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Leyland, Baker share mutual admiration

Leyland, Baker share mutual admiration

CINCINNATI -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland is a fan of Cincinnati, dating back to his days managing the Pittsburgh Pirates and making the trip as a league rival, including the 1990 National League Championship Series.

Leyland is also a fan of Reds manager Dusty Baker, who, in turn, is a fan of Leyland.

"He's a guy I'm real close to," Baker told reporters. "When I was a coach and he was a manager, he was telling me all the time that I would be managing some day. We have a lot in common. We both managed Barry Bonds for an extended period of time. I used to ask him different things about Barry and we would talk. He went to Florida and beat us down there. Then he went to Colorado.

"I was with him the night he retired in Colorado [in 1999]. He was singing at some piano bar and he wanted me to go with him and sing. I said 'I'd go with him and listen.' He called me up there to sing. He's a guy I like and admire a lot. I haven't managed against him in a while, because we haven't played the Tigers in a while. He and I and Bruce Bochy are slowly but surely becoming the elder statesmen in the game."