Feb 18, 2014; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander during a team practice at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports
Has Tigers ace Justin Verlander changed up his pre-game stomach-rotting faux-Mexican food preferences?
It appears so. It appears Justin Verlander has given up Taco Bell.
The superstitious Verlander rose to fame and fortune (and landing SI swimsuit models) partly thanks to a night-before-game ritual that included chowing down on Taco Bell tacos, a Mexican pizza and a Cheesy Gordita Crunch. All sans tomatoes.
But that ritual didn’t do him any favors in 2013, when all his numbers dipped, and he fell behind Max Scherzer and maybe even Anibal Sanchez for the distinction of #1 horse on the Tigers staff.
He even broke up with Kate Upton for awhile, that’s how bad it got.
Hoping to swing his fortunes back to the good side, Verlander gave up his beloved Taco Bell.
Verlander wouldn’t come right out and say it, perhaps fearing that dissing Taco Bell outright would bring some kind of Montezuma’s Revenge-like wrath streaming from his bowels. But he did more-or-less confirm the switch.
“Last year was a year to change any superstitions that I wanted to change,” he told USA Today. “I’ll just leave that up to interpretation.”
He added, “I don’t want to hurt their feelings.”
Taco Bell has yet to comment on Verlander’s decision