Leyland wishes son well ahead of debut

Leyland wishes son well ahead of debut

DETROIT -- Family Day at Comerica has become a tradition for Tigers players and their families. On Sunday, it was a little more special, being Father's Day and all.

Several Tigers brought their families on the field before Sunday's game against the D-backs and even played a little pickup baseball game in the outfield.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland's son, Patrick, wasn't able to make it to the park on Sunday. But he called his father early in the morning to wish him a happy Father's Day.

Patrick is in Lakeland, Fla. preparing for his professional baseball debut. Patrick signed with the Tigers on Friday after being drafted in the eighth round by the club in this year's First-Year Player Draft.

He will play in his first professional game Monday in the Gulf Coast League. While Leyland said he wished his son could have been on hand for Father's Day, he wasn't champing at the bit to see him play in Lakeland. He wants to give Patrick plenty of time and space to settle in.

"I've got mixed emotions," Leyland said when asked if he'd go see his son during the All-Star break. "I don't want to be on top of him critiquing every little thing. He needs to just get acclimated and break in. He's a high school kid and he's never done anything like this. He's going to struggle for a little while. But he's not a donkey. He's got some talent."