We’ve seen Tigers manager Jim Leyland show off his vocal chops before.
Years back, he busted into song during a tour of the Motown museum.
Then there’s this video, from a meet-and-greet with a young fan:
Both times, our reaction was the exact same: Marlboro Reds be damned, Skip can carry a tune!
So it didn’t come as much surprise to learn that Leyland recently told MLB Network’s Bob Costas that if he didn’t go into baseball for a career, he would’ve liked to be in a band.
Here’s what Leyland told Costas, MLB Network relayed today:
“I’m embarrassed to say this, but I would’ve liked to have been in a band. I love to sing. I played the trumpet as a kid. Our family sat around the piano. I never played a piano in my life, but my brother played the piano, my two sisters played. I love it. I still like to sing. I’m not as good as I was at one time. I was ok at one time. … I can’t quite hit the high ones like I used to, but I was OK. I sang weddings and I was in a choir and different things like that, and I loved it. But this worked out a little better, I think.
“I love soft rock. I’m not into the rap too much, obviously. I’m a little old for that. … I love the oldies. I saw ‘Jersey Boys’ four times. … I love musicals. I saw a lot of the musicals. I like those and participated in those in school, so that’s probably what I would’ve tried to do. I doubt it would have worked out, but who knows? That’s a tough business. That’s probably tougher than our business to be successful in.”
Costas was in town last week to call the Yankees-Tigers game for MLB Network, so we’re guessing he sat down with Leyland then.
We didn’t get a full transcript of the interview, but we did get highlights: Among other things, Leyland dishes on managing Barry Bonds, that thrilling Game 7 of the 1997 World Series, his burnout in Colorado, the day — decades in the making — he finally became manager of the Tigers, and his retirement plans (they don’t sound as soon as some Tiger fans might like).
Not sure how much of the interview is devoted to the 2012 Tigers, who were heavy favorites to win the division, but are just 26-31 after beating the Indians, 7-5, on Thursday.
The full interview with air at 2 p.m. Saturday on MLB Network.