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Is Kate Upton the new Jessica Simpson?

Kate Upton takes part in the TV show "Le Grand Journal" on the set of French TV Canal+ during the 65th Cannes Film Festival on May 23, 2012, in Cannes, France. Getty

(CBS News) Model Kate Upton is apparently reminding some sports fans of another famous blonde.

The Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover girl is rumored to be dating Detroit Tigers pitcher Justin Verlander. After he gave up five runs in the first inning of Tuesday's All-Star Game, some wondered whetherUpton was to blame for his poor pitching - just as Dallas Cowboys fans blamed Jessica Simpson for quarterback Tony Romo's poor performances during their relationship.

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"Kate Upton and Justin Verlander? Suddenly everything makes sense," read a headline on the Los Angeles Times' website. One on the Examiner.com said, "Kate Upton's bikini body blamed for Justin Verlander's poor All-Star Game inning." And a Yahoo! story joked that the model stealing the pitcher's mojo is "the only logical explanation" for his bad performance.

Upton and Verlander haven't confirmed they're an item, but reports say they've been spotted out together recently. The model was also previously linked to New York Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez.

"Upton and their starting quarterback, Mark Sanchez, were rumored to have been an item, and it just so happened that Sanchez (and the Jets) had the first mediocre year of his career last season," the Los Angeles Times story notes.

In a post-All-Star Game interview, Verlander admitted he may have been trying too hard too early in the game.

"That's why I don't try to throw 100 [mph] in the first inning," he said, according to the LA Times. "Usually doesn't work out too well for me."