Leyland loving warm reception from Tigers fans

Leyland loving warm reception from Tigers fans

Leyland loving warm reception from Tigers fans
DETROIT -- How quickly things can change. From fans calling for manager Jim Leyland's head, the Tigers' skipper is now being kindly received around the city, given that Detroit is on its way to the World Series.

As the Tigers prepared for Sunday's scrimmage at Comerica Park against instructional league opponents, Leyland told a few stories about his interactions with fans the day before.

He met a pregnant woman and her husband Saturday morning, then randomly bumped into the woman's father Saturday night. But it was his story about a wedding party that was most interesting.

"I was downtown and there was a wedding going on, and I stopped in the bar to watch the rest of the Michigan-Michigan State game," Leyland said. "And there was a lot of wedding parties there. ... They asked, 'Can we get a picture?' So I ended up taking pictures with all of them.

"I'm on every Twitter and every Facebook in the world today with some bride that got married [Saturday] night. And they were really nice people."

Leyland said he was even asked by one bride's father to come to the reception. However, he refused to take attention away from his daughter, the same way he tries not to take the attention away from his players.

"I said, 'No I cannot come up to the reception and have a drink. This is your daughter's night. I am not coming up to the reception. This is her day,"' Leyland said. "Then later on that night, I ran into him and he says, 'Thanks for being so nice and so patient.'"

It's a different reception than the skipper's probably become accustomed to. After all, it was just last month that a Tigers fan was holding up a "Fire Leyland" sign in Chicago that Miguel Cabrera had to take away.

"It's so nice. I'm running into people all over," Leyland said. "Even one guy said, 'I'm so sorry for getting on you all year.' He said, 'You guys did a great job. I apologize for being mean to you all year.' I said, 'Who are you?' No, no. It's neat. It's great."

--Anthony Odoardi