Tigers’ Max Scherzer Not Happy With His Sports Illustrated Cover (Photo)

Most athletes — even those who’ve enjoyed as much success over the last year as Max Scherzer — would be thrilled to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated. But the defending American League Cy Young Award winner isn’t pleased with how he’s portrayed on this week’s issue.

Here’s how the Scherzer cover looks:

As you can see, Scherzer’s decision to turn down the Detroit Tigers’ six-year, $144 million contract offer is the focal point. That, the pitcher said, is not what was agreed upon.

“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,” Scherzer told USA Today on Sunday. “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’s assistant managing editor, told USA Today that while the magazine knew of Scherzer’s reticence to talk about his contract, no promises were made about what would or would not appear in the issue.

“I’m sorry he’s upset,” Cannella said. “… 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.”

Scherzer has been the Tigers’ most effective starter so far this season, posting a 2.45 ERA and 1.03 WHIP though his first five starts.

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