Culture / Sporting Life

Justin Verlander’s Epic Profanity-Laced Speech Is the Best Part of Astros’ Worthy Celebration — the Ace Only Builds His Houston Legend

Making Everyone Appreciate How Special This Winning Is In the Most Real Way

BY // 09.20.22

Leave it to Justin Verlander, the 39-year-old sure Hall of Famer who’s seen so much and accomplished even more in baseball, to put the Houston Astros winning another division title in its proper freaking perspective. These Astros make winning look so routine that their fifth division title in six seasons (with only the pandemic-shortened 60 game season of 2020 preventing it from being six of six) never really seemed to be in doubt since June.

In fact, the now 98-51 Astros are cruising towards the best record and No. 1 overall seed in the American League in baseball’s new expanded playoff format. With no real serious challenger in sight, having long ago left the sputtering New York Yankees behind.

So yes, Monday night’s celebration in the Tampa Bay Rays’ outdated spaceship of a stadium long seemed inevitable. But that doesn’t mean it’s still not a freaking awesome accomplishment. Or another F-word awesome accomplishment.

Verlander drove that point home in a profanity-laced speech that Samuel L. Jackson and almost any Sopranos character would have absolutely loved. The clubhouse speech ended up being broadcast live in its entirety and full uncensored glory on the Astros’ flagship radio station 790 AM.

And nothing could have driven home the enormity of just what these Astros are accomplishing in this golden era of Houston baseball better.

“Being gone for the last couple years, guys, it just really puts things into perspective,” Verlander intoned. “These moments — even though we expected to be here — don’t take these little things for granted, man.

“This is fucking awesome to win. (Winning) your fucking division is not easy at this fucking level. I know we got bigger things in sight, but let’s fucking enjoy this fucking moment.”

With that Verlander unleashed the Astros for one of their more giddy champagne spraying celebrations of this recent Houston run. It’s almost like Verlander let the Astros loose with that impressive string of F-bombs. The ace gave everyone from the most brand new Astros like pitching phenom Hunter Brown to veteran tone setter Jose Altuve freedom to party like they meant it.

Because they should. Mean it — and let loose. Moments like this are still beyond precious in major sports. Even if these Astros often do make them look almost rote. And expected as flipping the pages of a calendar.

Astros fans have been more than a little spoiled by all this winning. But Justin Verlander reminded everyone of just how special it is in the most epic way possible.

Thank goodness 790 AM doesn’t have anyone operating the dump button at night. For in getting to hear Justin Verlander’s speech in its glorious uncensored entirety, everyone got a real glimpse at why his teammates love him so much.

Houston Astros received their AL Championship rings before they faced the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim, Monday,
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander enjoyed getting his American League Championship ring. (Photo by F. Carter Smith)

This is how you build on a legend. Justin Verlander’s place in Astros history already has long been secured. What he did after the last-minute trade deadline deal in 2017 to help power the franchise to its first World Series championship ever is forever part of Astros lore.

This amazing Cy Young-worthy post Tommy John surgery season he’s putting together this year is another near continuous highlight reel. Verlander is 17-3 with a 1.78 ERA and he may be almost single handily proving just how valuable pitcher wins actually are.

But that F-bomb speech is its own kind of moment that many Astros fans won’t soon forget.

Thank goodness 790 AM doesn’t have anyone operating the dump button at night. For in getting to hear Justin Verlander’s speech in its glorious uncensored entirety, everyone got a real glimpse at why his teammates love him so much.

Justin Verlander is that dude. Yes, the Astros ace may be the Tom Brady of baseball (minus the craziness of Brady’s 2022), a revolutionary game changer and real crossover sports celebrity who’s happily married to a supermodel. But he’s also still a guy who can relate to his teammates with some well-chosen words.

Talk about setting the stage for October in the best way possible.

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