DETROIT -- The Tigers had just finished a 5-1 victory over the Twins and were on the bus to the airport when they heard that Mariners ace Felix Hernandez had a perfect game going.
As soon as they got on the plane, they watched as Hernandez threw the 23rd perfect game in Major League history.
"I was nothing more than a fan," manager Jim Leyland said. "I loved it. It was exciting. I got a big rush at the end pulling for the kid. ... You become a fan. I think that's fantastic. It's kind of a neat little thing that it's the second perfect game in Seattle this year."
The White Sox Philip Humber threw a perfect game at Safeco Field in April.
Leyland said that what made the game most interesting was that it was a close contest. And although he said a manager never wants to see his team get no-hit, in some situations he would have a difficult time not rooting for an opposing pitcher.
"If you're getting beat 12-0 -- you'd probably never say it publicly -- but if you're the other manager, you'd probably say, 'You know what? I hope the guy gets it,'" Leyland said. "But if it's a 1-0 game, that's a totally different ballgame. If somebody gets on and bloops a double down the right-field line, the game's tied. And they're fighting for a playoff spot, so it becomes a little bit different.
"You never want to see your team get no-hit or a perfect game [thrown against them], but if you're behind 9-0 with two out in the ninth and the guy's got a perfect game, I can't tell you in my heart that I'd be saying, 'Oh I hope we get a hit to screw this guy up.'"