Thursday, October 24, 2013

Tom Gantert's favorite Jim Leyland memory

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.

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