Is this classic Leyland-speak to fire up his team or what? Last year during the first week of September, Tigers manager Jim Leyland announced to the world that the Tigers were "playing for the wild card," even though his team still had a series left with the Indians and 20 games left to be played. It was a clear motivational ploy.
Now he is at it again.
In today's Detroit News, old man Leyland stroked the Tribe. Check these quotes:
"The Indians are the team people should be shooting for in our division."
"But that again shows how hard it is to win. Last year going into spring training, we were the team to beat. We represented the American League in the World Series.
"Last year I'll buy the fact we were the team to beat. This year we're not, the way I look at it. This year, the Indians and the Red Sox are; I'm sure that's what the Yankees and everyone else are saying."
"I don't play it up as much as everyone else does because we haven't done anything yet. I'll remind everyone that the Indians are the Central Division champions and the Minnesota Twins won the division the year before, even though we went to the World Series that year.
Thanks for the kind words Jimmy boy. We will thoroughly enjoy stomping your asses this summer.
Eric Wedge, C.C. Sabathia, Grady Sizemore, Travis Hafner, Victor Martinez, and company