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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Leyland the magic man

Jim Leyland is baseball's newest version of an October King Midas. That is, whatever he touches turns into gold.

Got a sagging tradition-laden franchise? Hire a 61-year-old manager and watch him turn it into baseball's best team for five months.

Starting pitcher struggling in the league championship series? Watch Leyland leisurely stroll to the mound, say a few comforting words and, voila, meltdown averted.

The latter has happened twice in the last two games for Detroit, which is two wins away from its first World Series appearance in 22 years. And to think, the man most responsible for it -- Leyland -- was thought to be too far behind the times to be successful. Instead, he's proving to be the man with October's Midas touch.


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