NEW YORK -- The skies are even friendlier, apparently, on Tiger Airlines.
After Minnesota finished taking three of four in Detroit over the weekend, the three Twins' All-Star representatives -- first baseman Justin Morneau, catcher Joe Mauer and closer Joe Nathan -- were invited by Tigers manager Jim Leyland to fly to New York on a special charter.
It was Detroit owner Mike Ilitch's private plane, which the Little Caesar's pizza magnate had arranged to fly Leyland, an All-Star coach, and infielder Carlos Guillen to New York.
"That was really nice of him," Mauer said. "We got a little delayed, but it was really nice of him to do."
Air Ilitch, like many other planes carrying All-Stars, was delayed by a couple of hours Sunday night because of thunderstorms in the New York area.
"Saved us from having to go through security at the airport," Morneau said. "Leyland is a great guy. He's a great manager. I don't know if I was driving him nuts or not. I was asking him questions the whole flight."
Among the things Morneau wanted to know: Who's the best player Leyland ever managed?
Answer: Barry Bonds. "Hands down," Leyland told Morneau.