Former Pirates Manager Jim Leyland Is Optimistic There Will Be Baseball This Year

Cook and Joe Show

Joe Kapp
April 23, 2020 - 4:17 pm
Pirates Manager Derek Shelton

Kraig Riley

Former Pittsburgh Pirates Manager Jim Leyland told the Cook and Joe show that he is optimistic that baseball can return this season

"I think there is a strong possibility it can.” Leyland said. “I think it’s a real delicate issue right now because, number one, and I give baseball credit, they're talking about health first. That's going to be the priority, that has to be the priority. I think it's a real sensitive issue when you talk about it right now because people are struggling, people are losing loved ones and I think baseball is in a real delicate spot so I think this has to be handled real carefully and I think the commissioner is making every effort to do that."

Ron Cook raised the point, from purely a baseball perspective, that player injuries are a concern if Major League Baseball tries to rush the return of the game. Leyland agreed that you can't rush it back but recalls the situation with the strike of 1995 when there were discussions of replacement players, "I do think that, you know, you could start the season by piggybacking starters, so you might be able to get it a little quicker than normally, but I don't think you can push it. You can't take any chances." 

Astros Cheating Scandal
Leyland also weighed in on the Astros cheating scandal and he doesn't believe, in his heart, that Manger AJ Hynch is a cheater, but rather they got caught up in using new technology and just didn't stop. "I think they got carried away and they took it too far. And I think that's really what happened.

“Hopefully we'll be able to move past this,“ Leyland added. "I think we will eventually, but I think that they would have taken a pretty sound beating in the different parks as they went through this season. Maybe some of that'll wear off now because of the situation we are in, but they definitely made a serious mistake and they were definitely wrong and they paid a pretty serious price for it.”

New Pirates Manager Derek Shelton
Leyland tells the guys that he had a great conversation with the new Pirates Manger Derek Shelton recently and admitted to Ron Cook that they're similar in some ways.

"He's close to my heart," Leyland said. "He kinda had to go through the process like I did. I reminded him - guys like him and myself -  we had to earn the players resect.

"In spring training, it looked like had really established himself well with the players."

Although Leyland points out he is a big fan of former manager Clint Hurdle, he thinks Shelton is a good hire, “I think this guy is the perfect fit at the perfect time for the Pirates.”

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