Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Ausmus Tigers' bench boss
Bit of a surprsing choice to inherit Leyland's post
DETROIT -- When Brad Ausmus was a player -- which wasn't that long ago -- the mental aspect of the game always came pretty easily.
"I always enjoyed the cerebral part," Ausmus said. "It was much more difficult to hit -- that was the part of the game I didn't really enjoy."
Perhaps it was inevitable that Ausmus would become a manager, and he'll have that chance now. The Detroit Tigers hired the 44-year-old former catcher to replace Jim Leyland at the helm of the three-time defending AL Central champions. Ausmus has little managerial experience, and the Tigers will entrust him with a talented roster that is expected to keep right on winning.
"I'm well aware that you don't generally get dropped into a situation like I will be this coming season," Ausmus said. "I understand I'm very fortunate. That being said, I'm not taking anything for granted. No details will be glossed over. I'm not assuming anything going into the job."
Ausmus, who worked in the San Diego Padres' front office as a special assistant to the general manager, emerged as Detroit's pick less than two weeks after Leyland stepped down. He takes over a team that has reached the AL championship series three straight years and should be well positioned for another big season in 2014.
The Tigers lost to Boston this year in the ALCS.
"We're not going to re-invent the wheel here. This is a pretty darn good team," Ausmus said. "I think I would be foolish to come here and try to make sweeping changes."
Ausmus managed Israel's team for the World Baseball Classic, but he's inexperienced as a manager compared to some other potential candidates. Ausmus played in the majors from 1993-2010.
The Tigers also interviewed Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Los Angeles Dodgers third-base coach Tim Wallach -- as well as Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski said he'd planned to interview former Cincinnati Reds star Barry Larkin, but Larkin decided not to interview because he wasn't in a position to make the time commitment necessary for the job.
If continuity was Detroit's main concern, McClendon may have been the choice, but the Tigers acted a bit more boldly in hiring the Dartmouth-educated Ausmus, whose name also recently surfaced in connection with the Chicago Cubs' job.
"When we interviewed, we were -- not just me -- taken back at how impressive he was," Dombrowski said. "It really became quite clear for us, that he would do an outstanding job for us. It was probably not where I started, but it's where we ended, and we feel very good about that."
There will be one important holdover on Detroit's coaching staff. Leyland's bench coach, Gene Lamont, will remain in that role. Ausmus agreed to a three-year deal with a club option for 2017. Lamont agreed to a two-year deal.
Ausmus inherits a roster with several big names, including Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.
-- The Associated Press
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition November 4, 2013 C8
Please use the form below and let us know.
Having problems with the form?Contact Us Directly
(1 of 37 articles for today)9:00 PM 0
Photo Store Gallery
- Orioles' celebration of AL East title was 17 years in the making
- Phillies' Burnett beaten by Padres, absorbs majors-worst 17th loss
- Umpire Joe West suspended for 1 game without pay for grabbing jersey of Phillies' Papelbon
- Barry Bonds' obstruction of justice conviction goes back before a court
- Angels' magic number for clinching AL West drops to 2 despite 13-2 loss to Mariners
- Fan heckling Nationals star Bryce Harper in Atlanta ejected by veteran umpire Tim Welke
- After blowing lead in top of the 9th, Twins rally for 4-3 victory over Tigers
- Amarista hits two-run homer, lifts Padres to 5-4 win over Phillies
- Blue Jays rookie Stroman suspended 6 games for pitch at Joseph's head, appeals penalty
- Yankees 3B Chase Headley miffed by Rays manager Joe Maddon's comment about hit by pitch
- Saying goodbye difficult task for Fish
- Man facing charges for smuggling baseball players
- Man charged in Florida with role in smuggling Dodgers OF Puig out of Cuba
- Goldeyes now out of season
- Orioles' Davis suspended 25 games for positive amphetamine test, he attributes to Adderall
- Marlins' Stanton tweets that he's 'much better,' 1 day after taking pitch in the face
- Mets pitcher Bartolo Colon hits 2 Washington batters, ejected along with manager Terry Collins
- Vintage baseball proves a hit; modern players embrace 19th-century rules, uniforms, history
- Kent Tekulve, former reliever and Pirates studio commentator, recovering from heart transplant
- Marlins star Stanton sustains multiple fractures in beaning vs Brewers, likely done for season
- Trophy Fish clinch North Division
- Goldeyes lick Saltdogs 7-6
- Goldeyes now out of season
- Goldeyes' game against Railcats pushed back
- Fish feast on 'Cats
- Fish fail to close the deal
- Fish dump Saltdogs in first playoff game
- Goldeyes playoff run over with 2-0 loss to Saltdogs
- Fish bats fall silent as Lincoln evens series
- Fish dinger derby in Sioux Falls puts them in command of North Division
Ads by Google