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Al Alburquerque kisses ball before recording out for Tigers

I mean, that can't be healthy.

Tigers reliever Al Alburquerque got Yoenis Cespedes to hit an easy comebacker, ending the A’s ninth-inning threat in Sunday’s ALDS Game 2. After fielding the grounder, Alburquerque kissed the ball before tossing it to first base.

In doing so, Alburquerque probably also kissed dirt, pine tar, wood and grass. He could've swallowed a few spiders. He might have even locked his lips with an old wad of gum. I really hope he flosses.

On Monday, Alburquerque's manger Jim Leyland was asked about the incident and had this to say:

"Well, everybody always says I'm from the old school, so I'd have probably hugged it first.

"No, I don't think it was the right thing to do. I will sit here today and I will not try to defend it. I will say that I can assure everybody, including the Oakland A's that Alburquerque did nothing intentionally to offend the Oakland A's. He did it, but it was not an intent in any way to offend the Oakland A's. I can assure you of that.

"You see a lot of different variations of personal celebrations, as well as team celebrations. It wasn't a smart thing to do, but I can honestly tell you that there was no way that Alburquerque or any members of the Detroit Tigers would ever do anything intentionally to offend another team. It just would not happen.

"I don't know if that's acceptable. I hope it is. But we don't try to offend anybody. We try to win baseball games. There's a lot of emotion on all teams during the season as well as this time of year. We make no excuses; it happened. It shouldn't have happened. It did happen. But like I said, in no way, no way, that that was meant to offend an opponent, no way. We have too much respect for the game. Too much respect for baseball and too much respect for Bob Melvin and the Oakland A's. If that's not acceptable, then people have to deal with it the way they want to deal with it."

-- Matt Monagan /


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