Two narratives have emerged after the firing, or, more formally, the letting go of Brad Ausmus. The first is that he was too inexperienced. The second, that he was never the right fit. I blame this failed experiment on the latter.
Ausmus was never a good choice for the team, the fan base, or the media. After Jim Leyland, it seemed like a logical choice to bring in a fresh face. It’s not that Leyland had gotten stale, it was more that a new and energetic voice would provide a clean departure for from the previous manager’s tenure. But the team never seemed to embrace his personality. His cool, dry humor and often disjointed responses to criticism rubbed people the wrong way. The fans bristled at his choices, and the media poked and prodded from day one.
Ausmus’ inexperience certainly contributed to his woes. His first season’s mistakes are well documented. But if the initial buy-in had existed, it’s likely these early missteps would have been accepted.
In the end, it was the players, not the manager who closed the window on the Tigers’ success. Managing is strictly result oriented, and Brad Ausmus failed to win the division or a playoff series.
Coming for that number one spot
How is it possible that the Tigers find themselves with the worst record in the entire league? All they had to do was lose 38 of their last 49 games including the last eight. No one has embraced the tank in the second half like the Tigers.
With the team securely in the bottom five, it’s time to start getting excited about the 2018 draft and the team’s possible selections. And since a tie seems likely, brush up on your tiebreaker knowledge to impress your friends.
Two good ideas
First, the Tigers will be extending the safety netting at Comerica Park for 2018. This is a no brainer and a welcome change.
Second, suck for two years, get good again, resign Verlander for one last hurrah and win the World Series. Jim Leyland is a smart guy.
We really let the Twins make the playoffs?
Yes, it appears so. With a five game lead with eight games left, it looks like the Twins will be making it to October. How did a team that was four games below .500 and sellers at the deadline make the playoffs? Improved hitting, pitching and some luck sprinkled in.
No one thinks they have much of a shot, but one game playoff baseball is a ridiculous concept, and if they make it through, who knows? October is delightfully unpredictable.
Did you know Jordan Zimmermann has won eight games?
I don’t have anything else to add here, but that’s just amazing to me. Wonder what the highest win total to ERA combination is, because eight wins against a 6.19 ERA has to be close.
Around the horn
Miguel Cabrera will have a dedicated offseason program to improve his back. I will be contributing with prayer. Lynn Henning would like to see Fredi Gonzalez lead the Tigers. Meh. The Tigers have many Victor Martinez problems. A high level overview of the top 2018 starting pitching free agents. The Tigers won’t be signing any but it doesn’t hurt to look. IT’S HAPPENING: Shohei Otani is interviewing MLB agents. Bryce Harper and his glorious hair is back.