Justin Verlander wanted to give the fans an All-Star show.
The Tigers' ace certainly did that Tuesday night, though not in the way he intended.
The reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner offered a steady series of 100 mph fastballs that National League hitters sent soaring all over picturesque Kauffman Stadium. Verlander was hammered for five runs in the first inning as the National League cruised to an 8-0 victory.
''I was able to laugh at it right away,'' Verlander said after leaving the game. ''Obviously, you don't want to go out like that, but I had fun. That's why I don't try to throw 100 (mph) in the first inning, but this is for the fans. It doesn't usually work out too well for me.''
Verlander was picked to start the All-Star game by AL manager Ron Washington, who no doubt knows the value of home-field advantage in the World Series awarded to the winning side.
Nobody questioned his choice, either.
The hard-throwing Verlander came within two outs of his third career ...