcher," Montero said. "I thought he was going to challenge me with a fastball and he didn't. He threw a fastball first pitch and I felt like he was going to challenge me again and he didn't. I was looking for the fastball and he made a good pitch, a splitty."

Neither manager cared to weigh in on the spat between the former teammates. Valverde, though, had the support of his teammates

"He's been doing it his entire career," Tigers outfielder Johnny Damon said of Valverde's demonstrative behavior on the mound. "I like it better since he's on my team. But Montero isn't going to be the last guy to be upset about it. I just hope Valverde keeps on doing it because that means we are winning ballgames. Playing this game for a long time I try not to have complaints about anything. The only thing you can do is compete and hustle."