New York Yankees: Jim Leyland

Leyland is against 1-game playoff

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
6:08
PM ET
There has been plenty of speculation over baseball adding a wild-card team and implementing a one-game playoff between two wild card clubs in order to ensure exciting races in September.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is against the idea.

"I'll get in trouble for this, because I am not in favor of a one-game playoff," said Leyland, who talks regularly with commissioner Bud Selig and has served on MLB's Committee for On-Field Issues for a year and a half. "I am not in favor of that. That's probably going to happen, but I am not in favor of the one-game playoff."

Leyland quickly added to laughs: "And I might not be on the committee tomorrow."

Leyland also said he prefers seven-game series to five-game series. Current format calls for teams to play five-game division series and seven game league championships and World Series.

"I think it's always better if you can have a seven-game playoff. I think it's more credible, to be honest with you," Leyland said. "But I guess what they try to do is ... not to get too far into the cold weather."

He added: "There's no perfect scenario."

Leyland: Verlander a no-go tonight

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
6:03
PM ET
Tigers manager Jim Leyland absolutely ruled out an appearance by his ace, Justin Verlander, in tonight's Game 5, regardless of score or circumstances.

"It was not a hard decision for me,'' Leyland said during a most entertaining pre-game interview session. "One thing you have to remember, he went a little longer than CC (Sabathia) the other night. He was also throwing 100 miles an hour in the eighth inning. He's thrown a lot of pitches under stressful circumstances. Justin Verlander coming out of the bullpen tonight might make for a better story. But I don't think it's a common-sense thing to do long-term, to be honest with you.''

Just to make sure Verlander would not be available, Leyland had him throw a pre-game bullpen session of 56 pitches. His Yankees counterpart, Joe Girardi, held Sabathia back from his normal between-starts bullpen session so his ace woul dbe available tonight if necessary.

Said Leyland: "(Max) Scherzer is my Sabathia tonight. I think you're forgetting that Scherzer did a pretty good job against this team (on Sunday in Game 2), and he's rested better. That's just the way it is.''

By the way, the differences between the personalities of the two managers was obvious by the way they handled the same question. Told that Leyland had ruled Verlander out, a chuckling Girardi said, "I know what Jim said, but sometimes circumstances change. You get into a crazy game, he might be the last guy out there. I'm not saying Jim won't put him in there. But you get into an 18 inning game, you're not putting Wilson Betemit there, you know what I mean?''

Leyland, asked if he had considered decoying the Yankees by playing coy over Verlander's availability, said, "I don't play gamesmanship. There's no secrets here. I'm not pitching Justin Verlander tonight. I just don't think it makes sense.''

Leyland explains Verlander decision

October, 6, 2011
10/06/11
5:56
PM ET
Tigers manager Jim Leyland surprised many on Wednesday when he said staff ace and presumptive American League Cy Young winner Justin Verlander will not be available out of the bullpen for Game 5.

He explained his decision shortly before the first pitch of Game 5.

Said Leyland: "I don't think it's a wise decision. Like I said, those innings he pitched the other night, all the innings he's piled up this year, all the strikeouts, all the adrenaline, and the fact that he's throwing 100 miles an hour in the eighth inning [on Monday night], if he comes in this game tonight, there's no telling what he would be throwing with the way this crowd is going to be and everything. I just don't think it makes sense."

Verlander threw 120 pitches in eight innings in the Tigers' 5-4 win. He also tossed 25 in one inning on Friday night before the game was suspended due to rain.

Verlander has never pitched out of the bullpen in his career. Prior to his Game 3 start Monday following Friday's rainout, Verlander had never started a game on fewer than four days' rest.

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TEAM LEADERS

WINS LEADER
Masahiro Tanaka
WINS ERA SO IP
13 2.77 141 136
OTHER LEADERS
BAJ. Ellsbury .271
HRB. McCann 23
RBIB. McCann 75
RB. Gardner 87
OPSB. Gardner .749
ERAH. Kuroda 3.71
SOH. Kuroda 146