Justin Verlander has his own cereal now

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Sure, winning the Cy Young and MVP awards were nice, but Justin Verlander’s outstanding 2011 season has led to something even bigger and more exciting: He has his own cereal.

Verlander appears on the box for a special-edition cereal called “Fastball Flakes” that will be sold in Michigan to raise money for the local VA Hospitals.

“Fastball Flakes” are also available online at PLBSports.com, which sells similar cereals featuring Jason Kendall, Marshall Faulk, Chad Ochocinco, David Eckstein, Doug Flutie, Wayne Chrebet, John Elway, Jerome Bettis, and more.

Our own Craig Calcaterra bought a box (and a t-shirt too!) of the Verlander cereal for his Tigers fan girlfriend, which is simultaneously adorable and something a person with a girlfriend of his own might endlessly mock him about. Which rules me out–shocking, I know–but don’t let that stop you!

UPDATE: Fan Graphs’ investigative reporting team looked into which player-endorsed cereals didn’t make the cut this year.

Hanley Ramirez is not actually under federal and state investigation

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On Friday, it was reported that free agent Hanley Ramirez was under federal and state investigation, though no one knew for what, exactly. Michele McPhee of ABC News said, “Obviously I know absolutely nothing about sports or Hanley Ramirez’s stats, but what I do know is crime. And there has been some reports about a FaceTime phone call that was made between a man during a car stop. After that car stop, police recovered a significant amount of drugs. And during that car stop, the suspect claimed that one of the items found in the vehicle belonged to Hanley Ramirez and then FaceTimed [Ramirez] in front of police. And that car stop coordinated with the timing of his release from the Red Sox.”

The suspect was reportedly transporting 435 grams of fentanyl and a “large amount” of crack cocaine. But it turns out that Ramirez’s name only got mentioned because the suspect was hoping to avoid arrest. Ramirez is not actually under investigation, Shelley Murphy and Evan Allen of the Boston Globe report.

The attorney of the suspect said that his client grew up in the Dominican Republic with Ramirez and used the former Red Sox DH’s name “to get the cops off his back, which didn’t work.” During the traffic stop, a trooper asked permission to open a brown cardboard box found in the rear cargo area of the suspect’s jeep. The suspect said the box contained books, shipped to him by Ramirez’s mother to deliver to Ramirez in Boston. The suspect FaceTimed Ramirez to back up his story, but Ramirez said he wasn’t aware that the suspect was on his way to visit. Ramirez gave permission to the trooper to open the box. He did, and found a gift bag with two kilograms of fentanyl. The suspect was arrested on drug trafficking charges.

Ramirez, 34, hit a disappointing .254/.313/.395 with six home runs and 29 RBI in 195 plate appearances for the Red Sox before being designated for assignment on May 25 and released on June 1. The Red Sox maintain that Ramirez’s release had nothing to do with anything off-the-field.