Welcome to the latest installment of Bless You Boys' attempt to track the general opinion towards Tigers' manager Brad Ausmus. We run an approval poll about once a month, asking fans one simple question: Do you approve of Brad Ausmus as the Tigers' manager?
The timing of our last poll was really interesting. The post went live on an off day immediately following a nice five-game win streak and a glorious sweep of the Twins. The Tigers sat at 14-10, keeping a reasonable pace just a bit behind the unreasonable pace of the White Sox. Spirits were high, and Ausmus' approval jumped out to a quick 75 percent in the first day, when most of the votes normally pour in.
The next day, the Tigers lost to the Indians. Then again the next day, and the one after that. Then they got swept by the Rangers, too. A week later, we were looking at a 1-11 stretch since the approval poll. Now, I'm no scientist, but Ausmus' approval seemed to drop just a bit.
Sarcasm aside, the fanbase was upset with the poor play, for good reason, and the manager received the brunt of the blame. The complaints were loud and frequent, and many fans were well past disapproval -- they wanted Ausmus fired now. Upon further inspection of our poll, it appears as though we had a number of visitors after the votes typically fade away.
We had enough visitors, in fact, to drop the rating from 75 percent all the way to 53 percent. Which is probably an accurate average of out feeling before and after that awful stretch, actually. It's also tidily similar to the 49 percent he received just before Opening Day.
Immediately after the stretch of losses, the Tigers went on a nice little 8-1 streak. And since that, they've lost five of six. This team is taking years off our lives, people. The bottom line is that the Tigers are currently 24-27, but still sitting only a few games behind the cluster of three other AL Central teams fighting for first place.
Ausmus has been criticized for the team's mental miscues and lack of fundamentals, but defenders point out that major league players should already be fundamentally sound, and a lack of focus is their fault, not their manager's. Detractors point out the long-standing trend of leaving a starting pitcher in the game one or two batters too long, while others point out that he has no reliable long relievers to turn to instead, and it's not his fault if his starters can't pitch six innings without a complete meltdown.
But you've been paying attention, and you've already made up your mind, haven't you? So there's not much point in running through every pro and con in the Brad Ausmus Analysis. Just let us know how you feel in the poll below.