Justin Verlander has World Cup fever, takes free kick at bunt attempt

Mark Townsend

It's almost impossible to not get caught up in all of the hoopla and pagentry surrounding the 2014 World Cup. Not to mention the soccer action itself has been pretty exciting throughout with several memorable games and moments already taking place in round one.

Alright, so maybe it's not for everybody, but apparently it must appeal to Detroit Tigers right-hander Justin Verlander. During their 5-4 victory against the Cleveland Indians on Saturday, Verlander broke out his soccer skills on a bunt attempt by Asdrubal Cabrera in an attempt to make it go foul.

The bunt was placed perfectly down the third base line and eventually rolled into no man's land, where no fielding attempt could be made. That's when Verlander approached the ball and swung his foot over it in what at first glance appeared to be an attempt to kick it foul. Of course, baseball rules clearly state kicking a ball foul is illegal, or else we'd see it all of time. Apparently, Verlander was just trying to create enough force to make the ball roll foul.

It almost worked, but the ball eventually settled right on the line.

That was the bad news.

The good news — the athletic job Verlander is paid handsomely to perform, pitching a baseball, was on point. After struggling for well over a month, he delivered seven innings of two-run ball. His best outing since allowing two hits against the Minnesota Twins on May 9.

Of course, the visual most people will remember is Verlander's awkward soccer skills. But something tells us St. Louis Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright will try the same thing if necessary.

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!