Justin Verlander a Sports Illustrated coverboy again (big view of the image). I can't call him THE coverboy, as he's on one of six regional covers for the magazine. This SI thing is becoming a regular thing for him. It's his third one, with the first a 2006 issue I still have saved in a drawer somewhere.
I don't believe in jinxes. You shouldn't either. That doesn't stop me from feeling a bit of relief to learn the magazine did not pick the Tigers to win the World Series. Given their track record on such things, it would probably have spelled doom for Detroit's hopes. So, Washington, you're doomed.
Their writers picked the Tigers to win the Central Division before losing to the Rays in an ALDS.
A rival scout speaking about the Tigers told SI: "This is how it's done: They spent money and made trades with prospects to get quality big league players to build a veteran team."
Verlander earned the nod for AL Cy Young from SI's Ben Reiter but he thinks Mike Trout will get that MVP award many -- not all! -- thought he deserved. SI did think Cabrera would win two of the three Triple Crown categories (.335 avg., 126 RBI), but that Jose Bautista would best him in HRs (44) to stave off a repeat there. Al Alburquerque gets the nod for best strikeouts per nine innings ratio at 12.5.
You can view the rest of the covers and all of SI's predictions at their website or pick up a copy of the magazine as a keepsake.