The Detroit Tigers made an expected move at an unexpected time on Friday. After calling in local media, and comments from owner Chris Ilitch to the effect that he was committed to owning the Tigers long-term, General Manager Al Avila announced that the organization would not offer manager Brad Ausmus a new contract.
The announcement was unusual in that there is still over a week left in the season. More unusual was the fact that Ausmus will manage out the season. But in his comments afterwards, Ausmus made it clear that there was no animosity over the decision. In fact, he expressed agreement with Avila, stating that he likely would’ve passed had the Tigers offered him another year.
“I told him that if he walked in and offered me a contract, I wouldn’t have taken it, because I think this organization is starting over, they need a new voice. And frankly, sometimes you have to be able to evaluate yourself. When I look in the mirror, I think it’s probably a good idea that they do this.”
Brad Ausmus speaks on not returning as Tigers manager, calling his conversation with Al Avila emotional. pic.twitter.com/Ztko1P8ktI— Kellie Rowe (@kellierowe) September 22, 2017
We may never get a full accounting of Ausmus’ perspective on his years with the team, but he certainly seems at peace with the decision. More than that, he sounds both accountable and culpable, recognizing that the team needs a fresh voice.
Ausmus still has a week and change left as the Tigers’ manager. Now that the decision is made, perhaps we’ll get more in the way of self-evaluation from him. For now, it sounds like all parties are at peace and that there will be no angst upon Ausmus’ exit. Hopefully, with any tension surrounding the pending decision now gone, the team can play loose and enter the postseason looking forward to a new time in Detroit Tigers’ baseball.