Alex Avila walked away shaking his head. Smiling, but shaking his head. Justin Verlander's batting-practice power was not a subject he wanted anything to do with. "Some guys get upset because I have more pop than they do," countered a kidding Verlander. Manager Jim Leyland wasn't even asked, because such a question instantly would have been regarded as "silly stuff." Which, of course, it is. On Twitter, though, one of Verlander's followers on Friday mentioned he saw him hit a home run during a 2012 batting practice session at Fenway Park and that he thought Verlander should be the first pitcher to participate in the Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game. "I wouldn't ever campaign for it," said Verlander, "but if there are those who want to on my behalf. . ." It's not going to happen. In 24 career at-bats, he doesn't even have a major-league hit and has put the ball in play 10 times. But he loves taking mighty cuts in batting practice, loves envisioning his first home run (some day), let alone his first hit, and truly believes he would not embarrass himself if given the chance. So Verlander played along with the idea before Friday night's game in Baltimore while Avila walked back and forth, muttering, "Oh, my God." It's true, though. Verlander has hit many home runs in batting practice. "In Houston," he said, "I nearly hit one completely out of the ballpark — and would have if it hadn't hit the train (that runs along a track in left field) there.
Tigers ace Verlander would love to compete in Home Run Derby
Detroit News | Jun 1