Former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Justin Verlander, finally opens up on the Houston Astros cheating scandal on the team’s media day at 2020 Spring Training. Verlander, who has been openly against cheating, fell silent following all of the Astros news that took over baseball this offseason.
The Houston Astros held a press conference and had many players available for the media at one of the first days of Spring Training in Florida. Former Detroit Tigers pitcher, Justin Verlander, finally spoke about the matter after a long period of silence after the fallout from the cheating scandal. The lackluster effort by the Astros during the press conference was echoed from Verlander during his chats with the media.
Astros owner Jim Crane dug a hole for himself and the organization when he said that the Astros sign-stealing did not impact the game, which is just plain false. The entire team, front office, and players put together a rough showing when it came to the apologies and their thoughts on the matter. Verlander opened things up, saying that he feels he should have spoken up more in 2017 when it was happening after he got to the Astros team and saw what was happening.
Verlander would go on to avoid getting into specifics, “leaving things up to the commissioner,” as Verlander phrased it. He managed to dodge questions in a sense that he echoed this idea that the commissioner had the final say in the punishment, so he was not going to comment and that the players were there to apologize, and the opinions were expressed by the team. He would round things out by saying that he expressed his remorse on the matter but was going to leave it at that.
Now, there was no expectation for Verlander to get up on the podium and give fans a lengthy apology, but Justin Verlander has completely switched up from the player he was. He went on an absolute tirade towards Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred regarding the idea of juiced baseballs in 2018. So, when the supposed juiced balls worked against Verlander (more home runs being hit), Verlander goes on an explicative filled tirade, but when his team gets popped for cheating, he falls silent and echoes non-apology apologies.
It sucks, it really does, because Justin Verlander was a Detroit Tigers legend and should still be, but this was a horrible look for him. Verlander’s interview was horrid, especially after he fell silent while being one of the most vocal players when it comes to speaking out against cheating. Watching his interview was angering to listen to Verlander deflect questions with the “the team apologized and feels remorse, and I’ll leave it at that” or merely avoiding questions during the media scrum.
The one thing that is clear in all of this is that it was NOT a good look for Verlander whatsoever.