Astros in hot water with MLB
HOUSTON — Amid criticism from Major League Baseball, the Houston Astros on Thursday defended the team’s decision to deny a newspaper reporter access to the clubhouse until after ace pitcher Justin Verlander finished his postgame session with the media.
MLB said Wednesday night’s incident violated its media guidelines and the Detroit Free Press said barring its reporter, Anthony Fenech, was “intolerable.”
Verlander, who played 13 seasons for the Tigers, had just pitched a twohitter in a 2-1 loss to his former team. The Astros opened their clubhouse at 9:35 p.m. As the rest of the media was allowed to enter, Fenech, who has a credential issued by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, was stopped by three Astros security officials.
Fenech contacted MLB VP of communications Mike Teevan and was allowed in at 9:41 p.m., after Verlander had concluded his media session. Fenech approached Verlander, who said: “I’m not answering your questions.”
Verlander addressed the situation on Twitter, accusing Fenech of unspecified “unethical behavior in the past.”
The Astros said Fenech was “delayed temporarily.”
MLB’s Teevan said “the reporter should have been allowed to enter the clubhouse postgame at the same time as the other members of the media.
“We have communicated this to the Astros,” he said.
BWAA President Rob Biertempfelsaid the organization was “alarmed” by the incident.
Astros ace Justin Verlander delivers against the Tigers, his former team, on Wednesday.