Justin Verlander on Kate Upton: "Who knows if I'm even here if it wasn't for her?"
1. Justin Verlander has opened up about his relationship/marriage in a way rarely seen by athletes today.
The Astros right-hander, who, of course, is married to Kate Upton, told Bleacher Report that without the SI Swimsuit model, his current wave of success doesn't happen. Verlander also revealed that things had hit a very dark lowpoint for him thanks to a slew of injuries and his body breaking down.
Here's what he told B/R about Upton's impact on his life:
“Who knows if I’m even here if it wasn’t for her? She was instrumental in me not…like, jumping off a bridge. I was depressed and kind of just upset at the world and trying to hide my own s--t."
“F--k, man,” he says, voice shaky. “She was what I needed.”
“I don’t like to talk to people about being hurt. As athletes, you’re not supposed to. It’s an excuse. … But she was someone I could talk to. I mean, basically a therapist,” he says. “Somebody I could trust with … worries about my career. Worries about, Can I make it? Worries about what I’m going through to get back. And just the overall s--ttiness of it all.”
Very powerful stuff from Verlander, who, thanks to Upton's help, got healthy and has had quite a renassaince, going 11-6 with a 2.19 ERA this season after going 5-0 with a 1.06 ERA for Houston last season following his late-season trade from Detroit.
2. It's Thursday, so that means we have a brand spankin' new episode for the SI Sports Media Podcast for you. This week's show features an interview with the entire cast of the best morning sports show on TV—the NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. Kay Adams, Nate Burleson, Peter Schrager and Kyle Brandt all joined me to talk about how the show got put together, how they strike a balance of doing hardcore NFL segments with fun, light-hearted segments, whether they ever hear from the NFL about discussing controversial topics, their favorite guests, the all-time greatest HBO shows and much more. You can listen to the podcast below or download it on iTunes.
3. The Indians busted out the baby powder celebration last night after a walk-off homer by Francisco Lindor and while this provides a great visual, it really has to suck for the person getting doused.
4. Turn the volume up and listen to how excited these young campers get when they are surprised by Dirk Nowitzki. Very cool moment.
5. Reason 68,193 why MLB umpires are awful: When Nationals young stud Juan Soto came to bat in the sixth inning Wednesday night, he told home plate umpire Greg Gibson that he didn't like a strike three call in his previous at-bat. Gibson asked Soto to repeat what he said, so he did. And then Gibson ejected him before he even saw a pitch in the at-bat.
6. Best-selling author and podcast host, Jim Miller, is back with another chapter in his "Origins" series and this one is all about Nick Saban and Alabama football. Miller not only interviewed former Crimson Tide players for the podcast, but he also spoke with Lane Kiffin, Saban and Saban's wife, Terry.
7. For no reason except that it's awesome, here's Weird Al + Weezer doing "Africa" by Toto.
8. RANDOM STAND UP VIDEO OF THE DAY: Wanda Sykes is one of the most underrated stand ups out there.
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IN CLOSING: There is nothing in life more useless than the first preseason game of the NFL season. Having said that, I CANNOT WAIT TO WATCH BAKER MAYFIELD IN ACTION TONIGHT!