Leyland before Game 4

BY foxsports • October 18, 2012

By Dana WakijiFOX Sports Detroit
Detroit -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a fairly restful night Wednesday compared to what could have been.
Because Game 4 was postponed because of rain, Leyland was able to spend a little time with his family.
"I just went home with my wife and son, and we actually got to watch the last inning for the Cardinal game," Leyland said. "Talked a little bit and went to bed."
For his part, Leyland had no problem with the league postponing the game even though the heavy rain didn't come until after 10 p.m.
"This is one of those things that is an inconvenience for fans," Leyland said. "But the Detroit Tigers have nothing to do with it. It is handled by Major League Baseball and the commissioner. And we always honor and respect that. Whatever decision they make, you honor it and respect it and move on."
Leyland said that left-handed reliever Phil Coke would be available if needed Thursday.
"He's in a good groove right now," Leyland said. "I would like to really preferable stay away from him one more day, if I could, but he is able to be used today. I might do that if the situation dictates it."
Leyland was also asked about closer Jose Valverde, who has not pitched since giving up two two-run home runs in Game 1.
"He is in a good frame of mind," Leyland said. "I have been checking in with him every day. He is in good spirits. He wants to win, you know, so it's just a situation that we see how it plays out."
Because the situation in Game 1 was so potentially devastating, even though the Tigers were able to over come it, and because it came on the heels of Valverde's blowing a save a few days before against Oakland, it's fair to wonder if Valverde was able to put that behind him as easily as a blown save in the regular season.
"One thing I liked about him, he always has been able to turn the page pretty good," Leyland said. "But to say that it doesn't affect anybody I think would be stretching it. I think that it affects you immediately, no matter who you are, whether you strike out or you blow a save or you make an error. But I think the good guys and the good players are able to turn the page rather quickly, and he is one of those guys that can do that."
Leyland was asked if he thought it might linger with Valverde.
"I can't answer that," Leyland said. "I don't go home and have dinner with him. I just talk to him when they come to the ballpark. And I talked to him in the outfield yesterday and he seemed absolutely normal to me."
Normal being a relative term, of course.


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