Tigers' Justin Verlander declines to discuss photo hacking scandal

Wednesday September 3rd, 2014

Photos of celebrities, including one of Justin Verlander with his girlfriend, SI swimsuit model Kate Upton, both naked, were stolen in a hacking scandal and posted online over the weekend, but Verlander declined to discuss the incident before the Tigers' game in Cleveland on Tuesday.

"I'm not going to comment on my personal life," the 31-year-old said, according to an Associated Press report. "I never have and I never plan on it. I keep my personal life personal. The focus for me is on the Detroit Tigers. I don't want to take any focus away from this team and what we're trying to accomplish. We're in the middle of a pennant race. We're trying to win a pennant and all of my focus currently is on doing whatever I can to help our team win our division."

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Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Kirsten Dunst were among the other celebrities whose photos were hacked. The FBI has launched an investigation into the matter.

"I know a couple of guys wanted to get some questions from me yesterday," Verlander said. "Instead of everybody kind of sneaking around and getting questions at specific times, it's just easier to say, 'I'm not commenting on that. I'm trying to win a pennant.' I know some guys are probably getting a lot of pressure from other people to get quotes or whatever. I knew I'd be getting a lot of questions. This is it."

Verlander, a six-time All-Star and the 2011 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, is 12-11 with a 4.68 ERA — his highest since 2008 — in 27 starts this season. The 10-year veteran is 149-88 with a 3.52 ERA in his career.

He is scheduled to start Wednesday in Cleveland.

"I've always been good at that," Verlander said of ignoring outside influences. "This is my life. Baseball's my life. You're able to focus on that especially when you're on the mound doing what I've done my whole life."

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- Chris Mascaro

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