Former Detroit Tigers ace, Justin Verlander, has always been quite vocal about his displease against cheating around the game of baseball. Since the punishments were handed out to the Houston Astros and the league responded, Verlander has fallen silent.
All the latest buzz and news around Major League Baseball comes from the Houston Astros and their sign-stealing shenanigans. Former Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has been caught up in the fray of the investigation.
It is no secret, Commissioner Rob Manfred published a report detailing the Astros scheme, how they cheated and misused technology to aid hitters during the 2017 season and part of 2018. The findings pointed to this being a player-driven scheme, with players providing help to make this illegal sign-stealing possible. Now, there is no definitive list of names for who were the players who supported it and were involved.
Now, Verlander was acquired by the Astros in 2017, completing one of the major moves of the Tigers dismantling of the roster and beginning of the rebuild. Over the years, before being traded and after, Verlander has expressed his disapproval against cheating within the game.
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One of the more prominent and recent examples of this was his open criticism of the juiced balls. Verlander has taken to the media to illustrate his displeasure. He has been more outspoken on other issues like the luxury tax, universal designated hitter rules, and steroid users.
Looking further into the Commissioner’s report, no pitchers are named, but the former Tigers pitcher was a part of the 2017 World Series-winning roster and has been with them since. It would be easy to make the assumption that he knew what was going on, and his involvement remains a mystery. For someone who is so openly outspoken about teams with an unfair advantage, or players who benefit because of unfair advantages, he has fallen silent regarding his team’s antics.
Looking at the statistics Verlander has only gotten better with age, winning his second Cy Young Award at the age of thirty-six as well as earning his 3,000th strikeout. He has been a dominant pitcher on the hill, but the Astros were able to help him out with some added run support.
Now, this is a stretch, but going out on the mound, knowing your team has an unfair advantage at the plate has to be a little less stressful for Verlander than worrying if the run support will be there.
The only person who knows Verlander’s true involvement with the sign-stealing is himself, but the fact that he has gone silent should be concerning for those thinking he had no involvement. Verlander going quiet, as someone who is usually quite outspoken and vocal should be shocking and raise some eyebrows.
With another former Tigers and Astros pitcher Mike Fiers being the whistleblower for this if Verlander was truly not involved, why has he fallen silent? Only time will tell now if Verlander will comment on the matter, or share thoughts on the Astros wrongdoings, but for now, the former Detroit Tigers pitcher will soak up another Cy Young award from 2019 and prepare for the 2020 season.