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 Leyland hopes Tigers find mean streak

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PostSubject: Leyland hopes Tigers find mean streak   Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:41 am

Leyland hopes Tigers find mean streak
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 04/25/12 8:05 PM ET

DETROIT -- While the Tigers echoed their goal of winning a World Series championship before a record gathering for their annual luncheon at the Detroit Economic Club, manager Jim Leyland told the crowd that his team might need a "mean streak" to do it.

Leyland made the remark while praising his team for being so easy for him and the coaches to work with.

"We just have a wonderful group of guys. In fact, to be honest with you, if we're going to win this thing, we've got to find that little mean streak that's in all of us," Leyland said. "We need that, and we're going to have to have that. We are going to need that little mean streak, I can assure you, that little swagger, because we're the hunted. But I'll take my chances with this group. We've got a lot of characters, a lot of wonderful guys with great, great personalities."

If that sounds familiar, it's similar to what he said about his first Tigers team back in 2006. During Spring Training that year, he had a lengthy talk with reporters about how that team needed a swagger, something that was hard to find from a franchise that hadn't finished with a winning record in a decade.

This team, obviously, has a lot more star power, but they also have a lot more teams targeting them, something Leyland also referenced in his speech.

"We have our stars that are nationally recognized, but I think the most important, the best part about our team, when our stars speak, we're a team of 25 guys," he said. "We work hard together, we have tremendous talent.

Leyland later added to that in his pregame remarks to reporters, saying it was "just a message to the fans and to the team."

As Leyland put it, "I've never really seen many good players or good teams that didn't have a little mean streak, a little selfishness in them, to be honest with you. I mean that in a good way. ... In our case, I think it's particularly important because a lot of people have talked about our club, blah blah blah. There's time to be a real nice guy and a gentleman, but it's not when the game starts. You have to have a little bit of [jerk] in you, if you want to know the truth."

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.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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