Major League Baseball

Ben Verlander's 'Flippin' Bats' launches with Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow

March 30

Grab your peanuts and crackerjacks.

Yes, we know it's almost Opening Day – but that's not what we're talking about. FOX Sports' newest podcast, "Flippin' Bats with Ben Verlander," launched Tuesday.

Verlander's opening day featured Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Tyler Glasnow, who is set to start Thursday in his team's season opener against the Miami Marlins.

The two talked Glasnow's transition from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Rays, his magnificent locks, channeling anger and more.

After a rocky start in Pittsburgh, Glasnow was traded to Tampa Bay in 2018, and since then, the 6-foot-8 righty has come into his own on and off the mound. The Rays and their laidback culture have allowed Glasnow to develop his confidence and skill set, including a new addition to his pitching arsenal.

Glasnow realized that he needed to add another pitch beyond his explosive fastball and physics-defying curveball. Enter the "slutter."

"I mean, I think out of necessity. ... I really only had two pitches – you have to know sometimes it's not going to work out," he said. "Sometimes you're going to have your heater, sometimes you're going to have your curveball, sometimes you're going to have both. It was just a limited amount of options for me. And when I had one pitch that was off, everyone in the ballpark knew what was coming."

Glasnow had plenty of success even before his third option, as he has posted a 3.32 ERA with 231 strikeouts in 173 2/3 innings in 34 regular-season starts with the Rays.

While he credits rap music for helping him hone his focus and set the tone on gamedays, previously, he had a bit of an unorthodox pregame routine. He used to find inspiration through a picture of Martin Shkreli, otherwise known as Pharma Bro, who became a widely disliked figure after his company hiked prices for an HIV drug. 

"I think you need to identify for yourself what gets you going as a baseball player," Glasnow said. "And I realized for me, at a young age, when I can muster up some sort of anger, it seems to be the emotion that trumps all the other ones. I feel like I'm out there just angry and competitive, and those are the two things I like to feel when I'm pitching."

As fascinating as Glasnow's pregame routine might be, what Verlander really wanted to know about was his haircare regimen. The explanation wasn't exactly what he expected.

"I have very dry, puffy [hair] by nature," Glasnow said. "I'll use whatever the clubhouse has shampoo-wise – nothing crazy. I'll usually use a two-for-one, which I don't really understand how that works: a shampoo and conditioner. But I use that and ... a leave-in conditioner or something like that."

Even after giving away his secret, Glasnow takes the team award for best hair. But he wouldn't go so far as to name himself the best dancer on the Rays.

"Definitely not me. I'm going to go with Brett Phillips – him and [Randy] Arozarena would get after it a little bit. Sorry, Rozy, but I'm going to have to go with Brett Phillips on this one. I think he's got some good dance moves, for sure."

Speaking of Phillips, Glasnow mentioned that one of his favorite World Series moments was the wild walk-off finish of Game 4, which tied the Rays-Dodgers battle at two games apiece.

To hear more from Glasnow, including why he wanted to play any position other than pitcher, check out the entire episode below:

For more from "Flippin' Bats," subscribe on YouTube, and follow along on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook! 

Ben Verlander spent five years in the Detroit Tigers organization. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before he joined his brother, Justin, in Detroit as a 14th-round pick of the Tigers in 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Verly32.


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