DETROIT (CBS Detroit) The Detroit Tigers are getting ready to enjoy the home field advantage when they take to Comerica Park for Saturday’s World Series game three.
Struggling back from a 2-0 deficit, does it matter where they play? Manager Jim Leyland seems to think so.
“You always feel more comfortable in your own bed, the Giants had a little bit of that going for them,” Leyland said during a press event Friday.
But in regular Leyland fashion, he added he had no bromides to share about the game.
“I just think: we’re playing a game at Comerica Park tomorrow night and we hope to win it … Bring your lunch bucket, go to work,” Leyland said.
With temperatures predicted to struggle to hit 50 degrees much of the weekend, a reporter wondered if the cold will work in Detroit’s favor. Leyland said some players utilize long underwear or hand warmers to fend off the cold, but he doesn’t think it will really matter.
“They have hand warmers, we have heaters in the dug outs of both teams, ours is going to be a little warmer than theirs but we’re not going to tell them that,” Leyland said, laughing and adding, “I’m just kidding.”
He added: “It’s cold, but this is the World Series, it’s cold for everybody, it’s cold for the fans, the beer’s cold, enjoy it.”
Leyland’s only advice to his team these days is to “relax and concentrate,” he said.
“The best combination is relaxation and concentration,” he said, adding, “Do what you’ve always done, just go out there and play baseball. When you’re a little kid playing baseball, you’re really concentrating. Revert back to your childhood.”
He added that he doesn’t like to discuss individual players in detail, saying, “There’s enough pressure on guys, what you want to do is you have to try to get it across the guys to embrace the pressure. If you’ve studied for the test, it’s good pressure. I just want my guys to embrace this moment.”
Leyland did say he had talked to Doug Fister after his head-rattling incident in game two, and he seems to be fine.
“I think he’s fine, I did talk to him on the plane last night and he seemed fine, a little sore, but nothing that looked alarming, he looked fine, his eyes looked fine,” Leyland said.
And catcher Alex Avila is fine in his first World Series as well, he said.
“I think he’s matured a lot, I think he was a little bit, the World Series action for the first time, that’s behind him now,” Leyland said. “He’s done a great job for us. he’s done a fantastic job of handling the staff … He’s had quite a bit of success with Justin (Verlander), he’s doing fine, we’re all doing fine.
On to the other managers, Leyland said he’s not at all concerned how the Giants coach handles his team in the World Series.
“You just manage your players against their players … Truthfully, not to be disrespectful, but I never worry about the other managers,” Leyland said. “I just try to manage my team and have my team ready to play and have the best results.”
Hear Saturday night’s game and all the World Series games on 97.1 The Ticket.