Sunday, November 03, 2013

On Brad Ausmus, new Tigers' manager

This I know about Brad Ausmus. He is a exceptionally smart guy. He was a very good catcher defensively, who thought through the game exceptionally well. He was an outstanding teammate. Ausmus was an excellent leader as a player.
He also has a very similar background as Mike Matheny, the St. Louis Cardinals' manager, who has done well replacing Tony LaRussa, despite not having managed before.
Methany and Ausmus are so similar, they even look alike in ball cap. So there is a blue print in recent years, by the Cardinals, suggesting the Tigers are on the cutting edge by hiring Ausmus.
The flipside is the unknown. Can he actually manage? I have no idea this is going to turn out.
There isn't even a minor league transcript on that one. For a team, whose expectation is winning the World Series like the Tigers, it represents considerable risk. albeit calculated.
Ausmus definitely looks the part. It doesn't, however, guarantee he will fit it.
And are the Tigers really on the cutting edge here or repeating a couple of their most costly mistakes - hiring Alan Trammell and Buddy Bell, each within the last 20 years, when they didn't have an experience, at any level, managing.
Those two had every bit the resume of Ausmus in terms of baseball background. Actually, more. Yet, they each looked mostly deer in the headlights when it came to managing a Major League Baseball team.
Both were lacking in the strategy area, and each lost their clubhouse. Neither came in with the expectations facing the Tigers with Ausmus at the helm, either.
Dave Dombrowski has been a terrific team president and general manager. If he has an Achilles Heel down through the years, it has been missing on managers. He hired Trammell and Luis Pujols. Remember Felipe Alou being brought in as Pujols' experience in the dugout?
I don't know if this is history repeating itself. I just know the managerial savior in Dombrowski's life has always been Jim Leyland. He is the only manager Dombrowski has ever hired at the major league level who has delivered as much as a winning record in a quarter of century.
We'll see if he is right this time. It could go a long way in determining Dombrowski's legacy in Detroit.


Blogger Mark said...

Do the Tigers need an Xs and Os manager or a people manager...someone the players can relate too. The talent the Tigers have shouldn't require much managing. Joe Torres was quite successful in NY with a lot of talent and not much managing....

Besides....the last manager had all the experience a team could ask for and never won a WS...maybe an infusion of young blood is what could put them over the top.

Ausmus must have something there...the Cubs wanted him too...the Astros wanted him last year. Matheny has worked in St. Louis with less talent...I for one am willing to give Ausmus a fair shake.

6:16 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Pat, the only thing I pick up is the team may be very well prepare which they need. If he so smart, which I hope he is, Tigers will have a flexible plan to follow. Tram didn't really have much of chance. He manage the worst team in baseball history and when he got the team in contention in 2005, DD traded his best relief pitcher.

7:16 PM 
Anonymous woody said...

the 18 seasons of being the 'manager on the field' certainly gives Ausmus a headstart on success as a manager in the dugout. perhaps more than a former pitcher or position player.

can try to draw comparisons to managers past and present but that's just futile guesswork.

similar to an unproven, rookie top prospect, Ausmus seems by consensus to have the 'tools' to be a solid manager...whether he realizes that potential is to be determined.

7:39 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

The other piece of the puzzle here is that while Leyland is out, he is still "with the organization". The question is "in what role?"

Well, here is a role.

I hope there are a number of long conversations between the skips, old and new. I hope Leyland is generous in sharing and Ausmus is is open and wanting Leyland's insight.

I have no idea either - but I want to trust DD in this move and I hope this works out great. This will indeed be a very interesting period through June.

7:45 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We'll see, managers with little experience seem to have some learning to do for the first time.

He should be able to handle pitchers pretty well, smart guy.

10:30 AM 

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