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Verlander as Nasty as Ever as He Turns 30

AP Photo

Justin Verlander's first pitches as a thirtysomething looked much the same as they did when he was in his twenties.

His reactions seemed the same, too -- salty language, irritated looks and all. No matter how old Verlander is, having turned 30 on Wednesday, his vocabulary never includes the words "just getting my work in."

He still expects to be able to drop a curveball on the corner in mid-February, and he'll flash a grimace of agitation if he doesn't execute it right. He still cranks up the velocity on occasion, though not to full game speed. He expects the same execution that propelled him to the top of the Tigers rotation in his mid-20s.

In that sense, his first meeting with hitters this spring looked the same as always.

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