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Justin Verlander says Seahawk Richard Sherman would get a “high and tight fastball” if he played baseball

Jan 19, 2014, 10:30 PM EDT

Justin Verlander Reuters

The Seattle Seahawks punched their ticket to the Super Bowl tonight thanks in part to some great defense by cornerback Richard Sherman. Sherman broke up a pass from San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, then had one of the most interesting post-game interviews you’ll ever find.

Shouting at the top of his lungs, ostensibly because the stadium was so loud, Sherman said to reporter Erin Andrews, “I’m the best corner in the game. When you try me with a sorry receiver like [Michael] Crabtree, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about me!” Andrews followed up, asking Sherman who was talking about him. Sherman replied, “Crabtree. Don’t you open your mouth about the best.”

The interview garnered some mixed reactions, including some from baseball’s premier players. Injured Mets ace Matt Harvey tweeted that the interview convinced him to root for the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl. Tigers ace Justin Verlander was a bit more direct with his feelings:

Threatening to risk an opponent’s health and career with a “high and tight fastball” is far worse than being cocky in an interview.

Verlander has cooled down on throwing at hitters as he has matured. After hitting a league-leading 19 in 2007 and 14 in ’08, Verlander has hit a total of 24 over his last five seasons, including just four in 2013.

153 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. djdvd - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:33 PM

    So let me get this straight Justin, if big bad Richard Sherman made you feel bad with his words after he beat you, your advice would be to throw at his head like a coward? It’s a shame this kind of action is the though of some people in the game. Who cares about serious injury? He hurt my feelings! What a coward.

    • xsherr - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM


      You must be new to sports.

      • djdvd - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:01 PM

        If being new to sports means me thinking it is extremely juvenile and dangerous to potentially injure someone because they upset you then I’ll accept the label. Of course it happens but taking the “boys will be boys” or “it’s part of the game” mentality is lazy and only lets the behavior continue.

    • kehnn13 - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:53 PM

      My take on this is that Verlander feels that Sherman should have let his play speak for itself. By showing up his opponent, he showed himself to be a first class jerk. In the military, they used to deal with it through blanket parties. In baseball, they deal with this by hitting batters.

      Maybe if there was a way that players in the NFL dealt with these kind of shenanigans, there wouldn’t be the need for so many rules and people wouldn’t talk so much about the No Fun League.

      • paperlions - Jan 20, 2014 at 7:35 AM

        Extending that concept, then pitchers should let their play speak for itself and get the cocky hitter out rather than resorting to throwing at his head.

    • Kevin Gillman - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:08 PM

      So you don’t think NFL players don’t go high or low when words are being said? A pitch to the back is not as bad as missing some time due to a low hit.

      • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:39 PM

        There is a thing in football called the “lookout block” reserved for QBs or RBs when they start thinking they are bigger than the team. Perhaps football needs something similar for the other positions?

    • jeffbbf - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:11 PM

      Way to overreact, moron. Try living in reality and instead of throwing a hissy fit because you read this as an actual threat, read it for what it is – Verlander blowing smoke. Sherman doesn’t play baseball and never will. Take your Kumbaya crap somewhere else.

      • djdvd - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        So people can hold Sherman accountable for saying something stupid, but not Verlander? Do you really think I’m saying Verlander will actually throw at Sherman? Yet, I’m the moron here.

    • wpjohnson - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:16 PM

      I believe that djdvd needs to go back to playing Barbies. He/She is obviously ignorant of sports and how they are played. If Verlander were pitching to Sherman, he should stick a fastball ball in Sherman’s ear. that is how it is done. Of course a pansy like djdvd would never understand that.

  2. albundyrocks - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    He black so it’s ok

    • jma040 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:29 PM

      Unfortunately you are absolutely right. I am black and am offended by the desensitization that society has for comments made by the black athlete and that they aren’t held to the same standard.

  3. trbowman - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    The words didn’t really matter so much as going right up to Crabtree after the fact and making the choking symbol.

    Celebrate with your teammates instead of taunting the guy. I would’ve wanted to deck him if I were Crabtree.

  4. sdelmonte - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:45 PM

    If Justin wants to engage in macho garbage like that, let him change sports. Baseball is better than that.

    Or should be, at any rate.

    • jeffbbf - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:13 PM

      Don’t you mean macho headgames? Isn’t that the term delusional complainers use: a la Lloyd Bridges?

    • yahmule - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:03 AM

      Man, posts like this are just embarrassing to read.

  5. tigers182 - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    You know it’s a slow news day when you try to make a controversy out nothing. He didn’t tell people they should start throwing baseballs at him when they see him. He said that’s what would happen if he did that in an MLB game, which is true. Anybody offended by this is looking to be offended or have a quota of articles they need to write.

    • okwhitefalcon - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:54 PM


      The righteous indignation meter is off the scale.

      The “Blogger in Chief” will undoubtedly write and entry on HBT tomorrow demanding a public apology from Verlander.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM

      I’m surprised he didn’t note that Kate Upton responded so as to add comments.

  6. icanspeel - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:46 PM

    Until Sherman charges the mound.. then Verlander may wish he re-thought it.

    • jeffbbf - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      Sherman is listed at 6-3 195
      Verlander is listed at 6-5 225

      I don’t think Verlander would be too concerned

      • Site Administrator - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:23 AM

        Except Sherman s 195 of pure muscle, while Verlander is probably a decent mixture of muscle and fat. Plus Sherman is used to being very physical.

      • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

        Yes. Football players = Pure Muscle

        Baseball players = Fatty Fatty 2x4s

        Got it!

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:45 AM

      Is he charging the mound with a football helmet?

  7. vallewho - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    Yeah, throw a high-velocity projectile at someone’s head…

    That’s the thinking of someone who gets to throw said projectiles from high pedestal which little or no fear of retribution or consequence.

    • koufaxmitzvah - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:47 AM

      It is true. A Designated Hitter is employed to bat for all AL pitchers.

  8. beefytrout - Jan 19, 2014 at 10:55 PM

    why are we assuming JV said this based on the interview? Sherman’s behavior was broadcast as well.

  9. ningenito78 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    Get out of here. I would rather see I guy get a high tighty over what Sherman said any day

  10. kingscourt25 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:04 PM

    Football is a different animal. I’m sure there was jawing between Crabtree and Sherman all game. And they happened to interview Sherman right after he made the biggest play of his career to put his team in the Super Bowl. Can’t hate a player for showing emotion.

  11. letthecoldcome - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:06 PM

    He’s obviously making a joke. It’s something people do every so often. So maybe just relax.

  12. philliesblow - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    I think Sherman needs a HBPiD from JV.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:09 PM

      he he

      he he he

      he he

  13. historiophiliac - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:08 PM

    People who make fun of others’ disabilities should not get on their high horse. Just sayin’.

  14. letthecoldcome - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:10 PM

    Djdvd: He’s obviously kidding. You’re an idiot. People like you need to be blocked from NBC comment sections. Good lord.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:15 PM

      And then you overcompensated…

  15. joerymi - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:11 PM

    “Threatening to risk an opponent’s health and career with a “high and tight fastball” is far worse than being cocky in an interview.”

    The righteous indignation here is on another level.

    “Verlander has cooled down on throwing at hitters as he has matured. After hitting a league-leading 19 in 2007 and 14 in ’08, Verlander has hit a total of 24 over his last five seasons, including just four in 2013.”

    Also, should someone that thinks every hit batter is an intentional play on the part of the pitcher really be writing on a baseball blog?

  16. eagles512 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Sherman is a punk. I’m with Harvey…at least he gave me a side to root for in 2 weeks.

  17. hardkor07mn - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    I knew there was a reason I love Verlander!

  18. bkunza - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:35 PM


  19. smcgaels1997 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Please…a fool like Sherman needs a check yourself moment like a high & tight fastball

  20. bkg63 - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:40 PM

    Two wrongs don’t make a right…(but it does make it fun to watch)

    I doubt Verlander would exchange places and run a crossing route against Sherman…

  21. atleastimnotaraidersfan - Jan 19, 2014 at 11:44 PM

    And that just made me a huge Verlander fan. Go Broncos.

  22. NYTolstoy - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:05 AM

    What Sherman did was pretty freaken out there. He sounded like a 10 year old after wining a game of monopoly. Verlander obviously was a noted by it and rightfully so. And the funny thing is we all know if Sherman did that in a baseball game he WOULD have definitely been plunked the next day. It’s the truth and we know it even if some disprove of such notions.

    • NYTolstoy - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:07 AM

      *Annoyed damn you auto correct smart phones

  23. ireportyoudecide - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:07 AM

    I think it’s refreshing, or would you have preferred. “We just kept fighting and never gave up, credit to them they are a great team but today was our day” We need more people like Sherman in sports, it’s not like he doesn’t back it up.

    • shadowcell - Jan 20, 2014 at 3:51 AM

      yes, baseball doesn’t have enough whiny, self-absorbed thugs.

  24. 13datsyuk13 - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:08 AM

    This is why pitchers should have to hit.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:56 AM

      If your best argument for having pitchers hit is so they can get a high fastball thrown at them, you have no argument. Also, you might be missing the National League.

  25. weaselpuppy - Jan 20, 2014 at 12:08 AM


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