Leyland talks love of music in Costas interview

Leyland talks love of music in Costas interview

CINCINNATI -- Jim Leyland's reputation as a singer is well known. It's why he was nicknamed in the Minor Leagues after famous crooner Englebert Humperdinck. His love of musicals, on the other hand, was a little better secret.

Once his interview with Bob Costas airs on MLB Network Saturday, the secret's out. Costas asked him what he would've done if he wasn't in baseball.

"I still like to sing," Leyland told Costas. "I'm not as good as I was at one time. I was OK at one time. ... I can't quite hit the high ones like I used to, but I was OK. I sang weddings and I was in a choir and different things like that, and I loved it. But this worked out a little better, I think.

"I love soft rock. I'm not into the rap too much, obviously. I'm a little old for that. ... I love the oldies. I saw "Jersey Boys" four times. ... I love musicals. I saw a lot of the musicals. I like those and participated in those in school, so that's probably what I would've tried to do. I doubt it would have worked out, but who knows? That's a tough business. That's probably tougher than our business to be successful in."

Leyland also talked about his baseball career, including how he never thought he would get a chance to manage the Tigers at his age. When Costas asked him when he'll retire, he had a philosophical answer.

"When the passion's not there, when I start getting up in the morning and not wanting to go to work, I'll go home," Leyland said. "Tony [La Russa] and I are a little bit different in that I had a six-year sabbatical and that really refreshed me. That got the battery going again. I think that really helped me out. I think if I would've tried to do it like 33 straight years like Tony did, I probably would've stepped away too, maybe even before that. But that six-year sabbatical, I spent some time at home and watched the kids grow up a bit. It really refreshed me."