The Ulusoy bus ushering me from Ankara to Istanbul in (fingers crossed) five hours is a decided upgrade over its American counterparts. Food (well, snacks) and beverages (non-alcoholic) are served free of charge, the seat layout is 1-2 (i.e., even though the bus is full, I sit alone and have copious amounts of room), and the WiFi works like a charm. On the other hand, there are no power outlets, meaning that I have, at best, one hour’s worth of juice remaining on the laptop and no opportunity to recharge immediately afterward.
Therefore, I will use this brief window to go out on a limb (not really) and congratulate Justin Verlander on winning the AL Cy Young award in a landslide, although the official announcement will be made via the Baseball Writers Association of America web site at 2:00 p.m. EST.
Verlander, who also is a contender for the Most Valuable Player award, will become the third Tigers pitcher to receive the honor, after Denny McLain (1968-69) and Guillermo Hernandez (1984). The 28-year-old righty enjoyed a dominant season, striking out 250 batters and walking only 57 in 251 innings, while posting a 170 ERA+ and 3.12 xFIP.
The NL Cy Young Award will be announced tomorrow. Expect a considerably tighter race between Roy Halladay and Clayton Kershaw.