WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA - FEBRUARY 15: Houston Astros pitcher Justin Verlander (35) pitches off the 10-pack during workouts for Houston Astros pitchers and catchers at CACTI Park of the Palm Beaches on Thursday, Feb. 15, 2024, in West Palm Beach, Florida.
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Justin Verlander Addresses Being Deemed a ‘Diva'

Justin Verlander still isn't gotten over being called a "diva" by an anonymous player on the New York Mets, nearly six months after the New York Post article which cited the insult was released. 

In another New York Post article from Thursday, MLB Insider Jon Heyman said that he spoke with Verlander, and the 41 year old Houston Astros pitcher and future Hall of Famer said that he was so bothered by the "diva" comment — which he already addressed once, a few days after the article released — that he reached out former Mets teammates to check whether players in the organization really felt that way about him. 

"Everyone I spoke to said, 'JV that's not the case,'" Verlander said. 

So while at least one Mets player would disagree, Verlander's diva status doesn't seem to be the prevailing opinion — or perhaps the players Verlander contacted just weren't willing to call him a diva directly.

Regardless, Verlander did admit that moniker would have suited him earlier in his career. 

"I wasn't always the best teammate," Verlander said about his time on the Detroit Tigers. "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. If you weren't on that wavelength, we didn't connect." 

There was some speculation that the anonymous Mets player who made the "diva" comment was Max Scherzer; a fellow future Hall of Famer who was on both the Tigers and the Mets with Verlander — especially considering that the pair of pitching legends had an infamously icy relationship during their Detroit tenure.

Yet, Verlander dismissed Scherzer as a suspect by saying that he was, "very thankful we had the opportunity to play together again," and adding that the two often work out together in the offseason.

It doesn't sound like we'll ever get an answer about who called Verlander a diva to the New York Post — nor will we know whether the comment is accurate. 

What's for sure is what his failed Mets tenure is in the rearview, and Verlander's focus is on getting his arm healthy enough to pitch on opening day for the Houston Astros. 

If Verlander can help Houston claim another World Series trophy, we'd imagine that teammates will keep any negative comments about their ace to themselves. 

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