May 22, 2008
As a Mets fan, seeing the image to the right made me curl up in the fetal position and begin weeping. Bobby Bonilla and Jim Leyland accounted for a good percentage of the pain and anguish I felt as a sports fan during my formative years. So it's nice to see Leyland getting the screws put him over the Stanley Cup Finals.
If you follow baseball ...zzzzz ... sorry, nodded off there. If you follow baseball, you know Leyland is the manager of the Detroit Tigers, who are owned by Detroit Red Wings boss and renowned pizza baron Mike Ilitch. As Jason Beck of MLB.com writes, Leyland's rather conflicted about the Wings facing the Pittsburgh Penguins for the Cup:
Leyland is a Pittsburgh resident who attended some Penguins games over the offseason with former Tigers first baseman Sean Casey, who is a Penguins season ticket holder. They're in the finals for the first time since 1992.
It's an exciting matchup for fans around the league, but not the best matchup for Leyland. So when a reporter asked him about it, Leyland tried to be diplomatic. "That's obviously a no-win situation for me," Leyland said. "I have no comment. May the best team win."
Later, though, he allowed some appreciation for the situation his organization is in. "The political answer," Leyland said, "is I'm rooting for the guy who signs the checks."
How into hockey is the Tigers' skipper? Casey told a newspaper last month that Leyland chewed his nails so much during a game, he asked if Jimmy wanted "some nachos with those fingernails."
It's an interesting conflict of passions for Leyland. Wonder how many other Detroit/Pittsburgh loyalties are being tested. Has anyone asked Motown native and Pittsburgh sports legend Jerome Bettis where his loyalties are? You'd figure he'd be all about the Pens, but maybe he's got a thing for Chelios's longevity. Hey, at least we know were Ben Roethlisberger and Doug Mientkiewicz stand. Let's just hope Mientkiewicz doesn't try to thief the game-winning puck if the Red Wings take it.