Max Scherzer, who won the American League Cy Young award last year, appears on the cover of this week’s Sports Illustrated. He’s not all-that happy about it. The pitcher is miffed that the magazine featured his contract dispute with the Detroit Tigers on the cover. The cover shows Scherzer with the caption, “Mad Max’s $144 million bet.”
The $144 million mentioned refers to Scherzer’s rejection of the Tigers’ $144 million deal for six years. Scherzer has eschewed discussion of his contract during this season, and was upset that the magazine chose to feature his dispute so prominently. He told the Detroit Free Press:
To be on the cover is a very special moment, but I’m also frustrated that they chose to put the contract stuff on the cover. When they approached us, (Tigers media relations) and I, we specifically asked not to make the story around the contract…. They assured us it wasn’t going to be like that. They chose a different route, and we felt like we were lied to and misled.
Stephen Cannella, SI assistant managing editor, disputed Scherzer’s assertion. He said that the magazine had not made any promises to either Scherzer or the Tigers, asserting:
I’m sorry he’s upset. We were aware Max didn’t want to discuss his contract situation in detail, but at no time did we make any promises how we would mention it in the story or how we wouldn’t, or where we would use it, whether it would be on the cover or whether it wouldn’t.