The Malik Report
by George Malik on 10/09/13 at 01:42 PM ET
Given that the Detroit Tigers are facing a winner-take-all game against the Oakland A's today, the Red Wings have taken something of a backseat to the Tigers in terms of Detroit's sports spotlight, and the Macomb Daily's Chuck Pleiness had a conversation with Wings coach Mike Babcock about one Tigers manager Jim Leyland:
“It’s way more nerve wracking to watch them play than to coach us I can tell you that,” Babcock said. “(Anibal) Sanchez started the night before and then I had to laugh when they asked (Jim) Leyland and it’s, ‘well he’s my guy.’ When Howie’s getting bombed 6-1 in the playoffs what do you do? He’s our guy. And I thought it was awesome bringing (Max Scherzer) off the bench yesterday because if you don’t win Game 4 forget about saving a starter for Game 5 then you have (Justin) Verlander. To me it was exciting stuff.”
The Tigers forced a Game 5 after beating Oakland in Game 4, 8-6.
“The other thing, attitude is contagious, work ethic is contagious, hitting’s contagious, scoring is contagious and once they got a couple of hits the guys got confidence, it’s exactly the same thing in our game,” Babcock said. “Then you get feeling it, you get some swagger back and you get up there and the ball looks big again. That’s what I watch when I’m watching the game. It’s the same thing, it’s a bunch of guys competing. The other team’s competing too.
“Last year in the playoffs when Howie had Corey Perry’s number,” Babcock continued. “It’s not like Corey Perry didn’t have 100 chances, Howie had him. It’s like a pitcher that’s got you. Yesterday when they got to the bullpen to me that’s a sign of good things to come. Go Tigers.”
Babcock also is a big fan of Tigers manager Jim Leyland.
“One of the best stories I have of Jim Leyland, I was asking him about walking out there and saying you’re done (to a pitcher and how it felt) and he said, ‘I’ve pulled better pitchers than that,’” Babcock recalled. “The reality of what he’s telling you it’s not about the guy, but he’s making decisions for the team. What I like is he does what’s right. He doesn’t let the fans coach the team, he doesn’t let the media coach the team, he does what he’s supposed to do. To me that’s what it’s all about you make these decisions based on experience and you go with your gut and your gut is based on a track record of being steady on the rudder and winning. You don’t win over and over again, you don’t become a serial winner like he is by accident so you do the right things and good things happen.”
Continued with Jimmy Howard's take on "being a fan"...
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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.