JV Tells Why Freep Reporter Was Blocked From Clubhouse

The Tigers pulled off a historic upset and cost two bettors a fortune	
				Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

A reporter for the Detroit Free Press was denied access to the Houston Astros clubhouse on Wednesday night until Justin Verlander finished his postgame media session.

"This action by the Astros violated the Major League Baseball club-media regulations, which are laid out in the Collective Bargaining Agreement, and the BBWAA expects Major League Baseball to respond accordingly and promptly".

The 2011 AL Cy Young victor and three-time Cy Young runner-up spent the better part of 13 seasons as a star with the Tigers.

Fenech first became the beat writer for the Tigers in 2015, which was at the tail end of Verlander's tenure in Detroit.

According to the Free Press, Astros vice president of communications Gene Dias relayed the message that Verlander wouldn't speak to any credentialed members of the media if Fenech was present there.

"Blocking a working reporter from doing his job is unprofessional, disappointing and intolerable", Bhatia said.


Verlander refused to speak to the media with Fenech there, explaining Thursday on his Twitter feed that it was due to "unethical behavior in the past".

Verlander did not specify what unethical behavior he was referring to; the Free Press said that neither Fenech, executive editor Peter Bhatia nor sports editor Chris Thomas had ever been contacted by Verlander to address concerns about reporting.

The Astros lost Wednesday in Houston 2-1 to the Tigers.

Dias didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from The Associated Press. "We have communicated this to the Astros".

The Astros, however, stood by their decision to keep Fenech out of the clubhouse. Fenech said he approached Verlander and asked about Wednesday's game, but Verlander walked away after telling him, "I'm not answering your questions".

"We chose to prioritize these factors while making this decision. We believe that our course of action in this isolated case was appropriate". This season, Mets manager Mickey Callaway and starter Jason Vargas got into it with a reporter in the clubhouse.

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