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Tony La Russa has big plans for his time in Tigers camp

Feb 21, 2012, 10:15 AM EDT

Tony La Russa, Jim Leyland AP

Tony La Russa is in Tigers camp, spending his first spring training as a retiree by hanging out with his buddy Jim Leyland.

He’s doing so in a non-official capacity, but as Tom Gage of the Detroit News notes La Russa still has some pretty big plans:

Tony LaRussa in Tigers camp. Said his two goals are to get Leyland “to eat tofu and stop smoking.”

To which Leyland replied:

Leyland about LaRussa’s tofu and smoking jab: “I didn’t start smoking until I coached for him.”

I’m among the people excited about Showtime choosing the Ozzie Guillen-led Marlins as their subject for this season’s “The Franchise” series, but everyone else is missing an opportunity for documentary gold by not following La Russa and Leyland around 24-7.

Imagine all the shots of La Russa poking his head into a room and saying, “Jimmy, are you smoking in here?!” as Leyland frantically puts out his three simultaneously-lit cigarettes and tries to wave the smoke away. And then imagine the two of them sitting down for a lovely tofu dinner at which Leyland requests a table in the smoking section, gets a dirty look from La Russa, and uneasily laughs while saying, “Hey, just kidding, right?”

  1. cur68 - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:04 AM

    I bet Jim got mad smoking skillz: he can keep a lit cigarette inside his mouth to fox LaRussa. Comedy GOLD, baby!

  2. detroitr1 - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:06 AM

    Quite a par. Leyland shows up to spring training with an old leather briefcase with outdated scouting reports, a 1/5 of Old Grandad and a .38, and LaRussa shows up with a fake tan and some hair dye.

    • yankeesfanlen - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Gret comment! If you tweet this, Olney and Heyman will send it out under their names as an actual report.

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Baseball’s version of Felix & Oscar.

  4. metalhead65 - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:23 PM

    just hope none of his whine about everything rubs off on the tigers while he is there.

    • stlouis1baseball - Feb 22, 2012 at 1:53 PM

      Metalhead: Yeah…it just might lead to Tigers Championship. Ouch…I bet that hurt.
      You just can’t let it go can you? Cause’ your chump ass (non child support paying) 2nd Baseman states something it’s gotta’ be the gospel.
      If I didn’t know any better I would think YOU suffer from Cardinals envy.

  5. umrguy42 - Feb 21, 2012 at 4:04 PM

    As a Cards fan, I’m a little torn at this – he’s showing up to help another team just after he’s retired, even if it is for an old friend (hell, TLR’s been in the business 30+ years, you’d think that other than say Dusty Baker, he’s got a LOT of old friends around the managing biz). BUT – I like that he’s *not* trying to do it at Cardinals camp, giving Matheny his own space to make the team his own.

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