Leyland: Ibanez move made sense

Leyland: Ibanez move made sense

OAKLAND -- The question about Raul Ibanez's pinch-hit home run hadn't even come out of a reporter's mouth when Tigers manager Jim Leyland dead-panned a reply.

"I'm not going to pinch-hit for [Miguel] Cabrera," Leyland retorted, drawing laughter.

For a manager known for handling star players well, Leyland liked the move that Yankees manager Joe Girardi made to replace Alex Rodriguez with Ibanez in the ninth inning of the other ALDS against the Orioles on Wednesday night. .

"I thought it made a lot of sense," Leyland said. "You've got a sinkerball pitcher, a low-ball pitcher. You've got a low-ball hitter. You have the wind blowing out to right with a short porch. And you've got a guy that's struggling.

"A-Rod handled it great, I thought. I thought it was funny the way he said it. He said 10 years ago he might've been upset. Well, 10 years ago, he wouldn't have been pinch-hit for."

When Leyland sees daring moves like that, he said, "You always think that there are obvious reasons for it."