ESPN.COM: The Houston Astros denied a reporter access to Justin Verlander after the team’s 2-1 loss to the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night.
At the pitcher’s request, Detroit Free Press writer Anthony Fenech was not allowed to attend Verlander’s postgame media availability, Astros vice president of communications Gene Dias told the newspaper. Verlander refused to speak to any reporters with Fenech in attendance.
Verlander tweeted Thursday morning that he refused to talk to Fenech “because of his unethical behavior in the past,” saying the newspaper has not engaged with him on the issue.
Fenech was allowed to enter the Astros’ clubhouse when Verlander was done speaking, about six minutes after the general clubhouse opening.
“Blocking a working reporter from doing his job is unprofessional, disappointing and intolerable,” Free Press executive editor Peter Bhatia said. “We will be protesting to MLB and the Astros.”
Free Press sports editor Chris Thomas also tweeted that neither he nor his reporter has heard from Verlander. Thomas added that he is “more than happy” to speak with Verlander about the conflict.
Verlander had made his displeasure with Fenech known at least twice before Wednesday night. He refused to talk to reporters with Fenech in attendance on Tuesday, and Dias told the writer before Wednesday’s game that Verlander didn’t want him at his postgame session.
MLB released a statement Thursday afternoon saying Fenech should have been allowed in the clubhouse.
“Per our Club-Media Regulations, the reporter should have been allowed to enter the clubhouse postgame at the same time as the other members of the media,” MLB said. “We have communicated this to the Astros.”
ESPN and all the other news outlets can talk about media regulations, rules, etc but I’ll tell the people exactly what fucking happened in common man terms.
Verlander absolutely despises Anthony French, a writer for Detroit Free Press. I don’t know the crux of the beef but Verlander claims Anthony has done some unethical, shady shit in the past:
Verlander knows the Detroit media very well, having played in Detroit for 12 years and while I do not know the story behind Verlander hating Anthony, I do know you don’t hold a three year grudge for no reason.
Everyone also knows Verlander is a chill, laid back dude, so for him to be this fired up he probably has a fairly good reason. And honestly, Anthony looks like a complete fucking tool, so, I have no reason to doubt Verlander.
Either way, Verlander was pitching last night and he knew this Anthony dweeb would show up to the post game for the sole purpose of getting under his skin.
But Verlander isn’t an idiot. He’s a proactive, smart and professional. Which is why he personally called Detriot Free Press prior to the game to politely ask they send one of their other numerous writers to do the post-game questions rather than Anthony
But Detroit Free Press didn’t want to comply with the request. Why?
Because they didn’t want a baseball story.
They didn’t want to write about Verander’s ELEVEN strikeouts.
Nope, they wanted TO BE the story. Click bait sluts. Which is why instead of sending another reporter to speak to Verlander, they still sent this Anthony asshole.
Then when Verlander tells Anthony to go kick rocks, Anthony acts shocked and as if Verander just violated his constitutional rights.
If you don’t think this was the Detroit Free Press game plan all along, then look at their twitter or website:
Nothing but stories about their own-selves. Pathetic.
Detroit actually won the game 2-1. It was an incredible game, especially for Detroit fans. They were -400 underdogs with their former star on the mound and they actually beat him! But like I said, Detroit Free Press didn’t want to write a baseball story, they wanted to be the story.
Now, instead of the Verlanders celebrating Kate’s 27th Birthday week, they are forced to deal with these Detroit scum bags.