Brad Ausmus is not known for being an emotional manager. Whether times are tough, or when the going is good, he maintains a stoic demeanor in the dugout. When he does object to a call, it’s usually done in a less red-faced and aggressive manner than some other MLB managers. For some, it gave the impression that perhaps Ausmus didn’t particularly care.
That all changed on May 16, 2016.
During a home game against the Twins, the Tigers had just squandered an eight run lead — in true 2016 Tigers fashion — and home plate umpire Doug Eddings called Nicholas Castellanos out on a third strike looking.
Ausmus had had enough. He so tremendously objected to Eddings’ interpretation of the zone, that he came out of the dugout, kicked dirt on the plate, and covered it with his sweatshirt, appearing to suggest that if Eddings wasn’t going to use it, it might as well not be there.
For a lot of fans it was a milestone moment. It proved that Ausmus really did care, that the teams’ losses were getting to him the same as they were the fanbase. It proved, in an over-the-top way, that he was willing to put up a fight for his players.
The little hat toss at the end also proved he had a great sense of dramatic flair.
It was a spectacular and memorable part of the 2016 season, and one we’re not likely to forget any time soon.