LAKELAND, Fla. - Each spring, the sounds of bats cracking and gloves popping fill baseball fields all over America.
In Lakeland, Florida, Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Octavio Dotel fills the air with a boisterous brand of crazy meshed with leadership that finds a perfect unique style.
Former closer Jose Valverde, who was not re-signed at the end of last season, used to be the voice of comic relief, but Dotel has filled that role with ease.
"To be honest with you, I just want to have everyone comfortable," Dotel says.
For the first time since 2009, Dotel heads into the same big league camp as he did the year before. The level of comfort has been evident during the start of camp.
"I'm trying to make everybody have a good time. I love to do that."
Dotel wasn't wearing a microphone, but his voice could be heard throughout the diamonds at Tiger Town, as displayed in the Sounds of the Game segment above.