The New York Yankees have 27 World Series championships and play in a massive media market, but general manager Brian Cashman likened them to underdogs Wednesday while appearing on ESPN New York's The Michael Kay Show.
"We're 'The Little Engine That Could,'" Cashman said, via Coley Harvey of ESPN.com.
The description came when he was asked to compare the Bronx Bombers to the defending American League East champion and archrival Boston Red Sox.
Cashman took a similar tone when discussing Boston's perch atop the division with reporters earlier Wednesday, saying, "Until someone takes that away from them, you've got to pay that homage," via Harvey.
While the Red Sox won the division during the regular season, the Yankees actually advanced further in the playoffs as one of the two American League wild cards. They beat the Minnesota Twins in the American League Wild Card Game and the Cleveland Indians in the AL Division Series before falling in seven games in the AL Championship Series to the same Houston Astros team that knocked out Boston the prior round.
The Red Sox and Yankees figure to battle for AL East supremacy again in 2018 after adding marquee pieces during the offseason.
Boston inked outfielder J.D. Martinez after he drilled a career-best 45 home runs in 2017 for the Arizona Diamondbacks and Detroit Tigers, while New York traded for Giancarlo Stanton after he won the National League MVP with 59 long balls for the Miami Marlins.
The Yankees will feature Stanton, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez, among others, in a loaded lineup a year after finishing second in the league in runs scored. However, Cashman still views them as the engines fighting uphill against Boston until they can catch their rivals.