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Detroit Tigers Links: Does Brad Ausmus meddle too much? Or not enough?

The Managerial Meddling Index, the Tigers hit the road for off-season adventures, and Joe Jimenez impresses the prospect hounds.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It can be extremely difficult to impartially assess the work of a manager in a season. The failures rage in our heads for months if not years. Bullpen decisions that blow up, starters left in too long, or pulled too soon, the poor use of pinch-hitters, too many bunts, not enough bunts, odd lineup constructions...all these things stand out to us vividly. Meanwhile, far too often decisions that work out seem obvious after the fact and require no credit.

While people disagree constantly on what makes a good manager, it's often difficult at season's end to recognize patterns in how a manager handles -- or doesn't handle in some cases -- his team. Well, one man has taken up the task of creating a series of metrics to at least describe a manager's work.

Ben Lindbergh makes no claims for his Managerial Meddling Index as a method to evaluate a manager's worth. However, what it does do is illustrate what moves a given manager tends to make, and how often, in comparison to his peers. While Matt Williams, the recently and unceremoniously fired manager of the Washington Nationals, is the main subject here, the index can't really tell you if he was bad, or just unlucky.

What it can tell us, is that he didn't do a whole lot of tinkering and basically just let his team play, making far fewer moves of any kind than most other managers around the league. Would things have gone differently for him if he'd shifted defensively more often? Sacrificed more? Or less? It's at least useful and interesting to actually see the data on how often each manager used a given strategy. A bit surprising, too, to see that Brad Ausmus' Meddling Index was pretty low.


The 2015 season has finally wound to its sad end. Now comes the season to rebuild and renew, for both players, fans, and the Tigers organization. Several Tigers players appear to be off and running already...

Hmm...a truck seems to suit James McCann, but perhaps he should follow in the footsteps of his pal Daniel Norris and embrace van culture.

On second thought, maybe he's lucky to be rid of Daniel for a few months. If they're heading down south, maybe they can hang out with Buck Farmer back home in Georgia!

...actually, that seems like a terrible plan. Justin Verlander and his lady are in a beautiful undisclosed location...

What a view! @kateupton #harley

A photo posted by Justin Verlander (@justinverlander) on

Meanwhile Matt Boyd was just starving for a good hamburger. It's the simple things sometimes...

Anibal Sanchez and his lovely family are headed home to see the relatives.

And, last but not least, this is an old one, but it's too good not to pass along. J.D. and Jose Iglesias Jr. Keep shining guys, we'll get them next year...

Breaking news!! JD Martinez is my son's favorite player ⚾️ / #comebackseason #perseverancia

A photo posted by Jose Iglesias (@joseiglesias_ss) on

JABO: The Best and Worst Managers at Challenging - FanGraphs, Owen Watson
Who's challenge game was on point this season?

Relief for the Tigers? A look at pitching prospect Joe Jimenez - Minor League Ball, Wayne Cavadi
20-year-old Joe Jimenez was as dominant a closer as the Midwest League had this season. How did he do it? And what does he project to be capable of in the major leagues?

I'm retiring. Here are five things I won't miss about baseball -, Jeremy Affeldt
Wearing three World Series rings from his tenure with the San Francisco Giants, former reliever Jeremy Affeldt heads off into the sunset. He's got some parting shots to take. Sorry, not sorry, Philadelphia!

2015 TigsTown Awards: Erie SeaWolves - Tigs Town, Mark Anderson
The Erie SeaWolves didn't have a great season on the field, but they still had quite a few standout performers. Who emerged to earn pitcher and player of the year honors?

The Reality of Masahiro Tanaka’s Fastball - FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan
One of the more interesting cases of pitcher injury over the past two seasons was Masahiro Tanaka's UCL tear. Rather than opt for surgery, Tanaka and the Yankees made the unlikely decision to ride it out and allow it to heal on its own. They were rewarded with another good season from Tanaka, and a surprising increase in velocity on his fastball. Unfortunately for the Yankees ace by default, that's not the whole story...