Apr 2, 2014; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (left) asks first base umpire Chris Conroy to review a call in the tenth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Comerica Park. Detroit won 2-1 in ten innings. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Tigers Links: Tigers most powerful, Ausmus cool customer, Torii rakin' & no replay for you


Power Rankings: Detroit Tigers nab top spot in first week of voting – Sports Illustrated

This week, the No. 1 spot belongs to the Detroit Tigers, who earned three of seven first-place votes and finished with 198 points, six clear of second-place San Francisco. The Tigers are 4-1 to start the season, with an offense boasting an MLB-best .488 slugging percentage and an .825 OPS, the second-best mark in baseball behind Colorado’s. Meanwhile, the team’s collective 3.13 ERA is 10th in baseball (fourth in the American League). In their first week of the season, the Tigers swept the Royals in a rain-shortened opening series, then took two of three from Baltimore to wrap up a five-game homestand. Unsurprisingly, Miguel Cabrera has been MVP-caliber already, with seven hits in his first 20 at-bats, but the whole lineup has chipped in so far, particularly Torii Hunter, who has already hit three homers.

The Tigers will get a real test to their throne against likely the World Series favorite Los Angeles Dodgers. LA ranked number 4 while Detroit’s next opponent, the San Diego Padres, received a ranking of 25.

Tigers led by cool, calm and collected Brad Ausmus – Larry Lage, AP

“It doesn’t seem like he’s got anything to learn,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “They’re lucky to have him. He’s going to be a good one. He already is.”

Ausmus said the best part of his new job of being in the dugout during games, analyzing situations and plotting his next move. He also enjoys being around his coaching staff and the clubhouse camaraderie with players. The 44-year-old Ausmus looks more like a player than a manager.

“He needs to put on some weight and look a lot more slovenly,” Showalter joked.

Brad didn’t have a whole lot to be stressed about in the Opening Week–probably the near collapse on Saturday came close, but even the first loss–a 3-1 defeat was a pitcher’s duel and not much a manager can do to change that. Ausmus’ cool exterior could be tested, however, should the Tigers come back from this brief West Coast road trip at, say, 1-4.

Hunter’s Torii-ed pace continues for Detroit Tigers – Matthew B. Mowery, Oakland Press

“You just see the ball, hit the ball, and let your God-given ability take over. That’s all I’m doing right now,” Hunter said. “I’ve been here before. This is nothing new. This is 18 seasons, and I’m riding this bike until the wheels fall off. Trust me, there’s going to be a struggle somewhere in there. One thing about myself, all my failures, I’ve actually gotten better, I know how to kind of bounce back from slumps. So my 0-for-8 little stint in the beginning, I didn’t panic. You guys did. I didn’t. Been there before.

What a difference a day makes. Many Tigers’ fans were remarking how Torii Hunter seemed lost at the plate during the Kansas City series, seemingly swinging on every first pitch–most times for outs. He turned it all around with three straight games with a homer. Hunter started last year hot for Detroit, so this isn’t really anything new for him. His defensive skills, however? Well, here’s hoping the rust gets as effectively knocked off the glove as it has for the bat.

Replay Wasn’t An Option Early In Game For Tigers – Lage

Crew chief Gary Cederstrom insisted he did not know how long Detroit’s replay system was down, but said the Orioles were free to make use of their system while the Tigers’ was not working.

“Everybody could do their challenges,” Cederstrom said after Baltimore’s 3-1 victory.

Hmm, that doesn’t seem fair–if one goes down neither should be allowed to challenge. Wonder if some funny business was transpiring as the Wizard of the Comerica Park replay system, Brad Ausmus, was handicapped.

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