Brad Ausmus lacks tenacity


The word tenacious is defined as follows, “persistent in maintaining, adhering to, or seeking something valued or desired.” A secondary definition of the word is “not easily stopped or pulled apart : firm or strong.” Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus seems to lack a tenacious approach and personality when it comes to managing an MLB team. It’s hard to criticize Ausmus as this is first MLB managing stint and he is a very likeable person. He’s young, personable, good with the media, and brings many different aspects to the game that Tigers fans had not seen in years.

And though he knows the game as good as anyone, Ausmus lacks the aggression and the guts that are expected a major league manager. With the Tigers recent struggles, Ausmus has faced much criticism. Many question his day to day decisions; some have even went as far as saying Ausmus should be fired. I’m not calling for Ausmus to be tarred and feathered on Woodward Avenue, I’m just questioning his sometimes passive managing approach.

All season long, Ausmus has piloted his team to a winning record, never once dipping below the .500 mark. And when a team is winning games, flaws are overlooked. But now the Tigers have been dethroned of the AL Central by the Kansas City Royals and have sputtered since the All Star Break, spotting a 18-22 record.

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When a team crumbles, everybody looks to the person calling the shots for answers, or to step it up a bit. And at no point in the season has Ausmus grabbed the Tigers by their tails and fire them up or make a gutsy move that shakes up everything. You could look at any legendary or respected MLB manager from any era and say “wow, that man knew how to run a baseball team.” Earl Weaver, Bobby Cox, Tommy Lasorda; literally anybody whom is respected within the world of baseball. The list could go on and on. The absolute greats are willing to face the wrath of the public or the heat of the players and the media. And though the names I mentioned before are Hall of Famer’s, even modern day managers have displayed what we need out of Brad Ausmus.

During the 2012 season, Philadelphia Phillies manager Charlie Manuel benched Jimmy Rollins for lack of hustle. Manuel benched a former MVP and a fan favorite for not running to first base. Talk about having guts. Manuel took control of the situation and showed the world that he will not tolerate anything below perfection. Ausmus seems to have a tolerance for lack of effort, egos, disrespect to the fans, and overall poor play. Rarely does he handle situations and scenarios that need to be addressed.  It seems as though Ausmus is more concerned about pleasing the players instead of winning games.

Jun 12, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus before the game against the Chicago White Sox at U.S Cellular Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

Team closer Joe Nathan told Tigers fans everywhere to “f*** off” with an obscene gesture during a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in mid-August. It’s a situation that infuriated all Tigers fans even more than they already were. When asked about the incident, Ausmus was quoted as saying “you don’t want to deal with these side issues.” Are you joking? One of your players just made a vulgar gesture towards the fans, the people that make both of your careers possible. And that’s all you have to say? Talk about taking the easy way out.

I’m not asking Ausmus to host a nightly KISS concert in the dugout but at least take control of your players and get them fired up when they need it. Yes, Brad’s a first year manager, but he’s still the man in charge. He’s the one everybody looks to come up big in dire times, and so far, that has yet to happen. It’s crunch time in Detroit. The Tigers have been slipping out of contention lately these past few weeks and i’s time a fire was lit under them. The time to bring home a title is now, Brad Ausmus, if you want to win over all of our hearts, quit being a camp counselor and start running a tight ship of perfection. Bring some tenacity, bring some energy, and remember, you can’t please everyone.