Tigers manager Jim Leyland, the cigarette king of America

Jim Leyland smoking cigarettes dugout
Tigers manager Jim Leyland rips butts during batting practice in the dugout at Kauffman Stadium earlier this year. Credit: Getty Images

I’ve long been of the belief that baseball should not try to market itself as hip. It should accentuate the positives, hide the negatives. The positive: baseball will always be the North American sports leader in nostalgia. Even though it doesn’t hit home with kids on the surface (games are too long, games are on too late, wooden bats and gloves are expensive etc.), by the time these kids are older, they’ll likely be nostalgic for something they didn’t even really like in the first place. Think Saved by the Bell or Frosted Mini-Wheats.

Baseball is just different and it needs to own that fact. It needs to corner the market in nostalgia and what triggers nostalgia more than smells?

The smell of freshly cut grass? Baseball’s got it. The smell of hot dogs and sausage fresh off the grill that reminds you of a more innocent time in America’s history, when hot dogs and sausage weren’t entirely thought of as a health hazard and immediate heart attack causer? Baseball’s got it. The smell of stale beer that reminds you of grinding with husky girls on the dance floor in the basement of a college frat house? Baseball’s got it.


Baseball’s also got Jim Leyland, the manager of the Detroit Tigers, whose team is currently playing the Red Sox in the American League Championship Series. Leyland looks and smells like he smokes cigarettes in the dugout, frankly because he SMOKES CIGARETTES IN THE DUGOUT (see photo above). With America currently in love with cigarette nostalgia (Mad Men, anyone?), MLB should take advantage and market itself as the only sport where it’s acceptable to smoke cigarettes while watching, or hell, while playing (just kidding … sorta, kinda).

Leyland could be baseball’s modern day Marlboro Man, or at least its Joe Camel. His face could be plastered on every outfield wall in the majors, vaguely implying that baseball stadiums are a smoker’s friend. This won’t happen, of course, because of things like laws. There are no cigarette ads to be seen on TV, all cigarette machines have been removed from your favorite dive bar and most smoking sections at ballparks have been removed.

At Comerica Park in Detroit, smoking has been banned since May 1, 2010, but according to Detroit4lyfe.com, Leyland got in one last dig at progressive America. He smoked the last cigarette at the ballpark. Partially for nostalgic purposes, but mainly because he needed it to survive.

“I’ve got till 6 a.m.,” Leyland said the day before the ban went into effect. “It might be two cartons. I don’t know.”

Follow Metro Boston sports editor and columnist Matt Burke on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.