Drew’s Morning Dish — Fri., October 11

October 11, 2013 | Drew Forrester

I guess that’s why you pay Justin Verlander $20 million a year.

Last night’s outstanding effort in Game 5 of the ALDS with Oakland not only extended his scoreless streak vs. the A’s to 30 consecutive innings, but it puts Detroit back in the ALCS for the third straight year.  As a fan of a team who hasn’t been to the ALCS since 1997, I can’t fathom what it’s like in the Motor City again this October — three straight years in the proverbial “final four” of baseball’s post-season competition.

Anyway, back to Verlander.

The much-discussed $180 million dollar deal he signed prior to the 2012 season is still “reasonable” these days at $20 million per-campaign.  It stays there for one more season before jumping up to $28 million-per for the remainder of the contract.  That said, he’s earning his 2015, 2016 and 2017 salaries right now, when he takes the ball in a do-or-die situation and delivers a gem like he did on Thursday night.  You can count on one hand how many pitchers in the big leagues have been good as Verlander over the last five years…and it’s rare to see one of these “highly-paid” superstars deliver in the clutch like he seems to do time and time again.

Now, it looks like he’ll get the ball in Game 3 and, possibly Game 7 of the upcoming series with the Red Sox.  If he disposes of the boys from Boston on those two occasions, you’ll start hearing people talk about Hall of Fame for him, given what he’s done over the last eight seasons.

Side note:  While driving the back roads of suburban Richmond last weekend searching for Kinloch Golf Club, I saw a small sign tucked up next to a lonely tree — “Welcome to Manakin-Sabot, birthplace of Justin Verlander”.

So there’s that…


Adam Jones has a lot of baseball left in his career, so this isn’t an effort to push him out early, but he was OUTSTANDING last night as part of the pre-game show leading up to the A’s-Tigers battle.

Insightful, articulate, cerebral — just terrific.

Most of the players – current and “ex” – who try their hand at TV aren’t very good at it, frankly, but Jones was the exception, I thought.

I was overly impressed.


John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco have never lost to an NFC team in Baltimore.

That’s true.  In five previous years, they’ve handled all ten visiting NFL opponents in their home stadium.

Make it 11-0 on Sunday when the Packers come to town.

I know, I know, Aaron Rodgers is really good.  And, honestly, he is.  The Packers offense could certainly be problematic for the Ravens defense, but Green Bay’s defense isn’t very good and that will be the story of Sunday’s affair in Baltimore.

Ravens win 29-24.


I think the Machado knee surgery is a good thing, honestly.

Get in there now, clean it up, make him feel good about it and move on.

If he would have gone through the re-hab process and then, in January, tested it with no positive results, the surgery would have knocked him out for most of the season.

This, now, essentially guarantees he’ll be available for most or even perhaps all of next season.

It’s the right move.


Glen from Catonsville emailed me and asked what I thought about the Juan Dixon situation at Maryland and the fact he won’t let freshman Roddy Peters wear his #3 this season.

I read Dixon’s comments yesterday about the legacy of #3 at Maryland and how it represents MORE than just him…that it symbolizes a championship run and a special era in College Park.

I don’t buy that at all.  Not as a reason for not allowing Peters to wear #3, anyway.  Dixon wasn’t the only guy on the team that year.  It’s almost “out of line” to say, “Well, MY number symbolizes a great year at Maryland, so no one should ever wear it again.”

That’s wrong.

But…I also agree that Peters shouldn’t wear #3.

No one else should.

If Maryland wanted to do this “the right way”, they’d simply retire the #34 of Len Bias and the #3 of Juan Dixon.  Period.

Dixon wouldn’t have to come up with any sappy love-stories about how his number represents all that’s good about Maryland basketball during the championship run.

And, yes, I know there’s some bad blood right now between Maryland, Turgeon and Dixon.  None of that, though, has anything to do with the fact that no other Maryland basketball player ever deserves to wear #3 again.

Just retire Dixon’s number and let’s try and repair the relationship.

This is all on Mark Turgeon.  When Roddy Peters called and said, “I’d like to wear #3”, Turgeon should have simply said, “Well, that’s not going to happen.  Gary didn’t allow anyone to wear it due to his affection and respect for Juan Dixon and I’m going to uphold that tradition because Gary means that much to the program here in College Park.”