Brad Ausmus is showing his frustrations with the Detroit Tigers’ season thus far, and projecting it toward the wrong avenue.
While the schedule always gets on people’s nerves, especially the managers’, the frustration of Brad Ausmus should be a result of the Detroit Tigers‘ below-average play this past week, month and season rather than with the schedule.
Sitting at 12-15 for the month of May, the Detroit Tigers are currently 24-27 on the season. While they’re only four games back of the first-place Twins (this is not a drill, baseball fans), they’re 3-7 in their last 10 games. Add that in with a pretty hectic schedule the last month and you have a prime recipe for disgruntled managers who may be feeling the heat.
On the issue of the weird scheduling conflict, Ausmus had this to say following Friday night’s 8-2 defeat against the Chicago White Sox, via NBCSports.com:
"“Give some credit to the White Sox pitchers, give some credit to the schedule we have. We’ll try to get about 5 hours of sleep and come back tomorrow and play two more. You can’t control the weather but I think it would have been prudent to play the second game tomorrow in August. That would have made a lot more sense to me.”"
A couple of things regarding the comments made by Ausmus could be broken down into what he was trying to accomplish versus whether he was right in saying what he did.
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Firstly, it isn’t the White Sox’s fault that Major League Baseball scheduled a rained-out doubleheader for the next day. No matter what streaks or positive/negative play each team is going through, you both must play the game. Granted, the Tigers got into the south side of Chicago very early in the morning from their three-out-of-four series loss in Houston to the Astros, but that shouldn’t be the sole reason as to why the Tigers have been playing below average.
Secondly, is it possible Ausmus was trying to rev up the troops and get them to play more spirited ball? Since his comments, the Tigers are 2-2, with two games remaining in Kansas City against the Royals to close out the month. With a fire sale looking to hit Kansas City, Detroit probably wouldn’t rather play anyone else right now.
After his hiring back in 2013, Ausmus led the Tigers to a division win in his first season in 2014. Since then, Detroit has yet to return to the playoffs. To this day, it feels like the hire was made to replicate the hiring of Mike Matheny in St. Louis back in 2012. While both had little to no coaching experience before their hirings, both were catchers and both replaced World Series-winning managers in Tony La Russa and Jim Leyland, respectively. Having been field generals during their playing days, both managers replicated the style of their predecessors.
But when it’s all said and done, winning is what matters most. And in the case of Brad Ausmus, the winning needs to start, and fast. The frustration we saw from him last week with the so-called scheduling conflict could quickly become frustration on his end as a result of losing a job if that doesn’t change.