Detroit Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus Has No Control

Mar 4, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) looks on against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 4, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus (7) looks on against the New York Yankees at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Tigers find themselves in an interesting position so far in 2016. With the Detroit Red Wings and Detroit Pistons winning a combined one game in their respective playoff series before being eliminated from postseason contention, “April in the D” is now a one-team race, which is extremely bad news for Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus.

Now more than ever, every decision will be dissected and analyzed until the Tigers start winning. Rumors are already rumbling he may not last much longer.

Too early to panic? It’s not even May and apparently I’m not the only one:

Rumors swirled across Detroit on Monday after the Tigers were swept by division rival the Cleveland Indians in a three-game beat down at Comerica Park over the weekend. After a closed-door meeting between Manager Brad and the players after the 10-1 curb-stomping Saturday, Manager Brad decided to bench the struggling Miguel Cabrera and Justin Upton for a Sunday Afternoon home game when the team was desperate for a win. They ended up losing 6-3.

Getting swept at home by Cleveland for the first time since 2008 wasn’t even the worst part of the afternoon for the Tigers Organization.

The lowlight came in the 8th inning with the Tigers trailing 6-3 and Indians Reliever Bryan Shaw on the mound, when Manager Brad accused Shaw of doctoring the baseball by rubbing it on his wedding ring. According to Ausmus, Shaw was consistently rubbing the baseball on a specific spot where the ring was located. After a shocked Shaw and Manager Terry Francona protested his case to crew chief Gary Cederstrom, he was allowed to keep the ring on.

But Big Bad Manager Brad wasn’t finished. He came back out of the dugout to complain some more, but before he could even make his way to Cederstrom and complain, Shaw took the ring off and told Manager Brad to basically go home and shut up. Shaw struck out the next batter (without the ring), and the inning eventually ended with no damage. Manager Brad’s attempt at “outsmarting” the Indians not only backfired, it made him a laughing stock as Shaw said next time he faced Ausmus he would wear his “camouflage ring” and if anyone could find a way to scuff a baseball with a wedding ring “more power to you”.

Manager Brad’s attempts at showing leadership or authority have been completely laughable on all levels. Benching the teams best player and biggest offseason acquisition for a Sunday Afternoon home game after a team only meeting, then going on to delay the game by accusing the other team of cheating because you’re getting crushed is not showing authority. It’s baseball.

Allowing Justin Verlander to go back out for the 7th inning on Thursday having already thrown 107 pitches, clearly indicates Manager Brad has no pull in the dugout. No conscious manager would let their pitcher go back out in that situation in mid-April. Although Verlander had pitched well up to that point, it ended up costing them the game.

At this point, even the bottom tier players don’t give a damn. After watching Jose Iglesias and Anthony Gose not get benched for their horrid base-running last week, Tyler Collins decided to flip-off the home crowd at Comerica Park Monday Night after losing a fly ball in the lights on a routine fly to center field in the 6th inning.

Collins never saw the ball and was belted with “boos” by the few that made it out the 7-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics Monday Night because his mistake eventually caused the end of Jordan Zimmermann‘s scoreless innings streak. He then felt the need to display his middle finger to almost all sections of the home crowd before heading to the dugout:

Instead of Collins being removed from the game along with a one-way ticket to Toledo, he was allowed to stay in the game and was even allowed to bat again in the 8th inning, where he struck out making him 0-4 on the night.

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Standing at 9-9 after the win on Monday is not where ownership intended the Tigers be so far into the season. They know they can’t allow the Kansas City Royals and the other division contenders to get ahead too many games without making a change. Manager Brad barely survived last season, and if things don’t turn around by game number 40, expect the Tigers to move on from the Ausmus experiment.

His replacement? Jim Leyland, if he wants it. It’s not even May…

It’s not even May…