For your 30th birthday, Justin Verlander, you are hereby granted one look into the crystal ball.

What are you going to be doing when you're 40?

"Hopefully the same thing I'm doing now," he said.

With a win total of?

Verlander hesitated, but didn't duck the question.

"With a win total of 287," Verlander said.

And there you have it: The next 10 years laid out for the pitcher many call the best in the game.

Verlander would like nothing more on his 30th birthday, which is today, than to know in 10 years he'll still have the stuff to be a starting pitcher for the Tigers.

Still be heading out from a day of spring training to the golf course.

Still doing what he loves the most, and envisioned — or at least hoped for — since he was 10 years old.

"When I was little, I wrote an essay on what I'd be doing when I'm 30," Verlander said. "And I'm doing pretty much exactly what I thought I would be."

He's not big into cakes and candles.

At this point, Verlander might not be into expensive presents, either because, seriously, who can give him something more lavish than he, with a $20 million salary for a second consecutive year, can give himself?

Heck, even if teammates chipped in to give him a silver Aston Martin, he could reply, "Thanks, guys, but I already have one. It's out there in the parking lot."

Verlander has grown beyond material gifts. But he hasn't outgrown the material wishes of more wins and additional success as a pitcher.

At 30, he has 124 victories. When a reporter pointed out to him that among would-be Hall of Famers, Tom Glavine also had 124 wins at 30, but Greg Maddux had 151, the competitive side of Verlander — even when it's tongue-in-cheek — emerged.

"Darn Maddux," Verlander said, chuckling.



From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130220/SPORTS0104/302200330#ixzz2LSM98c5m