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Leyland recounts lessons as a Minor League manager

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HOUSTON -- Detroit's Jim Leyland recalled when he was breaking in as a manager, running the Tigers' Class A club in 1972 in Clinton, Iowa.

In the sixth inning of a game early in the season, the 27-year-old Leyland asked veteran pitching coach John Grodzicki for advice.

"I went to him and said, 'What do you think?' " remembered Leyland. "He said, 'You're the manager. You make the [blankety-blank] decision,' and walked back to the other end of the dugout.

"That was the best lesson I ever got. You're on your own. You learn what to look for down there. You learn over the years."

Clinton finished the season with a losing record, going 22-41 in the first half and 27-36 in the second half.

But Leyland said that seven players from that team went on to play in the Major Leagues. He must have been doing something right.

The next year under Leyland, Clinton went 73-51 overall, placing second in the first half of the season and winning the second half.

Gene Duffey is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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