Baseball

No doubt, it’s Verlander

Detroit Tigers ace Justin Verlander has the American League Cy Young Award. Is another trophy in his future?

Verlander won the Cy Young by a unanimous vote, getting all 28 first-place votes from members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The AL MVP will be announced Monday. No starting pitcher has won the MVP since Roger Clemens in 1986.

“Do I think it’s possible? Yes. Would I like to win it? Of course,” Verlander said. “It’s kind of a weird scenario.”

Many observers say pitchers shouldn’t win the MVP. Verlander’s performance, though, has ratcheted up the debate in a crowded MVP field that includes Curtis Granderson, Jacoby Ellsbury and Jose Bautista.

“If you had told me at the beginning of the year that I had the chance to win the MVP and be a unanimous Cy Young winner, it would have blown my mind,” said Verlander, who added that if he doesn’t win the MVP, he’d like to see the Yankees’ Granderson, a former teammate, win.

Verlander won the pitching Triple Crown in the AL by going 24-5 with a 2.40 ERA and 250 strikeouts. The 28-year-old right-hander also pitched a no-hitter, won 12 consecutive starts and helped the Tigers win their first division title since 1987.

MARINERS SCHEDULE

Major League Baseball released the 2012 schedule Tuesday. The Mariners open the season with a road trip – a long road trip.

Seattle plays Oakland in Tokyo on March 28-29.

The teams fly back for a three-game set at Oakland from April 6-8, then the Mariners play at AL champion Texas from April 9-12.

Seattle’s first game at Safeco Field is April 13 against the A’s.

The Mariners’ home interleague games are June 8-10 against the Dodgers, June 12-14 against the Padres and June 15-17 against the Giants. The Mariners’ road interleague games are May 18-20 at Colorado, June 18-20 at Arizona, June 22-24 at San Diego.

The Mariners wrap up the regular season at home against the Angels Oct. 1-3.

For Seattle’s schedule, see Scoreboard, Page B4.

SHORT HOPS

The Baltimore Orioles are going retro, bringing back the cartoon bird for their caps as part of a uniform change for the upcoming season. For the first time since 1992, the Orioles will wear an orange jersey for select Saturday home games. ... Cincinnati’s opening game has been moved up a day to April 5, avoiding conflicts with downtown vendors who sponsor the annual downtown parade and Good Friday observances. ... Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. took a message of perseverance to Japanese children affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami by putting on a baseball clinic in Ofunato, Japan, as part of nine-day mission as a sports diplomat on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

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