The Detroit manager wears spikes on the field (and into the clubhouse) and always has his Marlboros handy after the game when it's time to unwind after some tense baseball.
Leyland is also known for his managing ability, which combines tactics from classic baseball strategy with some modern sensibility. That modern sensibility often requires Leyland to have something to say about all kinds of situations, and Leyland has done that with aplomb, too.
While Leyland has had his share of good quotes throughout the years, he took a creative poke at his image as a grizzled old MLB manager as his team prepared for its most recent World Series tilt with the Giants, when he was asked how he relates to young players on the team.
"I think I relate sometimes with the younger players better than the younger players relate to themselves," he told reporters in Detroit. "There's a whole bunch of people in our families. My dad was one of 16, my wife is one of 11, and I'm one of seven. You learn how to deal with people. I don't think that's really a problem for me."
And then, before reporters could try to find a way ask about the image Leyland gives off — an image that's opposite of young and cheerful, that is — he beat them to it.
"I am just grumpy once in a while because you have to be grumpy, or sometimes you [the media] don't get the message," he said. "So everybody thinks I'm a grumpy old man.
"I'm old, but I'm not grumpy."
Spoken like a true manager.
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