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Oct. 18 Jim Leyland pregame interview

Q: Jim, when you get out of the ballpark earlier than you thought last night, do you catch up on sleep? Or is it hard to sleep this time of year when you're thinking about baseball so much?

JIM LEYLAND: No, I just went home with my wife and my son, and we actually got to watch the last inning of the Cardinal game. Talked a little bit, and went to bed.

Q: Jim, you expect to have your full complement of relievers today?


Q: Jim, we didn't get a chance to ask you last night. Were you okay with the way that Major League Baseball handled everything with the weather and the rain last night?

JIM LEYLAND: Yeah, this is one of those things that is an inconvenience for fans. 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.

Q: Do you think about momentum or lost momentum or anything like that, or momentum in the next day's starting pitcher?

JIM LEYLAND: I don't really think it has anything to do with anything. We got rain and we got rained out.

Q: Jim, can you compare Alex Avila's physical state now opposed to how he is going through the playoffs last year?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think he's better obviously physically going in. And we've been ... Gerald Laird is playing today, been playing against lefties. That's the way we have been going for a while now. I think it freshened Alex up a little bit, but I don't know if he is totally, totally healthy. I couldn't swear to that. But I think he is fine. He took a little shot the other night that rang his bell a little bit, but I think he's fine.

Q: Jim, from your experience, does the extra day off help the starters, Scherzer and CC Sabathia, or do them a little injustice?

JIM LEYLAND: I don't know the answer to that. I never try to overthink anything. And we got rained out. And, you know, I mean, if it helps CC, I guess it should help Scherzer.

I really don't know the answer to that. It should be a great matchup today. They got an extra day. We just have to wait and see how it plays out.

Q: Jim, when you're managing older stars as they get older, what is the hardest thing about that as a manager dealing with guys who ... as they age or who were once superstars?

JIM LEYLAND: I don't know. Stars are stars. I mean, it is what it is. You know, there is no trick to it. I don't have any special philosophy for it, if that's what you mean. Basically it is what it is.

Q: To have Phil Coke available, how much of a boost is that, a plus is that, out of the rainout? Why has he been so dialed in and effective lately?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think sometimes guys get on a roll. Some guys get on a good groove hitting, and some get on a good groove pitching.

He's in a good groove right now. I would like to really preferably stay away from him one more day, if I could, but he is able to be used today. So, you know, I might do that if the situation dictates it.

But I just think that he's like a hitter. Pitchers are like hitters. Pitchers get in a good groove and get rolling pretty good, and hitters get in a good groove and get rolling pretty good.

Q: Jim, I think it's been four days since you said we're going to start working with Valverde and see if we can get him fixed. What is the state of where you are with him?

JIM LEYLAND: He is in a good frame of mind. 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. But he's a terrific teammate. He is in great spirits and a great frame of mind right now.

So, once again, we'll just have to wait and see how everything plays out.

Q: One more about Jose. What happened on Saturday, did that actually affect him psychologically? What happened in Game 1 with Jose Valverde, did that actually affect him emotionally, or he is just a closer and moves on?

JIM LEYLAND: One thing I liked about him, he always has been able to turn the page pretty good. 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 strikeout or you blow a save or you make an error, what it is.

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.

Q: Did it linger a little bit more with that?

JIM LEYLAND: I can't answer that. 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.