Detroit Tigers: If team doesn’t sell, Brad Ausmus needs to go now
There is still a question on whether the Detroit Tigers need to sell, mostly among Tigers’ brass that cannot accept reality and admit their biggest mistake.
The reality they are not willing to admit is that this team, with or without Miguel Cabrera (who began hitting and running a little bit recently) is not a playoff team. Selling off more pieces for new players or standing pat hoping Miggy’s return will power this team to a wild-card berth is nonsense.
The Tigers are in a unique opportunity to trade-off big names that likely will not be back next season in David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, Rajai Davis and Joakim Soria, and get some nice pieces in return. It is not just the big league club that is struggling. Take a look at the standings throughout the minor leagues and you’ll see the AAA club, AA club and A club are all at the bottom of their respective leagues.
Bright future, eh?
The mistake they are not willing to admit? Hiring Brad Ausmus. The Tigers seemingly had one, maybe two years left in their current window of contention. Hiring an upstart manager was baffling. How could you expect on the job training for a team with World Series aspirations?
More from Motor City Bengals
- Detroit Tigers: Victor Reyes finding ways to get the job done
- The Detroit Tigers must cut their losses and release Jonathan Schoop
- Detroit Tigers: Garrett Hill’s new role and changed delivery are excellent
- Detroit Tigers: Joe Jiménez has rebounded in 2022
- Detroit Tigers: Is it finally time to move the fences in at Comerica Park?
Still, we believed the hype from the Tigers that Ausmus “wowed” them in his interview so much so that they didn’t look very closely at anyone else.
While the Tigers did make the playoffs last season, a rarity for a rookie manager, they did so based on the lingering talent from a team that, with a proper bullpen, could have won it all in 2013.
Management gaffes quickly saw the Tigers’ 2014 playoff run end (taking a dominant Anibal Sanchez out in Game 2, allowing Hernan Perez to hit with the tying run on base with one out in Game 3, and then hitting into a double play to end the season).
Ausmus did not fare too bad in his first year of management. He was fairly average as a skipper, but this year he has fully regressed. His careless attitude is reminiscent of Jim Schwartz, the ex-head coach of the Detroit Lions, defiant to the mistakes he makes and the games that he costs his team.
A couple of days ago, Brad did not bring in Soria for a four-out save and their latest Texas Rangers’ closing castoff, Neftali Feliz, blew a two-run eighth inning lead and allowed a grand slam. Oh yeah, and he was saving the best arm in the bullpen, Alex Wilson, for extra innings–in a game the Tigers were leading by two runs. That shows a lot of confidence in your team, your players and your managerial skills, no?
Friday night with a threat being mounted in extra innings, he decided to move runners on base which, of course, did not work leaving J.D. Martinez‘s bat in neutral during the threat.
The Tigers are still saying they can compete. Being five games out of a playoff spot on July 25 is certainly no death sentence and teams have come back from larger deficits–but the teams that have come back have been good teams. Detroit has not swept a team nor won more than three games in a row since the first week of the season. That should be enough to tell you this is not a playoff team.
But if the Tigers decide to buy or stand pat, thinking they can finally catch fire–they need a fresh start, one without Brad Ausmus.
They will probably still miss the postseason, but at least they tried something–ANYTHING–to fire up a Detroit Tigers’ team that looks like it has quit on the season two months before its conclusion.