After a day of speculation running rampant on Twitter and Facebook, the Detroit Tigers made it official this afternoon – former Tiger Brad Ausmus will be Detroit’s next manager.
Undoubtedly, the 44-year old former catcher will bring a different managerial style to the Detroit Tigers solely by virtue of his age in contrast to former manager Jim Leyland.
The truth is no one knows what kind of manager he will turn out to be. He hadn’t had any major league managerial experience before being named to head the Tigers to a fourth consecutive Central Division title.
The Tigers passed over an experienced Lloyd McClendon, who was the Tigers hitting coach by choosing Ausmus.
Ausmus’ only experience comes from having played the game for 18 years and he managed Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
Before accepting his new job with the Tigers, he was a special assistant for the San Diego Padres.
Although he lacks managerial background, Ausmus will have an experienced guide next to him in the dugout. Tigers bench coach Gene Lamont has been retained to serve the new manager in the same role he had with Jim Leyland.
Brad Ausmus was the Tigers catcher for part of the 1996 season and again from 1999-2000. It was Ausmus who helped remove the flag at Tiger Stadium after the final game that was played there. He also was a part of the ceremony that brought that flag to Comerica Park on Opening Day 2000.
The biggest hurdle that Ausmus will face during his tenure at the helm will be to get the Tigers to the playoffs and then to the World Series.
That shouldn’t be too difficult. The team is in place to make another run for the big prize. The new manager has a veteran team and bench coach to work with, and all indications point to the return of pitching coach Jeff Jones – another Leyland alum.
Ausmus, a graduate of Dartmouth, has tons of baseball smarts to guide him, too.
Additionally, the tweaks that Dave Dombrowski will make during the off- season can only serve to enhance Detroit’s playoff probability. There is no reason, that as a fan, you should be dissatisfied with the direction they are headed.