Verlander talks with CNN about potential of gay teammate, $200 million, and his golf game

(WXYZ) - Justin Verlander is two years away from free agency, but the Tigers pitcher has been making his rounds this spring with one national media outlet after another.

Tuesday, CNN aired an interview with Verlander and Carol Costello on the potential of having a gay teammate, the possibility of a $200 million deal, and his golf game.

Verlander was asked if he believes there are already gay players in baseball.

"I'm sure there are. As with any sport, I'm sure a gay player would be hesitant to come out," he responded.

He was then asked about playing with a gay teammate, and his answer was layered.

Verlander said it would take the right environment, and a family atmosphere to ease the process for a gay player to come out. He said the Tigers have that type of clubhouse.

"We've got 25 guys and our goal is to win a World Series. What your sexual orientation is, I don't see how that fits into our ultimate goal."

Then Costello asked him why there is controversy around the idea.

"It's a tricky subject because you start getting into locker rooms, and walking around nude. I think that would be more of a tricky subject than anything."

Money (keeps) talking

Verlander said his comments last month about being the first $200 million pitcher in baseball were taken out of context, but he wouldn't take anything back.

"Do you want to be the first $200 million pitcher? Uh, yeah. What kind of question is that?" he asked with a smile.

Verlander said it remains to be seen if that dollar amount will be hit, and expanded on his high regard for free agency and big paydays.

Big tree fall hard

Verlander said his confidence took a hit after playing in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am and watching the tour professionals up close.

The avid golfer said he was blown away by the talent of the PGA golfers, and it put his game into persepective.

"Justin Verlander was humbled?" Costello asked.

"I wouldn't say I was humbled. I had a new respect," he responded.



Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli.

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