Tigers taking advantage of All-Star break
JUL 10, 2012 10:47a ET
Tigers manager Jim Leyland knows that while it is a break for the rest of the players, that doesn't necessarily mean it's going to be relaxing.
"Some people are flying around the country," Leyland said. "To be honest with you, it ends up not being as much of a break as people think because people are rushing around the airports trying to see their families, trying to see their dad and mom, see their wife and kids if they're not here, they're visiting somebody that's sick somewhere.
"I've been through this, so I know what it's like. It is a break, but if you don't know how to handle it, you'll be just as tired when you get back."
Catcher Gerald Laird might be one of those people Leyland is talking about. He's meeting his family for a busy visit in California.
"I will be at SeaWorld on Monday, the one in San Diego, and then probably Disneyland Tuesday and the beach on Wednesday," Laird said before the break. "We're going to SeaWorld the first day because my daughter wants to see Shamu again.
"I fly out Thursday afternoon and get into Baltimore late Thursday night."
Rookie Drew Smyly said he's headed home to Arkansas for the break.
"Seeing some family and friends, just relaxing, get my mind off baseball for a little while," Smyly said. "My parents have a lake house. It's like 30 minutes from where I grew up, so you just go out there and hang out on the lake. It's just a good, relaxing time. That's what I plan on doing most days."
For Ramon Santiago and his wife, Andrea, they have quite a bit going on. They're considering a move from the Dominican Republic to Florida.
"Probably going to go to Miami a couple days and relax, South Beach a couple days," Santiago said. "We're planning to see some houses, me and my wife. Probably stay on the beach and relax, too."
Alex Avila will also be in the Miami area, as that's where he and his wife, Kristina, live in the offseason.
"Just relax for a few days, hang out by the pool," Avila said. "I'm not planning on doing anything."
Ryan Raburn will also be in Florida, but on the west side of the state, in Tampa.
"That's about all I got planned; I'm going home," Raburn said. "See the family, and that's about it. Spend as much time as I can with them."
Raburn is looking forward to seeing his wife, Suzanne, and their 16-month-old daughter, Taytum.
"She's getting big," Raburn said. "She's a lot of fun right now."
Jhonny Peralta also has missed his family — wife Molly, 2-1/2-year-old daughter Analise, and twin baby daughters Gabriela and Laina, born in June.
"I'm going to see my family in Cleveland and try to help the most I can and pass good time with them because they don't see me too much," Peralta said. "It's good to be there."
Peralta's wife is from Cleveland and the rest of her family lives there, so he doesn't see them as much during the season.
"It's hard for me because the first daughter I have, she already knows a lot of the things so she miss me a lot," Peralta said. "She says, 'Oh, where's Papi?' It's kind of hard. I'm missing her every day, too. I don't see (the twins) for close to one month, so they're going to be bigger already."
Phil Coke is not going anywhere because his wife, Bobbie, is due to give birth to their first child July 22.
"Hanging out with my wife is exciting for me. I enjoy being with my wife," Coke said. "There's going to be one trip that she's going to be able to make and that's the one to the hospital when it's that time.
"We'll see when that goes down. It would be nice, in a manner of speaking, if it were to happen before going anywhere, coming back from the break. It would be cool if that was the timing of it but at the same time, I'm kind of sort of holding out for it to be around my birthday, which is on the 19th."
Duane Below is not going far, either. It will be a kind of family reunion in Toledo.
"I've got some family that came in from out of town, so we'll probably just go to my sister's and hang out there and lay low," Below said. "Other than that, not much, just take a couple days and then start getting ready to go."
Below, the youngest of six children, said his sister is coming from Louisiana and it will be the first time he has seen her since she returned from a four-year stay in Germany with the Air Force. His brother-in-law remains overseas.
As for Leyland, he, too, went home to Pittsburgh to see his family.
"I'm going to have a good time with my family and then I'm going to kick back," Leyland said. "I'm going to play golf with (wife) Katie, and I'm going to take them out to dinner, we're going to grill out and I'm going to go to the pool.
"(But) not our pool, we don't have a pool. We're going to the club pool. And then Katie's going to drive me to Baltimore."
The Tigers kick off the second half of the season with a three-game series in Baltimore before they return home July 16 for seven games.