Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 1/23/13
Mlb_indians_at_a3ae
TOLEDO, Ohio -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland ducked past several reporters Wednesday night before an event at Fifth Third Stadium. You guys thought you got rid of me, Leyland eventually said with a smile. Leyland signed another one-year contract shortly after the World Series, which is just fine with him. He prefers to review his situation at the end of each season. He was asked, tongue-in-cheek, about his 2014 contract. Oh, youll have fun speculating on that, Leyland said. And youll have me fired about 20 times. Then he left the reporters and addressed a gathering of Mud HensTigers fans. I want to apologize, Leyland began. I want to apologize that the World Series lasted six hours and seven minutes ... It was close last year, but no cigar. The couple hundred fans in attendance laughed along with him. Hey, you laugh or you cry after what happened in the Fall Classic, which was hardly a classic. The San Francisco Giants swept Detroit in four games after the Tigers sweep of the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series. Getting over the final hurdle and winning the World Series -- something the Tigers havent done since 1984 -- was a popular topic of conversation during a question-and-answer session with fans. Maybe we wont sweep the Yankees, Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon said. But well take it to five or six games and come in sharper. When asked about teams making improvements in the American League, McClendon noted that Josh Hamilton was a great free-agent pickup for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim; however, McClendon made it clear that he's very happy that the Tigers signed the right fielder Hamilton is replacing, Torii Hunter. On Hamilton in the field, McClendon said, Hes OK, but hes not going to be Torii Hunter in the outfield. Hunter has nine Gold Gloves to Hamilton's none. Leyland also discussed the 2013 season with reporters. He didn't hesitate in determing that rookie closer Bruce Rondon will be the hottest topic on the team's winter caravan, which concludes Saturday with the sold-out TigerFest at Comerica Park. If he throws it over the plate at 100, hell be fine, Leyland said of Rondon. Rondon, 22, is getting a shot at replacing Jose Valverde, who collapsed in the 2012 playoffs. Rondon has a fastball that tops out at 103 mph with movement, a plus slider -- and not a single day of major-league experience. Im excited about the Rondon situation, Leyland continued. Hes going to be a big topic -- might as well face up to it. In 2012, Rondon was a combined 2-1 with a 1.53 ERA, 29 saves, 66 strikeouts, 26 walks and 53 innings pitched for Single-A Lakeland (22 games), Double-A Erie (21 games) and Triple-A Toledo (nine games). Im going to spend a lot of time with him, Leyland said. He dont know that yet ... I have to find out if he is he callused enough to do this or to turn the page. MORE FROM LEYLAND On Rick Porcello and Drew Smyly vying for the No. 5 starter spot: This guy (Porcello) is a pretty valuable piece for us. Weve got Porcello and weve got Smyly ... You never have enough of it (pitching). That will work its way out. Its a luxury ... If its Smyly, Porcello will be the safety valve in the bullpen. If its Porcello, Smyly will be the left-hander in the bullpen. On Gene Lamont moving from third-base coach to bench coach: He got hit three times last year with one-hoppers and line shots. At our age, you do not react as well. He came to me and said, You know, Jim, what would you think about next year putting me on the bench? I think Gene Lamont is the best third-base coach in the American League, so Im concerned. But I think Tommy (Tom Brookens) will do fine at third. On Victor Martinez returning after missing 2012 while rehabilitating from knee surgery: Hes stronger than ever. Hes relentless. He cant wait. But you dont know what tempo to go with him at yet. On outfielder Ryan Raburn signing a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians: Hopefully, hell relax a bit there. On shortstop Johnny Peralta reporting to camp after an intense offseason conditioning regimen: Peraltas gonna look really good when he comes in. On the left-field situation with Andy Dirks and Brennan Boesch: I see Dirks in left field. I see Boesch and Dirks competing. Boesch has done some pretty good things. Dirks has done some pretty good things. Lets compete.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dallas Cowboys' team employee bus involved in fatal crash

Aldon Smith posts video under a pseudonym of a blunt on Periscope

WATCH: Cam Newton get blocked by a girl playing volleyball

Russia avoids complete ban from Rio Olympics by the IOC

Report: Padres trying to move Andrew Cashner, Derek Norris

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Baseball's top prospect called up to majors by Astros

Report: Braves 'aggressively' shopping Francoeur, Aybar

Report: Hue Jackson designing plays for Terrelle Pryor

Report: Darnell Dockett expected to announce retirement

Report: Yankees have not discussed releasing A-Rod

Report: D-Backs making Shelby Miller available via trade

Cristiano Ronaldo spars with Conor McGregor in gym

Adam Silver is the new standard-bearer for league commisioners

Iowa football player held at gunpoint by police while playing Pokemon Go

Eight most significant injuries going into NFL training camp

Man. U players banned from playing 'Pokemon Go?'

Ken Griffey Jr. put on backwards hat during HOF speech

Mike Piazza honors 9/11 victims during Hall of Fame speech

Jeremy Lin hints he is racially profiled by arena employees

Why did Rio mayor offer to put kangaroo in Olympic village?

Joe Maddon wastes no time cracking Chris Sale joke

Report: Lamar Odom walked out on family intervention

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

WATCH: NBA jersey sponsors that need to happen

Expansion draft playing heavy hand in the current NHL offseason

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker