Lions head coach Jim Schwartz says he sees Jim Leyland, who stepped down Monday as Tigers manager, as the captain of a ship. (Daniel Mears / Detroit News)
Allen Park — Lions coach Jim Schwartz is a baseball fan. He’s primarily a Baltimore Orioles fan but in his five years in Detroit he has developed a strong admiration and appreciation for Jim Leyland.
“I have a lot of respect for him,” Schwartz said. “He’s had a great career. Somewhere somebody is playing a montage of his career highlights and there’s Frank Sinatra singing, ‘I did it my way.’ That would be apropos for the way he managed.”
Schwartz has spent time with Leyland, though, as he said Monday, not as much as he would have liked.
“Our seasons kind of overlap,” he said.
What he respected most was the way Leyland stayed calm and steady regardless of the turbulence that was surround either himself or the team.
“I think if he wasn’t a manager he’d be the captain of a ship somewhere,” Schwartz said. “He would’ve been up at the helm, probably smoking a cigarette. There would have been like 20-foot swells, a hurricane coming in and he wouldn’t even bat an eye. And everybody on the crew would’ve looked up and said, ‘Hey, things are going to be OK.’ ”