Leyland leaves his fingerprints on new All-Star Game rules
When you watch this year's All-Star Game, July 13 in Anaheim, think of Jim Leyland.
The Tigers' manager is a member of the special advisory committee that recommended the changes to the All-Star Game that were announced this week, including allowing both sides to employ a designated hitter regardless of where the game is played.
Leyland, who has been part of the mid-summer All-Star extravaganza five times -- twice as a manager (1998, 2007) and three times as a coach (1991, '94, '08) -- has long been a proponent of letting both teams use a DH.
But he balked Thursday when a writer referred to the new rule as "The Leyland Rule."
"Lots of us proposed that, it wasn't me only," he insisted.
"But I love it, it's just common sense," Leyland added.
"I'm honored to be on the committee, I was flattered to be asked," he continued. "It's the first time I've been involved with the commissioner on this level.
"It's very interesting to talk about things that you think are good. I really enjoy it because you get to speak your piece.
"The commissioner said there would be no sacred cows and he's been great about that," said Leyland. "He lets us talk about anything we want.
"Nobody is trying to be a rocket scientist. We're just trying to share some thoughts and ideas that we think will make the game better for the fans."
Leyland said he has another proposed rule change, not related to the All-Star Game, pending. But he refused to reveal what it might be.
The committee's next meeting will be a conference call on Monday.
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig has said he intends to retire in 2012. Leyland's current contract with the Tigers expires after the 2011 season.
So I asked Leyland if he might become the next commissioner.
"I doubt that I'm going to Park Avenue," he quipped, referring to the location of baseball's headquarters in New York City. "I don't think that's going to happen."