By: Will Burchfield
When Justin Verlander gave up a home run to his younger brother Ben during Spring Training last year, the Tigers ace knew he’d have a hard time living it down.
“He’ll enjoy it for a long time,” Verlander figured.
He was right.
A fan on Twitter last week asked the Verlander brothers how their most recent matchup ended up, and the younger of the two offered a coy reply.
Justin wasn’t so amused.
In a conversation with ESPN on Wednesday, he laughed and said, “I didn’t take too kindly to that. He had his moment, he hit the homer off me, we talked about it, but you don’t need to bring it up a year later. It doesn’t need to be brought up. I was a little upset about it, so as sibling rivalries go, I blocked him.”
The younger Verlander couldn’t believe it.
To Justin, it was all about keeping his younger brother in check.
“You have to,” he said.
A day later, Ben was seeking reconciliation.
“He ended up sending a bunch of tweets out to ask people to get back to me because he could no longer talk to me on Twitter,” Verlander said with a laugh.
As ESPN’s Jay Harris points out, the two brothers have mended the fence.
In other Verlander-related news, he took a Valentines Day trip to the movies with fellow pitchers Mike Pelfrey and Blaine Hardy. But the former two couldn’t quite fill the shoes of Verlander’s fiancé, Kate Upton, who on Wednesday was named the cover lady of Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue for the third year in a row.
“No offense to Blaine and Pelfrey, but pretty disappointing,” Verlander laughed. “I think I would have rather been with my fiancé, but obviously she’s doing some pretty cool stuff, and congratulations to her.”
Here are the three Tigers’ pitchers, fresh off the golf course and sharing a bag of popcorn.
“You’ve gotta check out the sock tans on there,” said Verlander. “I should have kept my golf shoes on like Blaine did in that photo, it’s pretty bad. (Jordan) Zimmermann got on me on Twitter, said it looks like I was still wearing shoes.”
All in all, though, Verlander enjoyed his afternoon with the boys.
“We shared the popcorn, it was nice, it was a cute date,” he said.