Late last evening, there were numerous reports that the Detroit Tigers were to hire Brad Ausmus to replace Jim Leyland as their next manager. According to Adam Spolane from SportsRadio 610 first tweeted the news. A Ken Rosenthal tweet followed as a confirmation. Ausmus will be in Detroit today – if he isn’t already – to finalize the deal.
Ausmus was serving as Special Assistant to the Padres GM Josh Byrnes and has no major leaguemanaging experience. Greg Johns who covers the Seattle Mariners for MLB.com tweeted, Ausmus is the third hire to not have previous MLB experience. The Cincinnati Reds stayed in house to tab Bryan Price and the Washington Nationals hired Matt Williams.
The only managerial experience Ausmus owns was managing Team Israel during the qualifying round of the 2012 World Baseball Classic.
With the Ausmus hire, it is expected that Gene Lamont will stay on as bench coach. According to James Schmehl of mlive.com, Lamont and Ausmus became close friends when Lamont was a member of the Houston Astros staff and Ausmus was a player.
During his 18-year career, Ausmus played for the Padres, Tigers, Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers. He was selected to his only All-Star Game appearance in 1999 when he was a player for the Tigers. He also was awarded with three Gold Gloves (’01, ’02, ’06), all as an Astro. Ausmus produces a career triple slash of .251/.325/.344 with 80 HR and 607 RBI. He also caught 480 of 1,374 steal attempts (35%).