Stepping Away From Rogers, And Toward Leyland

All right, we're gonna make a vow: We're pretty tired of this whole Kenny Rogers business, and we're not gonna talk about it anymore. We know controversy is fun, and we know Rogers probably had pine tar on his hand, and we know Tony LaRussa probably should have had him thrown out of the game. But in all seriousness: It really didn't make a difference. Rogers shut down the Cardinals, the series is tied and, well, we don't even know if we're gonna see Rogers again this series. It's fun to have something to talk about, and we'll confess an affinity to "Kenny Rogers has poop on his hands" humor, but really, we're over it.

We'd like to talk instead about Jim Leyland, a guy we could watch talk for days. He had a vintage day yesterday; when discussing the Rogers business, he unleashed the classic Leyland grumbling retort, "I'm not going to chew yesterday's breakfast." This is funny not just because it could have come from no one other than Leyland, but also because we can actually imagine Leyland still chewing some ham and eggs from last Thursday.

Let us retell our favorite Jim Leyland story, which we mentioned back when he was interviewing for the Tigers job.

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.

It can be difficult to root against Leyland.

World Series Notes [Newark Star-Ledger]
Jim Leyland, America's Role Model [Deadspin]