Justin Verlander's Temporary License Tag Stolen in Thief's Alleged Crime Spree

Mike ChiariFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2016

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander loosens up during a spring training baseball workout, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016, in Lakeland, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
John Raoux/Associated Press

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander was among the victims of an alleged crime spree in which the All-Star ace's temporary license tag was stolen from his truck.  

According to Clifford Parody of the Ledger, 24-year-old Tyler Demalignon is accused of multiple carjackings and thefts in Lakeland, Florida, including taking the paper tag from Verlander's vehicle Feb. 20.

The 33-year-old's stolen property was ultimately recovered, and Demalignon is currently being held on 27 charges.

According to Parody, Verlander came out of a movie theater in Lakeland to find his tag missing. He told police he believed the tag had blown off, but it was found on a car Demalignon reportedly stole, which was full of stolen goods.

Verlander is gearing up for his 12th MLB season with the Tigers, and there is a great deal of optimism for him and the team as a whole.

After going 5-8 with a 3.38 ERA and 113 strikeouts in 133.1 innings last season, the former American League Cy Young Award winner and MVP has already been tabbed as Detroit's Opening Day starter, per MLB.com's Jason Beck:

While Verlander was limited to 20 starts in 2015 due to injury, he is upbeat about his health and prospects for 2016, according to Beck:

Spring training last year we talked about it and I felt pretty good, but obviously I had the injury at the end of spring. But right now it feels the best I can remember in a long time. I'm able to throw every day. I've been long-tossing a lot, something that I wasn't able to do the last few years just because [I'd] long-toss one day, come back the next time and [didn't] feel too great. But I don't even feel like I'm pushing it right now. It just naturally feels good.

The missing license tag could have put a bit of a damper on Verlander's time in Florida, but now, his focus can shift entirely back to baseball and the upcoming regular season.

Detroit disappointed in a big way last season with a record of 74-87, which put it last in the AL Central, but with Verlander locked in and new additions like pitcher Jordan Zimmermann and outfielder Justin Upton in the fold, a return to the playoffs is within reach.


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