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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. mrlaloosh - Jan 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. But three lefts do. Think about it.

  2. hardkor07mn - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM

    The more I read, the more I believe that people are just plain STUPID! How do any of you morons play the race card on this? Second of all Sherman should receive any flack that he gets for this. His actions were way out of line. Shut the f up and play ball.

    • historiophiliac - Jan 20, 2014 at 2:48 PM

      Who exactly do you want to shut up and play ball? The commenters on here? What kind of ball are you talking about? Also, using the phrase “the race card” is, in itself, playing the race card. Put yours back in the pocket of your angry pants.

    • mwelsh1977 - Jan 20, 2014 at 4:09 PM

      The funny part is what is not being considered in all of this is that trash talk takes place throughout the game by most players. II mean it’s a strategy to throw a player off of their game. Maybe choirboy Peyton avoids the trash talk and that’s fine but most players jab the whole game. The difference here was that Sherman did it to a national audience that had an ignorant reaction. Players yell and scream they are the best? Oh the horror…

      • byjiminy - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:11 PM

        If you do it on the field, no one cares. If you do it on TV, you are a schmuck. Your whole team is embarrassed, and your team’s image is hurt for years.

        That team just went from being a team everyone liked to one that makes you feel disgust. It’s hard to like a team when someone like that is their most visible player. I’m not rooting for them anymore. It’s not fair to the rest of the players–which is why you don’t do that, it hurts your teammates. The owners must be fuming. He just cost them a looooot of money.

    • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:05 PM

      You’re exactly right. Sherman brought this on himself. Now he AND his team will have to deal with the consequences. The author, Bill Baer, claims that Sherman was screaming in order to be heard over the crowd. BS! That was rage ladies and gentlemen…live and in your living room. No one in their right mind behaves like that after winning such a huge game. IMHO, Sherman was not in his right mind at that moment. The normal range of emotions in this case is happiness, joy, elation, etc., not sociopathic rage. He was foaming at the mouth during the interview.

      I’m actually cutting Sherman slack, because I believe his behavior was caused by use of PEDs. That, of course cannot be proven definitively, but I’m not buying the “he’s just a fierce competitor letting out his emotions” argument.

      Maybe Bill Baer has never watched baseball, because he is trying to vilify Verlander’s comment as some sort of threat. But that is a code in baseball that’s been around longer than any of us have been alive. Verlander simply stated what most baseball players were thinking. The fastball up around the head is baseball’s way of keeping the game humble. If you think you are bigger than the game, or you openly try to show up a team or a player, you’ll get plunked. I’ve seen guys beaned for doing far less.

      Lastly…and this is directed to the Seadderall Pee-cock fans defending Sherman’s behavior. 56 million viewers witnessed Sherman’s meltdown. I’ve read dozens of blogs and hundreds of comments, and the vast majority of those viewers were really turned off (unless you are reading a Pee-cock blog). In 30 seconds, Sherman managed to alienate most of the country against him and the Pee-cocks. And now, every team in the NFL is going to be gunning for your beloved Pee-cocks. Imagine how motivated the 49ers will be…and Seadderall faces them twice a year. Plus, this is a big distraction from their focus on the SB.

      Coach Carroll was smart to get Sherman to apologize, and to accept responsibility for selfish behavior. I say smart because, again, I think what we witnessed was something akin to ‘roids rage, not selfish behavior. Imagine if this turned into a PED investigation?

      This event will haunt Seadderall.

  3. 2dmo4 - Jan 20, 2014 at 6:16 PM

    Shut up, Baer.

  4. Brinke - Jan 20, 2014 at 9:08 PM

    If Sherman was a major leaguer and mouthed off like that, the next game, he’d get one in the ribs. Period.

    • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:09 PM

      Or the head!

  5. provguard - Jan 20, 2014 at 11:19 PM

    I would hope everyone is aware that there is a difference between “high and tight” and a ‘bean ball”.

    • spursareold - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      Obviously, Bill Baer isn’t…

  6. redwings248 - Jan 21, 2014 at 5:35 AM

    I have no problem with what Justin said!

  7. theageofquarrel - Jan 21, 2014 at 6:23 AM

    What does it matter,the Seachickens will be back to being the doormat of the NFL like they have been since 1976.

  8. unclemosesgreen - Jan 21, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    JV passed on a scholarship to Duke because they wouldn’t let him take basket-weaving & bikini appreciation 101 multiple times for credit. He’s no Stanford grad.

    • spursareold - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      So, Duke treats their baseball players different from their basketball team?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 21, 2014 at 11:01 AM

        You’re just being a wise-ass but it’s true. The basketball team makes millions for the University while baseball hardly pays for it’s own cleats & fungo bats. So of course they get special treatment.

    • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      What does a player’s college affiliation have to do with Sherman’s tantrum? Are you suggesting that Sherman’s behavior should be more acceptable since he graduated from Stanford?

      • unclemosesgreen - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:17 PM

        It wasn’t a tantrum. It was an interview that happened in the middle of an intense adrenaline dump.

        Verlander weighing in the way he did was an indication that he’s not too smart. Your comment is also an indication that you might not be too smart either.

      • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 7:29 PM

        Adrenaline dump? BS. That was rage. When have you ever, EVER, seen that sort of behavior before from an athlete after a big win?

    • granadafan - Jan 24, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      It’s literally impossible to flunk out of Stanford. You can drop a class the day of the final. Once you get in, Stanford inflates grades to make it look more attractive grad schools. Most grad schools are wise to this act. Don’t kid yourselves. Stanford has the easy jock classes just like other schools.

  9. coltsoriolesbullets1971 - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:39 PM

    Sherman may not get a high and tight fastball, but he may get taken out by Wes Welker if he gets overly physical with the Bronco receivers.

  10. aceshigh11 - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:46 PM

    Sherman and Crabtree had a beef going back to last year. There was a reason Sherman was so amped up. As Howie Long said, anger and hate are the fuel a lot of football players use, particularly at the more physical positions.

    Personally, I thought Sherman’s rant was a hoot, and the look on Erin Andrews’ face was hilarious. He had just won the damned game and his adrenaline was probably off the charts.

    He’s not a “thug”…he’s actually an upstanding guy and went ballistic in ONE interview. I’m tired of hearing about it already.

    • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:32 PM

      You are correct…the thing between Sherman and Crabtree is nothing new. We have Sherman v. Tom Brady. Sherman v. Calvin Johnson. Sherman v Darrelle Revis, Sherman v. Trent Williams. And who can forget Sherman v. Skip Bayless, and “I’m better than you” rant? Seems he has troubles playing nicely with the other kids.

      I realize the guy does good things for the community, but seriously…all it takes is something stupid, like his post-game rage to swing public opinion against him. Most of the 56 million viewers who witnessed his meltdown know nothing about Sherman outside of football, nor do they care. All this did was put a bullseye on Sherman and his team.

  11. dirtydrew - Jan 21, 2014 at 10:56 PM

    Except he would charge the mound and kick your ass. Baseball players are such wimps. The big bad pitcher has the catcher and infield to back him up. The batter ought use the bat.

    • doctorofsmuganomics - Jan 21, 2014 at 11:22 PM

      Please. Tell us more about how tough football is

    • daveflyfish - Jan 23, 2014 at 5:45 PM

      Calling baseball players whimps behind the safety and anonymity of a computer is one of the whimpiest thing I can imagine. You’d defecate your pants if a guy like Verlander came after you.

  12. kelsey412 - Feb 2, 2014 at 9:09 AM

    Relax people. OMG

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