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Ace Verlander now Detroit's biggest question

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07:20 AM ET 08.28 | For years, Justin Verlander has been the answer. Opening Day starter? Verlander. The guy who would stop your losing streak? Verlander. A playoff series ruler and, yes, savior, as was the case in last year's first round against the A's? It was their faithful ace, Verlander. Tuesday night at Comerica Park, the pitcher who for so long has been a solution to Tigers problems and slumps, instead ranked as the team's No. 1 question. "I really don't know the answer to that," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said, after he was asked to explain Verlander's latest mystery act, which went down as a 6-3 loss to the A's in a rain-crimped game. "I really don't know what to tell you." Down the clubhouse corridor, standing against his locker, Verlander was as confused as his bosses.

The Detroit News

Justin Verlander, Getty Images Justin Verlander, Getty Images
Comment #1 has been removed
August 28, 2013  09:32 AM ET

Verlander's going Zito. The Angels should have signed this guy

August 28, 2013  09:44 AM ET

Which begs the question,-why such a rush to sign him long term when they had time left on his old contract? Not that he is some bum, but why the rush?

August 28, 2013  09:54 AM ET

Scherzer is having quite the year, hats off to him!

August 28, 2013  10:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#1):

Seems like. Sanchez and Scherzer certainly look better now.

If Verlander pulls it together by the playoffs Detroit will be so tough.

August 28, 2013  11:01 AM ET

Big contract, big-canned girlfriend, big ego. He's getting soft.

August 28, 2013  11:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

Which begs the question,-why such a rush to sign him long term when they had time left on his old contract? Not that he is some bum, but why the rush?

The closer a player gets to free agency, the more leverage they have -- obviously provided the player continues to perform consistently. Also, the closer a player gets to free agency, the more sense it makes for him to take the rest of the risk, and test the waters.

August 28, 2013  11:11 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

If Verlander pulls it together by the playoffs Detroit will be so tough.

If they make the playoffs.

August 28, 2013  11:44 AM ET
QUOTE(#5):

If Verlander pulls it together by the playoffs Detroit will be so tough.

I'm sure he's glad he won't have to face Pablo Sandoval again...

August 28, 2013  12:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#8):

If they make the playoffs.

Haha - funny. They have 3 easy wins coming this weekend.

August 28, 2013  01:22 PM ET
QUOTE(#6):

Big contract, big-canned girlfriend, big ego. He's getting soft.

Big-canned girlfriend?

Kate dumped his underperforming arse.

August 28, 2013  01:35 PM ET
QUOTE(#7):

The closer a player gets to free agency, the more leverage they have -- obviously provided the player continues to perform consistently. Also, the closer a player gets to free agency, the more sense it makes for him to take the rest of the risk, and test the waters.

He was signed from that last $80 million until 2015. Why the rush..matters not. done now..but if some of their other pitchers out perform him these next few years, then what will it take to keep them?

August 28, 2013  01:38 PM ET
QUOTE(#10):

Haha - funny. They have 3 easy wins coming this weekend.

More famous last words were never spoken. The baseball gods have taken note of you pomposity.

August 28, 2013  02:14 PM ET
QUOTE(#12):

He was signed from that last $80 million until 2015. Why the rush..

The closer a player gets to free agency, the more leverage they have -- obviously provided the player continues to perform consistently. Also, the closer a player gets to free agency, the more sense it makes for him to take the rest of the risk, and test the waters.

They extended him when he had two more seasons left on his contract. Had they waited until he only had one, he'd have had more leverage.

August 28, 2013  02:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

The closer a player gets to free agency, the more leverage they have -- obviously provided the player continues to perform consistently. Also, the closer a player gets to free agency, the more sense it makes for him to take the rest of the risk, and test the waters. They extended him when he had two more seasons left on his contract. Had they waited until he only had one, he'd have had more leverage.

Yeah, I get it. But I would be surprised if they wish they had not waited longer now. Not like he is a bum or bust, but is he all that going forward?

August 28, 2013  02:18 PM ET
QUOTE(#14):

The closer a player gets to free agency, the more leverage they have -- obviously provided the player continues to perform consistently. Also, the closer a player gets to free agency, the more sense it makes for him to take the rest of the risk, and test the waters. They extended him when he had two more seasons left on his contract. Had they waited until he only had one, he'd have had more leverage.

That all said, I think Dombrowski is an idiot, and I've been publicly thankful that although Ilitich throws tons of cash at the Tigers, he lets Dombrowski spend it.

A more competent GM could potentially dominate the AL Central with that kind of payroll.

August 28, 2013  02:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#15):

Yeah, I get it. But I would be surprised if they wish they had not waited longer now. Not like he is a bum or bust, but is he all that going forward?

Oh, I understand your point, but I can understand why the Tigers would want to consider the deal.

On the flip side, if he had continued to be (or reverts to) the same dominant Justin Verlander, the Tigers could potentially be patting themselves on the back for money saved.

Another early extension that I questioned the hell out of was Ryan Howard's.

August 28, 2013  02:31 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Oh, I understand your point, but I can understand why the Tigers would want to consider the deal.On the flip side, if he had continued to be (or reverts to) the same dominant Justin Verlander, the Tigers could potentially be patting themselves on the back for money saved.Another early extension that I questioned the hell out of was Ryan Howard's.

Well done on that one, Miss Cleo.

August 28, 2013  04:08 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Oh, I understand your point, but I can understand why the Tigers would want to consider the deal.On the flip side, if he had continued to be (or reverts to) the same dominant Justin Verlander, the Tigers could potentially be patting themselves on the back for money saved.Another early extension that I questioned the hell out of was Ryan Howard's.

Position players at least make some sense, but pitchers? The fall out will be every guy they want to keep now. The bar got set higher....

 
August 28, 2013  07:44 PM ET

I copied this from the Detroit news so forgive any ?s
Tigers fans have been spoiled by his mastery in 2011, when he won both the MVP and Cy Young awards, and 2012, when he should???ve won the Cy Young (but lost narrowly to David Price). It probably was an unsustainable pace for anybody not named Sandy Koufax. Tom Seaver went 14-2 with a 2.54 ERA in a strike-shortened year for the 1981 Reds; he came back the next season and was 5-13 with a 5.50 ERA. Tim Lincecum won Cy Youngs in 2008 and ???09, but then spent much of last postseason relegated to the bullpen. Roy Halladay was 22-7 in winning the Cy Young in 2003; the following year, he was 8-8 with a 4.20 ERA, though he battled injuries.

So it could be he's having a bad year, and if the Kate rumor is true-boo hoo

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