Leyland focused on pennant race, not '13 contract

Leyland focused on pennant race, not '13 contract

CLEVELAND -- Of all the buzz about Jim Leyland's future as Tigers manager, one voice that hasn't been heard is Leyland's. That's by design.

Leyland hasn't gone in depth on many questions about the team in general for next year, but with the impetus on winning now, not many such questions have come up. When the query about his own status for next year came up Saturday, Leyland shrugged it off.

"There's no sense in asking," Leyland said, "because I won't talk about it. I don't want to talk about me. We're in a pennant race. I don't want to be a distraction."

Leyland is finishing out a one-year contract he signed last August. At the time, Leyland said he was comfortable going year-to-year on his contract, much like his good friend Tony La Russa did during his final years in St. Louis. But Leyland was saying that with his status decided before the stretch run.

As the Tigers head into the final 2 1/2 weeks of the season, it's becoming increasingly apparent that Leyland's status probably won't be addressed until season's end. It has been widely assumed that how the Tigers finish will play a major factor in Leyland's future with the team.

"I don't think about that," Leyland said. "I'm thinking about beating the Cleveland Indians. That [contract] stuff will take care of itself."