Former Greensboro Grasshopper and now Cleveland Guardians’ Josh Naylor: ‘When people count you out, it’s great to shove it back in their face’

Guardians’ Josh Naylor: ‘When people count you out, it’s great to shove it back in their face’
from Zac Wassink, with
Josh Naylor, Greensboro Grasshoppers’ first baseman 2016:89 games/42 runs scored/9 Home Runs/54 RBI…He was traded during the season, to the San Diego Padres organization…..

Few, if any, experts and analysts gave the Cleveland Guardians much of a chance across the weeks and days ahead of Opening Day to win the American League Central. The Guardians achieved that feat Sunday and, in the process, improved to 86-67 overall via a 10-4 blowout win at the Texas Rangers, and the club’s official Twitter account responded with some receipts that served as a figurative spiking of the football:

The Guardians aren’t just doing their squawking on social media.

“When people count you out, it’s great to shove it back in their face,” Guardians infielder Josh Naylor somewhat defiantly said during Sunday’s celebrations, according to Zack Meisel of The Athletic. “Those who have nothing to lose in life, those are the most dangerous people or teams.”

Understandably, much has been said about Cleveland’s youth throughout the club’s pursuit of a division crown. Mandy Bell of the MLB website wrote that’s Sarah Langs and Elias note the Guardians are on track to be the eighth team to qualify for the playoffs as the league’s youngest club and the first to do so since the 1986 New York Mets. Age aside, these Guardians certainly have some swagger heading into the postseason tournament.

“We don’t look at ourselves as underdogs, but I know everybody else thought we were,” catcher Austin Hedges remarked. “And I don’t blame them. We’re young. Who would have thought? But we believed in ourselves, and we’re going to continue to shock the world.”

Practically every September, fans and other observers flock to social media to comment about how much teams should celebrate making the playoffs or even winning a division considering how much remains to be done when the postseason begins. Guardians manager Terry Francona made his feelings on the subject clear in a team meeting that occurred ahead of Sunday’s action.

“I told them, ‘Hey, when this happens, you guys have earned the right to blow it out,'” Francona said about that discussion. “The way they had to work, the way they played to get here, they can yell all night. I’ll sit here and let them yell all night. I don’t care what time we get home.”

For what it’s worth, the Guardians were back in Cleveland before midnight local time on Sunday:

The Guardians will next host the Tampa Bay Rays (84-69) in downtown Cleveland on Tuesday evening.