The Detroit Tigers’ latest division title brought a different reaction from Jim Leyland.
The manager with the deceptively gruff, tough demeanor teared up after the Tigers clinched the American League Central Division with a 1-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins.
Oh, and he also moonwalked.
But first, the tears.
“This was a tough year for the guys because the expectations were so high and it was almost like we were set up to fail. And from Day 1 of spring training I told them,” Leyland said (via freep.com) as he choked up, “don’t get caught up in the expectations. Get caught up in how we’re going to live up to those expectations. And I think that’s what they’ve done.
“And I want to say thank you to our fans. I’m so proud you, of what you’ve done for our ballclub. And what you’ve done for me since I’ve been here. And I just hope that, I just hope that you feel like you’re getting your money’s worth. Because we try to entertain you. You keep coming out. I can’t tell you what you mean to us. It’s like a sixth man.”
Then, there was something like a moonwalk.
“This old man is the funniest guy,” outfielder Torii Hunter told CBS Detroit in August. “He has that cigarette, man. I tell you, he’s like an old school pimp. He has the coolest cigarette smoke ever. I gotta say Leyland, man, is probably one of my favorite managers of all time. …
”When we win sometimes he’s excited, he does the moonwalk. Can you believe it? He moonwalks in the clubhouse. I’m like ‘Did anybody just see this?’”
H/T Mlive for the GIF.