DETROIT (CBS Detroit) He likes decaf coffee and the musical stylings of Lionel Richie, but don’t think Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland is getting soft.
Leyland called the 97.1 The Ticket morning show Wednesday to discuss many things including his pitching rotation, heavy hitters in the rotation, the weather, the season so far, and the music that plays when players are introduced.
Prince Fielder marches out to Mozart — So what would Leyland choose to play when he comes onto the field?
“I’d have something soft like ‘This I Swear’ by the Skyliners or something, the waltz dance or the boxstep,” Leyland said. “I like the old stuff, the slow, good music, the Lionel Richie stuff, and the Skyliners and stuff like that. I’m not even sure I would have a song, a lot of this stuff is show business now.”
How about an olde English D tattoo? “No, I would not, no tattoos, I’m not a tattoo guy,” Leyland said.
Leyland has been known to light up reporters who ask questions he doesn’t like, and he explained how that happens.
“My biggest pet peeves are when people come down here who don’t know what to ask,” Leyland said. “The stations send them down here and they don’t know what to ask. They ask a question that’s not a reasonable question after a tough loss .. That’s one of my pet peeves.”
He added he agreed with a broadcaster who said no one should be allowed in the locker room unless they cover at least 80 games a year. “I know that’s never going to happen, but it’s not really a bad idea,” Leyland said. “Sometimes those people ask questions that aren’t really good questions … Silly questions aggravate you, especially after a tough loss.”
The Tigers have had a few of those already, and Leyland laid out his thoughts on the season so far. “We’re doing all right, Stoney, I’m gonna be honest with you, it goes in little streaks, Atlanta came in so hot and best team in baseball we beat them in three, went out to California, after playing good on the first two legs of the trip, and lost three, didn’t look good,” Leyland said. “It’s just a funny game, particularly this time of year.”
He added the weather is turning in everyone’s favor, which gives everyone more “pep.”
Austin Jackson and Torii Hunter are the keys to the team’s success so far this year and Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder — who already have seven home runs — have taken advantage of that, Leyland said.
On starting pitchers, Leyland said he “feels very comfortable” with the current rotation, though he wouldn’t concede it’s the best in baseball, saying he leaves that kind of talk to the pundits. “They’ve done a fantastic job so far,” Leyland said.
He added he’s happy to have Jose Valverde back, though he’ll relax today after back-to-back outings. Al Albuqurque is getting a talk with the Skipper today about his control.
On the warm reception Jose Valverde has gotten from fans, Leyland said it doesn’t surprise him. “Detroit fans can be tough at times but they’re also very forgiving,” Leyland said. “They’re very appreciative of people who give them a good effort, and that want to be here. That’s probably why that took place.”
On perceived issues with the third base coach Tom Brookens, Leyland admitted he’s made a mistake or two.
“Last night that was a no-brainer, he had to send him, and the other time he made a mistake, we all have them,” Leyland said.