For the memory bank
Justin Verlander decided to politely decline comment on the record this afternoon after reading Twins leadoff man Carlos Gomez’s quotes about him in Monday’s St. Paul Pioneer Press. If you didn’t see it (it’s still on the pioneerpress.com site), Gomez said he and Alexi Casilla kept faking bunts to agitate him on Sunday. From the article:
Verlander “is great pitcher,” Gomez said, “but his mind is not good.”
That’s why the pair of Domincans kept faking bunts (though each actually did bunt in the third inning, both right back to Verlander for easy outs). “He be (angry) and then he try to throw too hard and then he throw (a) ball,” Gomez said. “He throw many pitches and get (mad) and make a mistake for (Joe) Mauer or (Justin) Morneau. That’s what I told Casilla — ‘Me and you go to work on this guy and (mess) up his mind, and then Justin and Mauer get good opportunities to hit.’ ”
Sure enough, Verlander got angry, and he stared at Gomez when he came to the plate in the fifth inning. Gomez said he relished the confrontation, because it meant Verlander was focused more on him than on his pitching.
” ‘Why you look at me like that? No, no, you no intimidate me,’ ” Gomez described of his reaction, which was to return the right-hander’s glare. “I’m not a player you look at and my head (goes) down. Hell no, I look at you, too.”
Gomez went on to say that he’ll do the same thing the next time they face each other to agitate him, even though Verlander didn’t exactly fall apart from it Sunday.
Verlander looked like he wanted to give a rebuttal Tuesday, but he decided better of it. Needless to say, though, there was some surprise in the Tigers clubhouse that someone with as little time in the Majors as Gomez would make such statements.