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 Leyland cautions players about distractions

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PostSubject: Leyland cautions players about distractions   Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:47 am

Leyland cautions players about distractions
By Jason Beck / MLB.com | 09/21/11 9:30 PM ET

KANSAS CITY -- The Tigers have made every effort to prepare for their potential playoff opponents, sending scouts on the road to follow just about every conceivable foe. They also have coaches doing work to prepare stats on them so that they have their scouting reports ready when they know who they're playing. But manager Jim Leyland had a completely different postseason opponent on his mind Wednesday.

Leyland was worried about his own team, about distractions. He was worried enough about it that he had a rare formal meeting with his players before batting practice Wednesday to warn them about it. Everything from ticket requests from family and friends to travel was part of the discussion.

"If you let there be distractions, there will be distractions," Leyland said. "If you don't, they won't. And if you let there be distractions, they will take hold of you."

Leyland knows from experience, having dealt with all sorts of issues in five different postseasons with three different clubs, including the Tigers in 2006. He still tells the story about heading to the ballpark for Game 7 of the 1997 World Series at 8:30 in the morning, 12 hours before gametime, just to escape the ruckus of friends and family in the pool at home.

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.


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