September 27, 2015

Brad Ausmus Suddenly an Enigma

Shock Me! 

The Tigers shocked the world on Saturday afternoon by announcing that Brad Ausmus will return as field manager for the 2016 season. The national media lit up with the surprising news and the local Detroit media suddenly backtracked and said that the team is doing the right thing by Ausmus giving him a chance because the team was flawed from the beginning of the season and had many injuries throughout.

Ten seasons ago, the Tigers making the playoffs was a "game changer." 

One of those Moments

I was at Meijer on Cascade in Grand Rapids when the information arrived via Twitter. It's one of those moments that for some reason I think I will always remember. Ausmus has struggled this season with bullpen management, in game communication with players, and other small things. But, as Tom Peters is wont to suggest small things matter. A few weeks ago it was a foregone conclusion that Ausmus was a goner; some media suggested that Ron Gardenhire was just a formality away from joining the organization.

Maybe He Will Learn

Ausmus is a respected baseball man and caught for 18 seasons. He knows the game and knows it well. Apparently, General Manager Al Avila has determined that Ausmus deserves the chance to manage the team for at least one more season. There is no indication that he has received an extension so he will be a "lame duck" manager in 2016. He clearly runs a great Spring Training because the Tigers always come out of the gate as one of the game's toughest teams. Be forewarned, though, the Tigers 2016 April schedule is a doozie.

Ten Years

Next season will be the 10th Anniversary season of the arrival of Jim Leyland and the return of the Tigers organization. It was a great run without a doubt. The Tigers' faithful were hoping that a new manager would bring a new focus to town, but now Ausmus is returning for at lest one more season.

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