Here’s
my favorite Jim Leyland memory. In 1995, I was a sportswriter in the
Pittsburgh area filling in for the Gannett News Pirates beat writer. I
quickly realized the beat writers were terrified of Leyland. After a
loss to the Padres, they all stood around him with me and I figured I’d
just cherry pick a quote from their questions. I was just there for one
day. But when Leyland came into his office, no one said a thing. Leyland
growled, “No questions?” So I asked a question and got a response with
literally 20 F-bombs. The TV guys were taping and I remember thinking,
“They can’t run this.” But that’s not the memory. I got to the game two
hours early because I wanted to check out the baseball stadium. Leyland
was in his office and from outside I could hear him on the phone. And he
was talking to his son, who was 4, and had tracked down his dad and was
trying to get a “second opinion” on something he wanted but his mother
wouldn’t allow. I heard Leyland say to him, “Now. You do what your
mother says. … No… No.” And he told his son that was final and this
went on for two minutes. And he asked his son to put his mom on he
phone. Then Leyland told his wife to give his son what he wanted. That
memory always makes me smile.