Astros’ Justin Verlander Says Former Mets Teammates Denied ‘Diva’ Rumors

Astros’ Justin Verlander Says Former Mets Teammates Denied ‘Diva’ Rumors
Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIFebruary 22, 2024

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 20:   Justin Verlander #35 of the Houston Astros pitches during Game 5 of the ALCS between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field on Friday, October 20, 2023 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images

An anonymous New York Mets called ex-teammate (and now Houston Astros starting pitcher) a “diva” during a conversation with Mike Puma of the New York Post last August.

In an interview published Thursday morning with Jon Heyman of the New York Post, Verlander revealed that he spoke with ex-teammates to get their opinion on the matter, and everyone denied the take.

“Everyone I spoke to said, ‘JV that’s not the case,'” Verlander told Heyman.

Puma wrote that the anonymous Met recalled that Verlander “often complained about the Mets’ analytics department, which he deemed inferior to the one that served him in Houston.”

He also added that Verlander “was largely detached from teammates” and “didn’t add to the team’s identity.”

Verlander admitted to Heyman that he wasn’t “always the best teammate” during his time with the Detroit Tigers (2005-2017).

“I was like a horse with blinders on running a race. I’m in it. This is what it takes to be as great as I can be. Don’t get in my way,” Verlander said. “That didn’t provide a lot of bulls–t time. If you weren’t on that wavelength, we didn’t connect.”

Regardless of whether or not Verlander has been a good teammate through the years, there’s no denying the future Hall of Famer’s tremendous resume.

Verlander is a nine-time All-Star, three-time Cy Young winner and the 2011 American League MVP award winner. With 257 victories, Verlander also has an outside chance to become the first pitcher to join the 300-win club since Randy Johnson in 2009.

So it was with great fanfare that he joined the Mets on a two-year, $86.6 million deal in 2023. However, a team with World Series expectations struggled mightily, tore the roster apart at the trade deadline and finished with 75 wins. Verlander was traded back to his old team, the Houston Astros, on Aug. 1.

Two weeks later, the New York Post report dropped, and Verlander shortly posted this on X afterward.

Justin Verlander @JustinVerlander

pic.twitter.com/hhD8mN9vOk

Regardless of how things did or didn’t go down and how his ex-teammates feel about him, New York and Verlander have gone their separate ways. Verlander is with Houston, looking to lead the team to its third World Series since 2017.

Meanwhile, the Mets are trying to bounce back from a tough 2023 season, with the hope that star players such as Pete Alonso and Francisco Lindor can help them do so.

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