Tigers manager Jim Leyland was interviewed for the latest episode of ESPN's "Baseball Today" podcast. Host Peter Pascarelli calls Leyland his "favorite guy in baseball," and they've known each other for quite a while. Among the topics discussed in the interview:
- Miguel Cabrera's development. "I think it's tough for him to bring it every day. And I think sometimes he gives away at-bats. And that's just a maturity thing; I'm not mad about it. I'm not being critical; I don't mean it that way."
- Calling up Alex Avila: "I love stuff like that. I'm not afraid to bring up young players in a pennant race."
- Magglio Ordonez's contract situation: "I'm gonna play the team that I think gives us a chance to win the game. If that includes him, fine. If it doesn't, fine. And that's the way it'll be."
Leyland and Pascarelli have some history as they collaborated on a 1993 book, titled "The Toughest Job in Baseball." (I got a copy a few months ago, and keep meaning to review it here. Maybe after the season.)
You can listen to the "Baseball Today" podcast via streaming audio at the ESPN.com PodCenter. You can also download it directly, of course, or get it from iTunes.
It's definitely worth your time during the baseball season. And if you think Pascarelli sounds a bit grumpy by himself, wait until his co-host, Eric Karabell, returns from vacation.