Tigers' Justin Verlander talks about $200 million, gay rights, Pebble Beach
Mar 05, 2013 (Detroit Free Press - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) --
Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander today continued his spring of yakking it up with national media. Today's interviewer was CNN's Carol Costello.
Among the highlights aired this morning were further Verlander thoughts on becoming baseball's first $200-million pitcher (summary: he wants to get paid) and what it would be like to have a gay teammate (he's fine with it):
-- On whether he was humbled by playing with pro golfers in the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am last month: "I wouldn't say I was humbled. I got a new respect."
-- On comments he made about the $200 million: "They got taken out of context a little bit, but I'm not going to take back what I said. Do you want to be the first $200-million pitcher Yeah, absolutely."
-- On whether he simply wants to go to whatever team pays him the most money: "I don't quite feel that way. However ... you take a lot of things into consideration when you start talking about extensions. Former players worked extremely hard and risked their careers, even, so we could have free agency. I think you do a bit of a disservice to that if you don't honor what they did and use the system to your advantage."
-- But $200 million, Costello asked "Well, the team is bringing in a lot of money, too," Verlander said.
-- On whether a gay baseball player would feel comfortable coming out: "Given the right situation and a team that has a family atmosphere, absolutely. We have that here. I don't think one of our players would be afraid to come out. What your sexual orientation is, I don't see how that affects our goal as a family."
-- Costello brought up how he's still looking for his first big-league hit. "Thanks for that," Verlander said. "I've been saying for the last seven years that this is my year, so I'm going to go the other direction and say I will not get a hit, who cares I'm going to do everything I possibly can to jinx it the other way."
"So you admit ... " Costello started. "I suck," Verlander said with a smile. "You're probably the first person ever to hear me say that."
Here is the full interview:
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