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10/12/11 6:57 PM ET
Leyland sympathizes with 'banged up' media
By Tom Singer / MLB.com
DETROIT -- The ailments of Magglio Ordonez, Delmon Young and Victor Martinez are obvious but, Detroit manager Jim Leyland was asked, how about some of the other limited Tigers? Such as Alex Avila, the durable catcher whose physical woes are more subtly reflected in his uncharacteristic 2-for-29 postseason batting line? "He's pretty well banged up," Leyland said of the All-Star catcher, who caught 133 regular-season games while batting .295 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs. "His knee was swelling up pretty good a while ago. Trainers are doing the best they can to take care of that. "You talk about tough ... what you're seeing is what these guys are all about. It's hard for the average person to understand what these guys are going through. Everybody is banged up."
Leyland then characteristically included the group of people sitting in his audience."You guys are probably all banged up," he said, canvassing the faces of reporters. "You've been traveling all over the place. You're probably tired. I hope you're getting overtime. I'm serious. It's a strain on you. "If you're traveling and following the team and getting back and trying to get a plane back, I respect the [heck] out of that." Such a segue was so typically Leyland. He is everyman in big league threads, that English "D" on his chest unable to affect his personality. Leyland is so humble, his autographed plaque is the lowest-priced at $50 in a team store display of Tigers memorabilia; even Joel Zumaya's plaque is priced at $65, and he hasn't thrown a pitch since June 2010. And he has an uncanny capacity for looking at and evaluating matters from the perspective of fans in the stands or reporters behind their computers. "I'm tired. I feel great, but I'm tired. I would be lying if I said I wasn't," said Leyland. "I go from decaf to regular about right now."