For a second straight year, Jim Leyland and the Detroit Tigers enter the season with sky-high expectations.
That's no guarantee of success - but it sure beats the alternative.
''I love being a target. That means you've got a good team,'' Leyland said early on in spring training. ''We're going to be the hunted. We were the winner. We were the American League champs. That's a good thing.''
After two straight AL Central titles and a World Series appearance, the Tigers enter 2013 with the same core of stars. Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, ace Justin Verlander and slugger Prince Fielder carried Detroit into the postseason last year, and those three MVP candidates are showing no signs of slowing down. The only remaining goal in Detroit is to take that final step and win the World Series after being swept by San Francisco last October.
''I chose to come here because I knew they could win,'' said right fielder Torii Hunter, who signed with the Tigers in the offseason.