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Justin Verlander won’t say if Kate Upton is his girlfriend

There has been intense speculation since July that Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander and supermodel Kate Upton are dating, and even family members seemed to have confirmed their relationship. But the reigning AL MVP won’t say whether or not Upton is his girlfriend.

“I’m not confirming or denying anything,” Verlander told USA Today’s Bob Nightengale.

Nightengale says Verlander laughed while giving his response, and acknowledged that even his teammates are curious.

“I’ll leave that to my grandfather. God bless him,” Verlander said.

Verlander was referring to his grandfather, Richard Verlander Sr., who seemingly confirmed in an interview with Celebuzz that his grandson and Upton were dating. Verlander seemed to find it pretty disturbing that media members called his grandfather to get a story.

“I never thought I’d have to prepare my grandfather for the media,” Verlander told USA TODAY Sports. “It’s a whole different world. I can’t believe that people would call my grandparents. It’s tough when people start trying to dig into your personal life.”

Verlander’s father, Richard Jr., expressed a similar sentiment, finding it odd that someone would reach out to his 87-year-old father for the story.

Between sports fans and Kate Upton fans, there is heavy public interest in the subject matter. We understand why Verlander would attempt to keep his relationship status private, but based on all the circumstantial evidence, it’s pretty obvious that they are dating. No need for Verlander to keep matters private — he should be proud!

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Justin Verlander’s grandfather seemingly confirms pitcher is dating Kate Upton

Thank goodness for the elderly and their honesty. Over the summer, rumors began swirling that Tigers ace Justin Verlander is dating swimsuit model Kate Upton. The gossip arose when Upton was spotted in Verlander’s suite at a Tigers game in July and a report claimed they attended an Aerosmith concert together and were getting “chummy” afterward. But it’s not like we heard any of this from Verlander’s own grandfather — until now.

Justin’s grandfather, Richard Verlander Sr., spoke to Celebuzz recently and all but confirmed his grandson and Upton are an item.

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Justin Verlander got Miguel Cabera an engraved watch to celebrate Triple Crown

Justin Verlander was one of the biggest Miguel Cabrera supporters this season as Miggy accomplished one of the rarest feats in baseball. Cabrera captured the coveted Triple Crown on Wednesday, becoming the first player in 45 years to lead the league in batting average, home runs and RBI. After the game, Verlander presented Cabrera with an engraved watch to congratulate him.

“It says, ‘Congratulations Miguel Cabrera, 2012 AL Triple Crown,’ on the back of it,” Verlander explained according to the Detroit Free Press. “I had the idea, and I asked a couple of guys whether it should be a team thing or from me personally. Prince (Fielder) said, ‘It might be special just from you.’”

Before we go any further, I have to ask — aren’t baseball players superstitious? It would have taken some unfortunate coincidences for Cabrera to not win the Triple Crown heading into Wednesday’s game, but I’m surprised Verlander had a watch engraved crowning him the Triple Crown winner before it actually happened. The again, this is the same guy who said it would be “a joke” if Miggy doesn’t win the AL MVP, so you know he is confident in his teammate’s abilities.

“We’ve been playing together for years now, and it’s kind of a special moment between two guys who are friends and teammates,” Verlander said. “I think we (Cabrera’s teammates) are all kind of in shock. It was an honor to be able to watch this entire season. I think some of us had to tell him how big of a deal it was. He’s the best player on the planet.”

Some would argue that Verlander is the best pitcher on the planet. And you know what the two best buddies would enjoy celebrating more than a Triple Crown or an AL MVP? Hint: it rhymes with curled theories.

Justin Verlander makes a very strong push for Miguel Cabrera as AL MVP

In years past, the MVP race has had a tendency to become clearer as the season draws to a close. That has not been the case in the American League this season. Although Jim Leyland would have told you otherwise, Angels rookie phenom Mike Trout looked like the clear-cut favorite for AL MVP back at the beginning of August. Miguel Cabrera was a close second, but over the past month it has turned into 1A and 1B.

With Cabrera closing in on the Triple Crown, Last year’s AL MVP Justin Verlander feels that it would be ridiculous to give the award to anyone other than his teammate.

“Bull (expletive),” Verlander said on Wednesday when informed that some analysts say they would pick Trout even if Miggy wins the Triple Crown. “That’s ridiculous. When was the last time there was a Triple Crown winner, ’67? OK.

“That would be a joke in my opinion. Come on. Even the fact he’s one home run away (from a Triple Crown) is just absolutely absurd. Just watch him. And watch him when we need him, down this home stretch. Oh my god. You want to talk about MVP. Compare their numbers the last two months of the season. Big difference.”

Cabrera leads the AL with a .333 batting average and 130 RBI. He is in second by one homer behind Josh Hamilton with 41. The last player to win the Triple Crown was Carl Yastrzemski in 1967, so it is clearly one of the rarest feats in all of professional sports. If Trout were to win the award, it would be the result of voters keeping amazing defensive plays like this one and this one in mind in addition to his impressive batting stats.

As impressive as Trout has been, I tend to agree with Verlander that a player who wins the Triple Crown would have to be the league MVP. At the same time, the fact that someone is in line for the Triple Crown and hasn’t run away with the award is a reminder of just how phenomenal Trout has been.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Jerry Lai-US PRESSWIRE

Is Kate Upton dating Justin Verlander?

No, Ellen DeGeneres, Kate Upton is not dating Mark Sanchez. But she might be dating Justin Verlander.

Over the weekend, Upton was seen (drunk?) in Verlander’s suite at a Tigers game in Detroit. They were in that MLB 2k12 commercial together earlier this year, after all. So, it might have been a case of a friend simply hooking up a friend.

But there’s more to this picture that leads us to think they are more than friends. It turns out the supermodel and reigning AL MVP and Cy Young winner were spotted together at an Aerosmith concert last Thursday. But wait, there’s even more! Following said Aerosmith concert, they were seen getting quite cozy with each other at a bar (sketchy photographic evidence here). More from CBS Detroit:

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Justin Verlander proves he eats Taco Bell night before starts (Picture)

We all know professional athletes have weird rituals and superstitions. For whatever reason, that is especially true for baseball players. When a starting pitcher tells us he loads up on In-N-Out Burger or eats fast food the night before a start, we typically take their word for it. But just in case you didn’t believe Justin Verlander when he said he eats Taco Bell the night before every one of his starts, the Tigers ace proved it via his Twitter account on Wednesday night — the night before Detroit’s opener against Boston.

The fact that Verlander can eat that stuff and get through a baseball game the following day is more impressive to me than watching him throw 100 mph in the ninth inning.

H/T Big League Stew
Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Justin Verlander has his own ‘Fastball Flakes’ cereal (Picture)

When you win the A.L. Cy Young and have your name thrown into the discussion for A.L. MVP, this is the stuff that happens. Fear not, Tigers fans. This isn’t some sort of lame money-making scheme. According to the Detroit Free Press, sales from Justin Verlander’s “Fastball Flakes” cereal benefit VA Hospitals in Detroit and Ann Arbor. The cereal is being sold through PLB Sports (PLBSports.com), which is a Pittsburgh-based company that makes athlete-endorsed products that sold for charity.

You should buy Fastball Flakes if you’re looking to contribute to a good cause, but don’t confuse them with a cereal like Wheaties or anything like that. Eating these flakes will not guarantee that you can throw 101 mph in the 9th inning.

H/T Hardball Talk