Jim Leyland pregame interview

Jim Leyland pregame interview

I wasn't here last night, could you give your reaction to the delay and the cancellation of the game, and were you folks at a disadvantage in what you knew or didn't know?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, first of all, what happened last night had no bearing on the series. So make sure that everybody is aware of that and has no bearing on who wins or loses the series. I think any time you have a weather condition, there's always a certain amount of confusion, and in some cases, lack of communication. So a lot of that is understandable and some of it's in most cases 90 percent of it is forgivable and about ten percent isn't. And in this particular case, you know, I was informed that we were starting at ten o'clock. So my club was out on the bench and my pitchers is long-tossing and getting ready to throw in the bullpen. And my coaches actually noticed, I didn't really pay that much attention, but there were no Yankee players, and obviously Mussina wasn't even in the bullpen and they are the home team, and last time I checked, they pitch first. So that obviously sent up a red flag that there was something wrong.

So there was a miscommunication, and I've got to give Joe Torre credit. I want to make sure that everybody knows that this was not the Yankees fault who are not certainly saying that the Yankees got an edge somehow. I don't think the Yankees had anything to do with it. But I've got to give Joe Torre credit. This is the first time in my life that I was ever outmanaged on an off-day. (Laughter.)

Could you take us through the logistical things last night, how you got to the hotel, what time you got there, were there any problems?

JIM LEYLAND: No problems. This is a little sideline. So this is great. At our first hotel, my suite got messed up. I had a room about this big (indicating one-foot box). Last night when we were only going to stay in this place for six hours, my room was big enough that the president could have had his State of the Union address, cheese, wine and everything.

With Kenny going tomorrow, could you just talk about the second half he's had and what it means to have a guy like that in your rotation for this kind of series?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, when we signed Kenny Rogers, that's a great question, because when we signed Kenny Rogers, a lot of people said, get ready for the second half, he never pitches good, this and that. We knew, Chuck and him had a discussion, there was a stretch where he was trying to throw the ball too hard to prove to everybody that he was strong and had enough strength to go into the second half. He got out of whack and out of sync a little bit.

And the other thing, to our credit, you've got to remember something, we knew that Kenny Rogers was not going to pitching in 110-degree heat in the second half of the season. So I think the combination of those things, we got ourselves a pretty good pitcher, and he's been fantastic.

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I appreciate your respect for Joe Torre, and I've seen it going back how you get along with managers, going back to Davey in '86 and all that, so I know you're not casting stones at him or the Yankees, but why do you think the Yankees knew enough not to be out on the field last night and you all were starting to get ready and your young pitcher was throwing some balls around?

JIM LEYLAND: To be honest with you, I don't know the answer to that. I'm just taking a guess at this. I think the Yankees -- I think that the Yankees were probably smart enough to have somebody right with the people from Major League Baseball at all times and we probably weren't. I think it was just a matter of, like I said, we have these weather situations, I mean, you've got to forgive and forget.

You know, I've heard all this stuff and the pitchers; pitchers are real sensitive and some guys, even on normal days during the season, you know, we're starting on time, you know, I have got to have so much time to get ready, pitching coaches, I mean, it is what it is and you make the adjustments and you don't make any excuses. The fact that we felt like we were -- got caught on the short end of the stick a little bit last night, there's no excuse. That's not going to have any bearing on who wins or loses this series. I think that everybody was trying their best. You know, they had two different weather reports from did two different services. They were calling the Commissioner who was in Milwaukee. I mean, what is he supposed to be able to do? That's nobody's fault. (Laughter.) Come on, is he looking at the Milwaukee weather report? (Laughter.) I felt like it was just, I mean, I got a confirmed, without question, we're starting at ten o'clock. This was at 9:30. I said, oh, well, that gives our guy time. Like I said, I'm on the bench, my players are on the bench, my pitcher is down there and all of the sudden my coaches realize that, you know, Mike Mussina is not down there. I said, well, like I said, last time I checked, they pitch first. So something's not right.

Then one of the guys from Major League Baseball came over and said, well, you'd better stop your pitcher, it's going to rain more. I said, well, I know that because you told me that 45 minutes ago.

In fairness to everybody, I don't have new -- I don't have any problem. You know, there was nobody that was, you know -- I mean, everybody here's got enough common sense to know that the Yankees don't need an edge. I mean, it's not like they, you know, are getting some special respect. I don't believe any of that stuff. I don't.

I'm not saying they did, but people who don't need an edge very often would like it anyway. Human nature, home team, home advantage.

JIM LEYLAND: I can honestly tell you this, in my heart, there is no way that anybody from the Yankee organization tried to pull something over on the Tigers. Inning 1 through inning 9, Joe Torre might pull something on me I'm not ready for, but never in my life would Joe Torre, or would I, ever come up with something as ridiculous as, hey, let's get their guy started and let's have our guy on the freeway going home. That just doesn't happen.

I wasn't saying Joe.

JIM LEYLAND: I understand that. The Yankees, you know, we're not -- it's like I said the first day, I wish we had a reason to be mad at the Yankees but they do everything right, they are classy, they do things right and there's no edge there for us. So that's just the way it is.

Justin said that the toughest thing might be getting a little bit of sleep since he's normally in bed in the afternoon and a 1:00 p.m. start, as opposed to being on the mound, do you know if he got enough sleep, does he seem rested enough?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, we didn't bunk together, so I don't know. (Laughter.)

Courtesy of FastScripts by ASAP Sports. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.