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Unlike some skippers, Leyland puts players first

Unlike some skippers, Leyland puts players first

Unlike some skippers, Leyland puts players first
DETROIT -- When Dick Williams, a stern disciplinarian as a manager, was voted into the Hall of Fame, he joked that his methods would probably get him dismissed after two weeks in the modern game. Another Hall of Fame skipper, Sparky Anderson, famously described his philosophy as "my way or the highway."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland alluded to how times have changed before Game 3 of the World Series at Comerica Park on Saturday night in answering a question about teaching players to respect the uniform.

"We are professionals, and we do represent the Detroit Tigers," Leyland said. "The thing that I've always tried to teach my players is forget the Detroit Tigers. You represent yourself first and how you want to be perceived. I think that's important. It's not exactly rocket science.

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"With all due respect, I know Sparky was always talking about Sparky's way or the highway -- and it was fine because it worked and it was a nice little saying. [But] when I came here, I tried to emphasize, 'It's not going to be my way. It's just going to be the right way. We are going to try to do things right.' I think we have, for the most part. We've had our little hitches in the road from time to time, but for the most part, I think we've done things pretty good."

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