|Verlander takes aim at 'haters' with Instagram post.|
When it comes to sports athletes, people tend to forget that they are indeed human, imperfect, and flawed just like the rest of us. We don't have the skill set they do, but we like to think that we know what an athlete should do or not do in his/her off-time.
Case in point, my favorite Baseball player, Detroit Tigers' starting pitcher, Justin Verlander. Verlander and the Detroit Tigers are currently in Chicago playing the White Sox. During their "off-day", Verlander posted an Instagram of him & his girlfriend (and supermodel) Kate Upton at Chicago's Shedd Aquarium. The haters quickly jumped on & slammed Verlander to bits, stating he should be rehabbing & not enjoying himself. My wife, Becky, shared this with me, before Bleacher Report and The Oakland Press started sharing this -- due to the fact that my wife thinks Verlander is really cute & follows him on Instagram; For the record she says that she follows him for his good sense of humor & interesting pictures he posts.
This of course, is not the first of all the 'hater' action that Verlander has had to experience, nor is it the first time as a Verlander-fan (such as myself) have heard of it, as well. In fact, I grow increasingly tired of it, these supposed fans of the Tigers had no problem cheering him on while he won the A.L. Cy Young & A.L. Most Valuable Player Awards in the same season (2011), and leading the Tigers to the 2012 World Series (played in the 2006 World Series as well). My own father and mother have been drinking from the Verlander Hater-rade as well -- My mom hated the fact that when Joe Buck & Tim McCarver was doing one of those somewhat-annoying interviews from the dugouts during a game in 2013, that Verlander didn't correct Buck for addressing him as the defending A.L. Cy Young (when it was actually Max Scherzer in 2012).
My mom would also say things like, "I just don't like him."
I reply: "But mom... He does things for Military Veterans,"
I'm a former member of the U.S. Navy, by the way.
My Mom: "He just has an arrogance about him"
Arrogance? You mean, confidence? People often mistake confidence & swagger for arrogance, and I guess sometimes with both of those traits you have to have (somewhat of an) arrogance or ego to go along with that, and to have success. To be the best, you have to think you are the best -- no one is going to go out there and say "I suck at what I do."
Sure, Verlander is not part of the upper echelon of starting pitchers anymore, but he still has the stuff to return near the top, and capable of having at least a good second-half to his career. His career numbers, despite the 2014 dramatic drop-off, are still impressive; Add that to a productive second-half of his career and we will certainly hear Cooperstown talk when J.V's career is over with. According to some of the haters out there, his career is already over with.
Justin decided to take a playful jab at the haters, with this Instagram photo below, stating "Dear Haters... I have heard you. Therefore since I have done all the rehab I can possibly do already I shall not move from my bed nor enjoy my life whatsoever for the rest of the day so you think I'm trying." Followed by hash tags of your welcome, hateonhaters, and lovetherealfans.
|Verlander's Instagram that was posted on May 4th.|
I know some people also want to label him as distracted as in distracted by his relationship with Kate Upton -- but that is ridiculous, we (my wife & I) are not huge fans of Kate, but everyone (for the most part) deserve to be happy, he should be able to do things that make him happy in life.
We need to quit holding our heroes or stars up as being superheroes, and know that they are vulnerable to have down years or to suffer unfortunate injuries. It's not their fault if they got paid X-amount of dollars by their owners, it's funny how those fans (the haters) loved that we (the Tigers) shelled out the money for Verlander's extension, but the moment things go wrong, oh my god, the shy is falling! Then all the negative attacks on the player.
Some players do kind of ask for it, but very, very few -- obviously, Alex Rodriguez is a magnet for that, and usually creates his own problems. But most don't ask for it, Pedro Martinez was just featured in a recent Sports Illustrated, speaking of how he just got a contract extension with the Red Sox, and ended up pitching this lousy game (in fact, according to him, the worst game of his career), and remembers while going back to the dugout after being pulled by the manager, of a fan shouting out something on the lines "Is that what we are paying you $17.5 million for?" Pedro responded by giving the fan the stare-down as if he was a New York Yankee in the batter's box. I'm sure that fan didn't mind the fact that Pedro and his teammates eventually snapped the curse in 2004.
I do recognize the fact that it's a what have you done for me lately world that we live in, and athletes like Verlander know this as much as we the fans know.
Knowing Verlander's determination & love for the game, he doesn't like the fact that he's hurt as much as you do, it's frustrating to him to not being able to do the thing he absolutely loves, and that's pitching. If anyone can return to the top, it's this guy, and I look forward to it. If not, then thanks for the memories, J.V., you are still a hero to me -- but my gut says he'll rebound nicely.
So watch out haters!