DETROIT -- On the day Jim Leyland had a chance to take his team to the World Series for the second time in his Tigers tenure, he began his day taking his car to the auto shop.
The postseason brings its own pressures, but the everyday tasks don't do themselves. His wife tried to tell him to forget about it, but he didn't want to let his car go that long without it after the service light popped on.
Yes, the man who lets Justin Verlander go 130 pitches freaks out when the service light pops on.
"I almost overslept. I had to be there at 8 o'clock," Leyland said. "These are late nights. I jumped out of bed at 20 till 8 and said, 'I've gotta go. I've gotta get this done.'
"So I got there. Then I walked about three-fourths of a mile to a restaurant while I was waiting for it to get coffee and breakfast. Then I walked all the way back. ... There were a lot of people at the restaurant. I was taking pictures with them and signing autographs. But I was just walking along. These people probably thought, 'What is this guy doing?'"
No random reports emerged during the morning about Leyland being spotted walking along the street early in the morning. And yes, he did get a free meal out of it. Presumably, it was not yesterday's breakfast.
"One guy said, 'What are you doing?' I said, 'Well, I'm getting my car serviced.' He said, 'Are you nuts? Don't you have somebody do it?' I said, 'No, I don't have somebody do it. You have to take care of stuff.'"