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Friday, January 25, 2013

Justin Verlander's goal: Finishing career as a Tiger

Verlander wants to finish his career in Detroit.

      Justin Verlander's fast rise to the top caught no-one in Detroit off-guard. He's a star, beloved by everyone in the city. Tiger fan or not, the city adores him and follows his ever growing accomplishments. From being on the cover of video game MLB 2K12, to dating SI Swimsuit phenom Kate Upton, invitations to the Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament and the World Baseball Classic, Verlander's stardom has never been higher.

      Coming off a 2011 in which he won the AL Cy Young and AL MVP and becoming just the seventh player of all-time to accomplish that feat. Verlander followed that up by posting a 17-8 record, 2.64 era, while coming a close 2nd in the AL Cy Young and 8th in MVP. 

      Justin will turn 30 next month shows no signs of slowing down. He remains adamant that he wants to remain in Detroit, to play out his career as cited Thursday at the Tigers annual luncheon.  "I've made no secret that I love Detroit," Verlander said. "I grew up in front of these fans. I feel like I've been a big part of this city, and this city has become a big part of me. So I, obviously, would love to play my career here.

"I've made this point before, that the ultimate goal for me is the Hall of Fame, and I would like nothing better than to go into the Hall of Fame with the Old English 'D' on my chest."

       I see no objections throughout Detroit. Verlander signed a 5 year $80 million dollar deal in 2010, after finishing third in the Cy Young. That's pennies these days in baseball (see Anibal Sanchez). He know has 2 years remaining off that extension and the Tigers would love sign him before he hits the open market. 

       When Verlander was asked about the possibility of becoming the first $200 million dollar player in baseball, he replied with a chuckle but didn't bite.

       "You know me and how competitive I am with every aspect of everything," He said. "I'm my own individual. I don't look at anybody else and say he did this or that. It's what I'm comfortable with when it comes to something like that."

       Competitive he is. He dropped out of the WBC last week, an unnamed source said. The reasons were reportedly due to his workout routine. He has a very strict routine that starts in mid-February and runs through opening day allowing him to be his sharpest come the regular season. 

      This season Verlander pushed his normal date back, citing two consecutive seasons of throwing deep in ball games into the beginning of November. 

Justin Verlander (Left) with Al Kaline.
       Verlander also said he wants to create a new wave across the sport.  That doesn't happen too often nowadays, for somebody to play with a team through their whole career. You see Chipper Jones, what he did, that's something special." He has the pedigree to accomplish this. From Players like Willie Horton to Al Kaline to his first Manager Alan Trammell, Verlander wants to put his name up with the greatest players to ever done the ‘ole English D’.

       The Tigers love him, he loves the Tigers. Get this one 
done Dombrowski, we’re all waiting.

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