A statewide ban that prohibits smoking in public places went into effect in Michigan on Saturday, forcing Tigers manager Jim Leyland to give up his habit of smoking cigarettes in the dugout. So the Detroit skipper has moved on to intravenous drugs to get his fix.
"Oh, yes. Oh, sweet God yes. This feels amazing," said Leyland, seconds after shooting up during the top of the first inning on Sunday. "Ohmigod. Just ohmigod. This is so much better than smoking."
Hours later, the game long over, Leyland awoke on the floor of the dugout and explained his decision.
"I have to sit here and watch baseball for three hours a night," he said. "I'm in the American League, so I just have to write in some names at the beginning of the game and then sit there. And the majority of my time is spent in Detroit, Kansas City, Cleveland, Minneapolis and the South Side of Chicago. You better believe I'm going to use some kind of narcotic to get me through my days. And since smoking in public is now illegal, I'll ride the dragon instead."
Leyland says he has never taken intravenous drugs before, but "if Ron Washington can snort coke all game and not have any consequences, I can shoot up."
"I was pretty pissed about the smoking law," he said. "I didn't know what to do. But then I saw some syringes laying around in the locker room it's still baseball, you know and decided I'd try that. I asked Johnny Damon and Miguel Cabrera if they knew anyone who could get me some stuff and, sure enough, they did. A few hours later, it's game time and I had a high that nicotine could never touch. So it all worked out for the best."
Leyland bristled at reporters' questions implying he was setting a poor example for kids.
"I'm a 65-year-old chain smoker with a white mustache and I curse non-stop," he said. "What stupid kids were looking up to me in the first place?"