Once his pupil, Melvin now staring down Leyland

October 6, 2012, 1:37 am
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DETROIT -- As the Oakland A's and Detroit Tigers get set to clash in the American League Division Series there is an interesting sub-plot. A's manager Bob Melvin, 50, actually played for Tigers manager Jim Leyland, 67, in Detroit's 1981 Instructional League.Melvin was drafted by the Tigers in the first round with the second overall pick of the 1981 amateur draft. That's how he first came in contact with Leyland. Here are the transcripts from Leyland and Melvin as they explain their history together. Jim Leyland: "Well I just remember Bob was an excellent catcher. He was like all of us, there was a question mark whether he was going to hit or not. But he was always a very bright student of the game. You could see that right from the get-go. He's done a wonderful, wonderful job."Bob Melvin: "There were so many things you could learn from as a young player, and then as far as playing for Jim Leyland, that was a short period of time in '81 in Instructional League. He got the White Sox coaching job I think during it. But it didn't take you long to be around Jim Leyland to realize the impact that he has around players."We were there in Instructional League, that's winter ball stuff. I remember losing three or four games in a row to start. And he came in, had a little tirade -- in Instructional League -- that got my attention very quickly. Some of the points were made that because this is winter ball doesn't mean we go out and there without the intensity to win and learned a lot in a very short period of time with Jim Leyland. One of the great managers of all time."