Justin Verlander is one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. That can’t be argued.
What he said on Saturday night at the BBWAA Dinner while he was accepting his AL Cy Young Award may have gotten a laugh from many, but not from all — especially CC Sabathia.
Verlander’s joke not funny to all
Justin Verlander has always been an old-school type pitcher. A throwback. A workhorse. A guy who could eat up innings.
Any cliche you can associate with a player that tries his best to win and stands up for the integrity of the game of baseball you can use with Verlander. Or can you?
Verlander’s off-color remarks about the Astros cheating scandal while receiving one of the toughest trophies to win in sports seemed a bit odd — and the timing could not have been worse.
Verlander made a comment during his acceptance speech that not only is he proud to be part of the Houston organization, but “everyone knows the Astros are technologically analytically advanced.”
Some of the crowd gasped, and many cheered, but retired New York Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia didn’t find Verlander’s comments very amusing. Numerous reports came out that CC was far from laughing like the rest of the crowd. In fact, he looked unhappy, to say the least.
Verlander just joked that "everyone knows the Astros are technologically analytically advanced." CC, 5 feet away, looks freakin' pissed.
— Peter Botte (@PeterBotte) January 26, 2020
Verlander the hypocrite
One would think that maybe Justin Verlander made these comments to try and take away the stress of the situation the Houston Astros are under. Maybe he should have thought about it a bit more before he spoke.
— guwap (@_MaxAltitude) January 26, 2020
Verlander has always been very critical and vocal of players and teams that have been accused or suspected of cheating.
Back in 2017, when Justin Verlander was with the Detroit Tigers, he and then manager Brad Ausmus said after a game in not-so-subtle terms that they believed the Cleveland Indians were stealing signs.
— Matt Dery (@DerySpeaks) May 15, 2018
Of course, the Indians scoffed at that accusation, as manager Terry Francona suggested his team just got the better of Verlander that night. Verlander thought otherwise as his post-game comments indicated.
“I guess when you go to multiple signs with nobody on, you’re just saying, ‘Hey, it’s a little fishy,’ Verlander told reporters after he surrendered a career-high nine runs on Saturday.”
So let’s get this straight. Velander, who was very upset because he believed that the Indians knew what he was going to throw before he threw the pitch, is now making jokes about one of the biggest sign-stealing scandals fans know of to date in MLB history?
Maybe this time stealing signs was okay with Verlander because he was on the team doing it? Not your best moment, JV.