Jim Leyland, America's Role Model

On the list of Baseball Characters, former manager Jim Leyland has to be pretty high up there. As Leyland travels to Detroit to interview for the just-opened Detroit Tigers job, we'd like to hark back to our personal favorite Jim Leyland moment.

He was being interviewed by then-ESPNer Chris Myers, who was asking him about his well-publicized tendency to smoke cigarettes in the dugout. Leyland paused for a moment, put his head down and delivered the obligatory platitudes about how bad smoking is for you, how children should avoid smoking, how he knows it's unhealthy. Then he looked directly into the camera, his eyes very wide, and said, "Still. Smokers out there, you know what I'm talking about. That moment, after you've had a huge meal, say at Thanksgiving, when you step outside in the cold, light up a cigarette and take a deep inhale ... that's about the best moment in the world, you know? All the smokers out there, you know that feeling. Sometimes, smoking is fantastic." Myers quickly cut to commercial, and Leyland has never been on the show since.

We really hope he gets the job.

Leyland Driving To Detroit To Interview For Tigers' Job [Detroit Free Press]