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Jim Leyland is a funny guy

Dec 5, 2012, 3:56 PM EDT

Jim Leyland

I’ve learned to more or less ignore the managerial availabilities here at the Winter Meetings because, let’s be honest, they’re 30 slightly different exercises in saying nothing. At least they are now that Ozzie Guillen is gone. Just the offseason version of “we gotta take ‘em one day at a time” ManagerSpeak.

I went to Jim Leyland’s just now, though, because he makes me laugh.  And he didn’t disappoint.  The highlights:

  • Leyland was asked about Miguel Cabrera playing in the World Baseball Classic. Leyland said he’s not a fan of the WBC but “I support it because the Commissioner gets mad when I say I don’t support it.” Mr. Leyland, Commissioner Selig is on line two. I think you had better take it.
  • He was asked about the Tigers’ closer situation and didn’t tip the Tigers’ hand, but he did say “One thing you can say about Jose Valverde, he knows how to turn the page.”  After watching him pitch late in the season, I think that book is “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
  • Asked about the future of the Tigers, and how long until Avisail Garcia or Nick Castellanos may become regulars, he said “you know, that’s a very good question.” He didn’t answer it, but he did acknowledge that it was a good question.
  • Leyland asked who the team to beat is in the AL Central: “Hopefully the Tigers.”
  • On an actually substantive topic, he was asked about Gene Lamont becoming the bench coach. He said that Lamont’s knees were going and it’d be easier on him to be in the dugout rather than couching third. Color me dubious. Leyland has never had a need for a bench coach and you don’t move an effective third base coach if you can avoid it. Gotta figure this was devised to get a better third base coach without firing Leyland’s longtime compadre.
  • Leyland, when asked about getting over the World Series, said “you can’t chew yesterday’s breakfast.” People who follow Leyland closely are mostly surprised that he only used that phrase once.
  • Leyland apparently just attended his 50th high school reunion. He said he had a good time. He was asked about the women at the reunion: “They looked pretty good to me. I wonder how they thought old Jimbo looked.” When people laughed he noted that, back in high school, he was voted “Most Popular Boy” and said that if we didn’t believe him we could go look in his yearbook.
  • Finally, as Leyland’s presser was ending, Terry Francona walked over and hovered, waiting to sit down for his own press conference. The reporters flocked to Francona, leaving old Jimbo with a much smaller crowd than he started with.

“Most Popular Boy” my foot.

OK, back to the rumors and stuff.

  1. skids003 - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    I’m with you Craig. He reminds me of Steve Spurrier answering some of the sideline reporter’s questions at half time of a football game. Funny.

  2. historiophiliac - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:27 PM

    Boooo!

    Jim Leyland is an awesome guy!!!! :)

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:09 PM

      That’ll be enough booing out you Philiac!

      • historiophiliac - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:19 PM

        Booooo!

        I’m in a bad mood today. lol I’m throwing popcorn at you too.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      Popcorn’s way overrated.

      • historiophiliac - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:45 PM

        OMG, the people on here and their food!!! Fine, I’m throwing beef jerky at you. Better?

        (Leyland is still awesome.)

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:04 PM

      Hahaha! Beef Jerkey is fine Philiac. Although Deer Jerkey is better. LOL!

      • historiophiliac - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:16 PM

        Never had the deer jerkey — had the stew and burger, but not the jerky. I’ll just take your word on that.

    • stlouis1baseball - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:20 PM

      It’s wonderful Philiac. I am making some this weekend in fact. Going to start marinating it this evening.
      If you ever get the opportunity to try it…please do!

      • historiophiliac - Dec 7, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        Think I’ll pass on the Bambi sticks. lol

  3. randygnyc - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:36 PM

    Craig, can you imagine Lamont kicking back on a couch down along the the base line?

  4. blabidibla - Dec 5, 2012 at 4:48 PM

    Couching third? Kinda works I guess.

  5. frank433 - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    So, Lamont can’t get to third base anymore. Getting old must suck.

  6. ncphilliesguy - Dec 5, 2012 at 5:53 PM

    From now on, Leyland should only be referred to as “old Jimbo”.

  7. fanofevilempire - Dec 5, 2012 at 6:10 PM

    Jimbo is a great fella, maybe he doesn’t like Craig.

    sometimes things are very simple.

  8. beelza - Dec 5, 2012 at 10:15 PM

    I think Jimmy would be a great guy to drink with. There are times, he made baseball decisions, and I wanted to choke ‘em. But, he’s the only big league manager Verlander has known. And if JV wants Jimmy, Mr. I wants Jimmy, then I want Jimmy. Player’s say Jim is always honest, won’t lie to you and will give a player every chance he can. Tigers fans know this well. (Raburn). He’s got a very special relationship with Miggy also. He’s the only pro player/manager I give a pass to when crying. Look at that man’s face and the roadmap of wrinkles shows what passion and emotion look like after 40+ years of pro ball.

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