It has been reported that the Detroit Tigers are going to fire Manager Brad Ausmus at season’s end. Ausmus, who was hired in 2013, took over for veteran skipper Jim Leyland and has not had the same results or success Leyland had in his short two-year tenure as Tigers Manger.
One could easily make the argument Ausmus has done all he could do with the talent provided, but the case could also be made that the management of said talent given has not been adequate.
Nevertheless, the report of Ausmus’ dismissal comes at a puzzling time. With 24 games still left to be played, why would the report of the Tigers plans to fire their manager at the end of the year come now? If the plans are in the works and the decision has already been made to move on, why not just fire Ausmus now and get on with the remainder of the season?
Since the report of Ausmus’ imminent dismissal, the Tigers have done a terrible job handling the situation.
New Tigers GM, Al Avila, released this statement about Ausmus being let go at the end of the season.
“I have stated several times since becoming Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager that we are evaluating all personnel and know that includes the players, the manager and his staff and minor league operations,” Avila said in the release. “In fact, I reconfirmed with Mr. Ilitch and manager Brad Ausmus this morning that these evaluations are ongoing and decisions in any of these areas will be made by the end of the season.”
Ausmus isn’t sweating the reports that he is going to be let go.
“I talked to Al this morning,” Ausmus said. “Since then it’s been business as usual. I’m very comfortable with where everything is now. I think Al’s statement covered it.”
The Tigers organization as a whole has been in disarray over the last month and a half. After getting rid of long time GM Dave Dombrowski and hiring in Avila, the Tigers have continued to falter on the field and now in the front office.
There have also been reports that Tigers owner Mike Ilitch was never on board with Dombrowski hiring a manger with no experience and did not feel that the Tigers could win now with Ausmus at the helm.
This is not the start you want to have as a new GM if you’re Avila. If you’re going to get rid of manager, you do it now. Regardless of whether or not the reports are that Ausmus is going to be fired are true. To let news slip out of the front office that is going to cause a stir sets up an unwanted headache for everyone on the Tigers.
Even if you are not a fan of Ausmus you now have to feel bad for the guy who is now going to be answering the same questions for the next three weeks about his job security and if he thinks he is going to be welcomed back in 2016. As well as the players who are going to be consistently asked about Ausmus managerial abilities and if they feel that their skipper is going to be fired.
Avila has tried to put out some of the flames, but has not done a great job at it. When you say at your opening presser to take over as GM that Ausmus is your manager for the rest of the season but will be evaluated at the seasons end, it doesn’t exactly lead people to believe that Ausmus is going to be here at the end of the year. Especially now that the Tigers are headed for their worst finish since 2008.
With reports like this leaking, it has to make one think how much control does Avila really have over the organization? Are there people currently on the staff that were brought in by Dombrowski over the past decade that are still angry about him being let go? If Avila can’t even control the front office, how is he expected to build a winning team?
If Ausmus is let go at the end of the year it’s going to make the way the Tigers have handled this entire situation look even worse.
To make Ausmus manage under the looming clouds of speculation that he is going to be fired and to put such a distraction on everyone in the organization does not make Avila or the Tigers front office look good.
Whether the reports are true or not will be made clear in due time. For the time being, the Tigers could have handled this situation much better.