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 Tigers choose wheels over wings for Cleveland

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PostSubject: Tigers choose wheels over wings for Cleveland   Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:02 pm

Tigers choose wheels over wings for Cleveland
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 04/28/11 2:21 PM ET

DETROIT -- In the Major Leagues, bus rides are normally reserved for the short trips between the hotel and the ballpark, or getting from the park to the airport to catch a flight to another city. When it's a one-city trip around the corner to Cleveland, though, it's arguably as fast, if not faster, to bus than fly.

Thus, the Tigers are hitting the highway Thursday night for their weekend series against the Indians. Their team plane is unavailable, as it's being used by the NHL's Detroit Red Wings to travel to San Jose for their Western Conference semifinals, but their bus plans were in the works well before the Red Wings knew their Stanley Cup playoff plans.

It's the first time in years that the Tigers have driven, but it's a rare time that they don't have Cleveland connected with another city on a multi-stop trip.

The ride to Cleveland takes about 2 1/2 hours. The Tigers have Spring Training bus rides about as long, if not longer. A flight takes just under a half-hour, but that doesn't include transportation to and from the airport, plus security screening.

One player supposedly saw the bus itinerary and thought for a second he was being sent to the Minors. For manager Jim Leyland, it brought back memories of his Minor League days.

"I'm really looking forward to it," Leyland said. "It makes a lot of sense. I think it's a great idea. By the time you get packed up here and get out to the airport, get in and get bussed over to the hotel, [it takes a while]. Last year, one time I drove home from Cleveland and I was back at the ballpark before the bus was.

"It brings you back to your roots a little bit, the Minor Leagues, being on the bus with the guys. It's kind of neat, like the old days. I think it's smart, myself."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog, and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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