Paul Sancya, File, Associated Press
FILE - In this Oct. 13, 2011, file photo, Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Justin Verlander throws during the first inning of Game 5 of baseball's American League championship series against the Texas Rangers in Detroit. Whether he's on a late-night talk show or the cover of a video game, it's been an eventful offseason for Justin Verlander. But in about a month, it will be time to report to spring training and try to repeat his spectacular 2011.

DETROIT — After becoming the first starting pitcher in a quarter-century to win the Most Valuable Player, Justin Verlander was ready for a different kind of offseason.

He's on the cover of a video game now and even appeared on Conan O'Brien's show to promote it. The Detroit ace isn't shying away from all this extra attention, but he's determined to stay focused on the season ahead. The Tigers begin spring training workouts for pitchers and catchers in less than six weeks.

Verlander says he's "trying to keep everything as normal as possible."

Verlander will be hard pressed to top last season's dazzling performance, but he's sure going to try.