Verlander defends Fulmer in testy exchange with reporter

Justin Verlander brought the heat when a reporter denied that his teammate, Michael Fulmer, is more deserving than New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez of the American League Rookie of the Year award.

The Twitter exchange between Verlander and FOX Sports’ Dieter Kurtenbach began when the Detroit Tigers ace quoted a line from a Kurtenbach article titled: “Why Gary Sanchez should win AL Rookie of the Year.”

Kurtenbach didn’t stop there, challenging Tigers fans who came to their pitchers’ defense:

Verlander later clarified his argument, telling Matthew B. Mowery of the Oakland Press:

“Listen, when I was talking to this guy in particular, I have no problem – and this is what makes this game great and makes the awards great is having discussions. And what I didn’t approve of is his wording in a paragraph where he said all of the candidates have performed poorly. That’s not the case whatsoever. There’s a number of guys having great seasons and I just pointed out that the guy that’s on our team is also having a great season. And if you took a month or two or three clip, he was having a historic season. That was my only point. I’m not putting down Gary Sanchez or any of the other guys. But I took offense with the way he worded some things.”

The AL Rookie of the Year discussion has heated up as of late thanks to Sanchez’s historic performance. Since being called up Aug. 3, he’s hit an outstanding .345/.422/.756 on the way to becoming the fastest player in MLB history to hit 19 home runs in 45 games.

Fulmer has long been considered the favorite for the AL Rookie of the Year, posting an AL-leading 2.95 ERA with 11 wins, 129 strikeouts, and a 1.05 WHIP.

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MLB | theScore

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