Detroit Tigers Brad Ausmus Needs to Get the Reboot


The Detroit Tigers are in the process of rebooting their organization from top to bottom.  It’s hard to believe that Dreamy Brad Ausmus, who has been mediocre at best, won’t be part of this reboot.

The fight in the dugout last week was the straw that breaks Brad’s back.  Not only has Ausmus shown that he can’t truly manage his team on the field, he has lost them off the field.  Ausmus was hired back in 2014 because of his “cerebral” thinking ability and the smartness that he brought to the bench of the Tigers.  Where Jim Leyland managed with his heart and gut, Ausmus was supposed to manage with his head.

Ausmus has shown over the past two years that often times his head is stuck some place where the sun doesn’t shine.  He certainly doesn’t lead with his heart and when he trusts his gut, it’s like trusting a beer belly when you are trying to make a decision for that next beer.

Matt Pelc references often Ausmus’ deference to veterans in his decision making process.  A great example of that Pelc, pointed out on the last MCB Tiger Talk, was in last weekend’s series against the Red Sox.  David Ortiz was up after hitting numerous home runs in the series and Ausmus visited Justin Verlander at the mound when Big Papi was up.  The conversation should have been quick and simple – you are going to walk Ortiz.  But instead Verlander discussed it with Ausmus and talked him in to throwing some pitches at him and then eventually intentionally walked him because he failed to do whatever he was trying on those pitches.  The point being – who is in charge with this team – Justin Verlander or Brad Ausmus?  Clearly it’s not Dreamy Brad.

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Earlier in the season, David Price exited a game and went into the dugout and stripped his uniform and began his post game exercise ritual.  Ausmus didn’t even know where he was when the next inning started.  How is that possible?  They branded this a “miscommunication”.

Last Friday night (sounds a bit like a Katy Perry song), catcher James McCann and shortstop Jose Iglesias traded words and near fisticuffs after Iglesias retaliated with a shove to McCann.  If you watch the video, Ausmus was nowhere to be found in what seemed to be an eternity of shoving and moving people around the dugout.  Why wouldn’t he have stepped in and stopped it or at least talked to them.  We didn’t see any leadership at all from Ausmus in this.  The next day he dismissed it and still didn’t ensure that his team was on the same page.  What would Leyland have done? Tony La RussaJoe Maddon? Joe Girardi?

Ausmus has also proven that the can’t change the lineup when he needed to earlier in the season when the Tigers fell off their great start and they needed a spark.  He can’t manage the bullpen.  He can’t manage his starting pitching – always seemingly waiting one batter too long.  He pinch hits or pinch runs at the strangest times.  Ausmus has single-handedly put this team out of playoff contention with at least ten losses this season that should be wins  Ausmus was also largely responsible for bad decisions in the Baltimore series last year that cost the Tigers an extended playoff run.

Brad Ausmus is awful.  Period.  It’s that simple.  He is one of the primary reasons the Tigers need to reboot.  Al Avila, the Tigers new GM, hasn’t given Ausmus a vote of confidence past this season.  He stated, “He’s our manager for the rest of the season, for sure”.  Operative words “the rest of the season”.  Code words “we have started the search process”.  He’ll most likely be fired on October 5th and the Tigers continue with the reboot.

But who do the Tigers hire is the great question.  The hire Ron Gardenhire campaign is starting to pick up full-time.  Gardenhire was fired by the Twins organization and is an old school manager that has a great baseball reputation but never advanced the Twins to the ALCS.  Former Indians manager, Manny Acta, is another name that has surfaced as a possible candidate.  But he like, Ausmus, lacks a solid resume.  Terry Francona will most likely be fired after the season by the Indians and could be available.  Gene Lamont has interviewed several times for a manager role and would he be considered.  Could Al Avila’s retention of Jim Leyland, Alan Trammell and Kirk Gibson be a sign that Leyland might come back out of retirement to try to win that American League World Series with Trammell and Gibby as assistants?

The Tigers need to make the right coaching decision much like Michigan made with Jim Harbaugh.  Rebooting means restarting and not trying to win with someone like Ausmus who truly doesn’t belong in the dugout.

Leaving Ausmus as the manager means the Tigers are not committed to winning in the near term. Rebooting him means that they are committed to winning in 2016.

Next: Miggy back this weekend?