Originally posted on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 2/24/12

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 21: (EDITOR'S NOTE: IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Manager, Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 21, 2009 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Lakeland, Fla. -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland had a spring in his step Friday morning during the first full-squad workout in Lakeland. After speaking with his outfielders and infielders separately, Leyland put his players right to work. Miguel Cabrera spent his non-batting practice time at third base and Brandon Inge spent his at second base. For Leyland, it was just what he wanted for the first day with everyone in camp. As he promised, Leyland had his pitchers throw batting practice to live hitters the first day. "I thought it went really well," Leyland said. "We had a couple little burps where a couple younger guys got confused on what field (to go to). But they got there. Other than that, it was absolutely perfect so I was tickled with it. "Pitchers did a good job being around the plate, the hitters, it's tough coming in the first day having to see those guys. They all handled it well. I thought overall it was very, very good." While Leyland was pleased with all of his players, he was particularly happy with veteran left-handed reliever Phil Coke. "I thought he had really good concentration," Leyland said. "That's what I look for when they're throwing BP. It's not just exercise, you're doing it for a purpose. And I thought he was really good. He was a little lax on a couple when we went over to PFP (pitchers' fielding practice), live action. "Gene (Lamont, bench coach) suggested a couple years ago, once they throw their BP, maybe it's best to have them go over live action and actual full-speed PFP instead of standing there, get a grounder. We put that in, which is really a good exercise. There's a couple where he was a little lax and I just mentioned it to him. He just picked up on it right away. He was going all out." Garcia gets Leyland's attention It's tough to miss outfielder Avisail Garcia. The 20-year-old Venezuela native stands 6-foot-4 and weighs about 245 pounds, according to him, up from about 235. "If you watch that young Garcia kid hit, you'd have to be pretty impressed," Leyland said. "He's a big, strong guy that's only going to get stronger. He's got a lot of tools. It was fun to watch him hit today. But like I said, you don't get too carried away. If you watch these guys, they all hit 'em out." Garcia, in his second spring training in Lakeland, does not feel like a deer in headlights as he did last year. "My first time I was like, what am I doing?" Garcia said. "Now I know what I'm doing. I know (to) work hard every day, every day, every day. More comfortable." Garcia smiled when he was asked about his superstar countryman, Cabrera, who welcomed him upon arrival. "He say, 'What's up, man? How you doing? How you feel?'" Garcia said. "He's my friend. He's special for me." It's also a special feeling for Garcia to hear that Leyland singled him out so early. "It feels good, Garcia said. "I work for that. I work hard in Venezuela, the academy in Valencia. I'm here for a good team. I feel proud of what he say." Leyland is watching Garcia is not the only youngster on Leyland's radar. In fact, Leyland says he makes a point of going up to the young kids in camp and talking to them. "Because I don't want them thinking, 'Who's this old grumpy bastard walking around here?'" Leyland said. "So I gotta talk to them. Mess with them a little bit, talk to them, find out where they're from, find out if they played other sports. In other words, break the ice. I like talking to them. I enjoy that a lot." Although sometimes the young kids are not aware that Leyland is watching them, other times he wants them to know he's paying attention. "Ever since I've been here, I've tried to really preach organization," Leyland said. "Obviously you separate it, but forget minor league and major league. This is the Tiger organization. "When these kids are older, I want them to know that we care about them, we're going to try to give them a shot, let them show off their ability a little bit. I think that's healthy for the organization." Select-a-seat open house If you're on the fence about getting a season ticket plan, the Tigers have just the thing for you. This Saturday at Comerica Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., they will hold their second select-a-seat and open house event for potential new season ticket buyers. There will be complimentary parking in the Tigers parking garage. People can choose from full season, 41- game, and 2827-game packages that include Opening Day. Those in attendance can register to win autographed merchandise as well as a chance to throw out a ceremonial first pitch before a 2012 home game. Next Saturday individual tickets will go on sale online at tigers.com, by calling 313-471-BALL or at the Comerica Park box office.
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