Leyland becomes fan of White Sox ace Sale

Leyland becomes fan of White Sox ace Sale

KANSAS CITY -- The Tigers are scheduled to open next week's series against the White Sox by facing Chris Sale, whose pitch up and in to Prince Fielder on July 11 at Comerica Park set off a chain reaction that ended up with benches emptying, Luke Putkonen being ejected for throwing behind Alexei Ramirez, and Jim Leyland tossed for arguing vehemently with umpires.

As far as Leyland is concerned, though, that incident has been smoothed over after Leyland and Sale spoke in New York this week during All-Star festivities.

"He's my new favorite enemy," Leyland said on Friday. "He's a terrific guy. We had a lot of rapport when we were [in New York], him and I. I really enjoyed it. He's really a good kid, terrific pitcher."

Sale told the Detroit News on Wednesday that he talked with Leyland and apologized for any misunderstanding. He has repeatedly said since the incident that he wasn't trying to throw at Fielder.

"I'm not going to get into that," Leyland said when asked about the focus of the conversation. "We had a great talk and, like I said, we're pretty good buddies. It was great."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.