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October 6, 2011

Jim Leyland


Detroit Tigers 3
New York Yankees 2

Q. Can you just talk about Benoit's performance.
JIM LEYLAND: What a gutty performance. He actually had a thing on his face. He has a big lump on his face, an ingrown hair that just swelled up on him. I don't know if it has a chance to get infected. Of course the band-aid. Of course he couldn't pitch with it. We were concerned with it.
What a tremendous gutty performance. He's been like that all year. Very fortunate to have him. A great free agent sign by Dave Dombrowski. You have to credit Dave a lot for that.

Q. You've managed a lot of intense games, the one-game playoff against Minnesota. How would you put that up against those games?
JIM LEYLAND: The Yankees are so good that I would be lying if I said it didn't give me a little extra satisfaction to be able to do it here in the fifth game. I don't mean that disrespectfully, I mean that respectfully.
It gave me a great thrill to be able to do it here in Yankee Stadium in Game 5. Unbelievable. I was just talking to Dave Dombrowski, other than the American League pennant and that time in the World Series, this will be a game I'll remember for the rest of my life.

Q. If you remember this the rest of your life, did you reflect at any point on '91 with Cabrera's hit and Sid Bream coming home and how close you were then?
JIM LEYLAND: When you're as old as I am, you usually see the good side and the bad side. I've seen both of them. Suffer the agony of defeat and tasted a lot of wonderful victories. I really wasn't thinking about that tonight to be honest with you. I was just thinking about that short porch in the ninth inning with Granderson and Cano in particular, and of course A-Rod could spit it over that right field fence. It wasn't an easy task. Valverde was tremendous.

Q. Delmon Young gave you so much help through this playoff series, as he did during the second half. He leaves the game with what we were told was a mild oblique. Can you give us any sense for whether or not he might be in trouble for the next series?
JIM LEYLAND: To be honest with you, I haven't really checked into that yet. There's no way to really do that just yet, because everyone is celebrating so much. I'll talk to the trainers at some point. But I think right now those guys are so happy, they're all jumping up and down. The only thing I'm worried about Delmon right now is that he strains it more because he looks very happy jumping up and down in that clubhouse.

Q. Jim, talk a little bit more about what went into your decision to play Don Kelly tonight and to bat him second.
JIM LEYLAND: Well, as I said before the game, sometimes things just work out for you. But I felt like he's been swinging the bat real good. As I said before the game, he's got a little pop to him and he can reach that right field fence. Of course it didn't take him long to do it.
I'm real proud of him. It couldn't happen to a better kid. To have this moment in Yankee Stadium for Donnie Kelly, you've got your stars, but to happen to a guy like this, that's real special. That's a memory he'll have. Cabrera and those guys are going to have millions of memories, but this is one that Donnie Kelly will have forever. It's a real special moment.
THE MODERATOR: Thanks for everything.
JIM LEYLAND: Thank you very much for your patience through the whole thing. I appreciate it very much.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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