PITTSBURGH -- Before coming to Detroit in 2006, Jim Leyland started his managing career two decades before in Pittsburgh. Leyland led the Bucs for 11 years, and still lives in western Pennsylvania. Despite his ties to the city and the organization, Leyland said this weekend's series at PNC Park is no different from any other. "It's another opponent," Leyland said. "It makes it nice, because you get to see a lot of old friends, and you get to sleep in your own bed for a couple of days and visit with your family, but the competition is the same as it is anywhere else."
Speaking of the competition, Leyland is impressed with what the Pirates have accomplished of late. Going into Friday's series opener, Pittsburgh had won four of its last five games and finds itself two games behind Cincinnati in the National League Central. Although Detroit took two of three from Pittsburgh last month at home, Leyland isn't putting much stock in those results. "[The Pirates] are very legitimate. Their pitching is really good," he said. "I like their team. People will think I'm just saying this because I'm from Pittsburgh, but I'm not. "I think Pittsburgh will compete. I don't know if they'll win or not, but they'll compete. They're pretty good."