Game 2015.33: Twins at Tigers

Ausmus’ questionable managing decisions on Sunday night, when all the Baseball world was watching on ESPN, made him the target of a lot of stories on yesterday’s off day. Never where you want to be if you’re the manager.

Typically, the Detroit media didn’t really criticize Ausmus, but rather simply brought the issue to light. I only regularly read two sets of sportswriters, the ones in Dallas and the ones in Detroit, and I am constantly amazed at how reluctant the Detroit writers are to write anything negative about the Tigers. Dallas writers (and media pundits in general) have no problem taking management and ownership to task (in fact, Dale Hansen was fired by the Cowboys because of it a long time ago). I don’t listen to much Detroit sports radio, so hopefully there’s a little more objectivity there. But why isn’t anyone calling out Ausmus? Tony Paul started to – well at least his story title did, but if you read the story, he goes on to hedge, but he does end it by questioning Ausmus. He’ll probably get some evil looks around the clubhouse for even drafting such a title (“hey, did you read the rest of the story, it’s the players fault!!”)

Cabrera is the smartest baserunner on the team. Yes, he’s light years slower than Davis, and at some point in time the move will work. But I don’t see a reason why you would ever remove THE BEST HITTER IN BASEBALL. There is no way that Francona, or Maddon, (or Gardenhire…) make that move.

What really fires me up about this Davis for Cabrera insertion is this quote: “It didn’t work out this time. But to me, it’s a move you have to make at that point,” Ausmus said.

This “you have to make…” is the part of Ausmus that brings back frightening memories of Leyland, and scares the heck out of me. For the same reason that Ausmus left in Joba last week after giving up a 3 run bomb (and then three more hits), Ausmus has certain moves in his mind – if A then B, and he doesn’t waver from those. I seem to remember a game last year (end of the year) where the exact same scenario happened and we managed to squeeze out a win on a dribbler up the middle by Perez or an equally unaccomplished and unreliable hitter.

How about leaving your BEST PLAYER IN THE GAME. How’s that for strategy?

And we haven’t even discussed the Kinsler bunt attempts. A perennial All-Star, with Hernan Perez behind him. Goodness.

(un)Fortunately, we have 130 games left in this young 2015 season, so lots of room for Ausmus to redeem himself…right?

Baseball Reference game preview here.

Lineups coming later.





  1. Jud

    May 12, 2015 at 4:18 pm

    Good pregame write up Kevin..and right on!

  2. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 12, 2015 at 4:27 pm

    Once again I must quote the recent bio on Billy Martin. When Martin started managing the Rangers his wife bought a car from a Dallas car dealer. When filling out the purchase documentation the salesman asked her what her husband did for a living. “Oh, he works in management for the Texas Rangers.” That brought a reply “Very interesting, your husband is in law enforcement!” Thus is the difference between DFW and Detroit when it comes to sports. Football and its continual drama is the king in DFW while Detroit takes a more smarter and knowledgable approach to its sports teams. Whenever I attend Tiger games, I am always amazed on how knowledgable the fans I meet are of the team and the game in general. Light years ahead of the always munching-on-nachos and always texting-during-games Ranger fans. Such can also be compared to DFW and Detroit sports writers. Baseball is played everyday while you have a week to discuss (and discuss) football. No need for drama…mistakes are made but not to be repeated.

  3. KW

    May 12, 2015 at 4:36 pm

    Great writeup Kevin. Here are some additional thoughts I have. Old school guys like Leyland like to rely on unwritten managerial rules. Some of them, like always playing lefty/righty splits, don’t make sense. But others, like “You don’t pinch run for your best hitter in a tie game,” makes a ton of sense because you might need him to bat again if you don’t score. If it’s the bottom of the 9th and you’re down, sure, maybe pinch run for him because his spot’s not going to come up again unless you tie. If you do tie and Cabrera’s been taken out, well, at least you tied and are still playing.

    My point is, as silly as some of those unwritten managerial rules are, they at least provide some degree of certainty to the managers in a game where there are often multiple ways to handle specific situations. The rules eliminate the guesswork and make managing easier. If you follow the rules and they backfire, at least you can say “I’d do it the same way next time.” But with Ausmus, he at times doesn’t seem to be relying on the traditional unwritten managerial rules. That means he either has his own rules, or he’s in over his head and is guessing. If you ask me, it’s the latter, but both of those are scary qualities for a Tigers team that clearly has the talent to take the division.

    • Kevin in Dallas

      May 12, 2015 at 10:58 pm

      The tie game/down a run analogy is great. I hadn’t even thought that far ahead. KW baseball brain > KiD baseball brain.

  4. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    The other possibility is that the “i’d do it again” bit is just one of those Things You Tell Reporters After The Game, and what was really in Ausmus’ mind was “oh $#%! why the %&*! did I do THAT!”

    • Jud

      May 12, 2015 at 10:31 pm

      If Brad wouldn’t have played the game you could attribute some of these poor decisions to learning the game. But he played 18 years…he talks about being aggressive…they only run when they have a lead, he takes very few chances. I certainly wouldn’t call him aggressive.

    • Jud

      May 12, 2015 at 10:43 pm

      I will say this over and over. Why can’t Goss and Davis play at the same time. JD and Cespedes now have exactly 1 RBI added together and 1 run scored in the month of May…

  5. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Meanwhile, don’t look now but the Twins are only a game behind the Tigers in the standings, and will be ahead of them if they take this series.

  6. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 12, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    Good comments Kevin and Coleman….Yeah shazam! The Twins are 18-14! Iglesias in the line up tonight! JD back to his old slot too!

    Gose, F
    Kinsler, 2B
    Cabrera, 1B
    Martinez, DH
    Martinez, RF
    Cespedes, LF
    Castellanos, 3B
    McCann, C

    • Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

      May 12, 2015 at 7:04 pm

      Forgot my best player of the game…Ian Kinsler I presume!

  7. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 7:41 pm

    What a job by Simon to get out of that inning!

  8. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    I guess we’re gonna need a shutout.

  9. jud

    May 12, 2015 at 9:19 pm

    How bad is it when you teams only chance to win game after game is your pitcher throws shut out….this offense just plain sucks….4-8 are worthless!

    • Coleman

      May 12, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Actually 3 has been worthless lately (shhhh).

  10. tbran

    May 12, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Chamberlain is making his way to the mound?? Get the fire hose ready.

  11. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    1-1 and Chamberlain in, this can’t possibly go wrong…

    • Coleman

      May 12, 2015 at 9:24 pm

      Good job Joba!!

  12. tbran

    May 12, 2015 at 9:30 pm

    I repeat that Kinsler is due (way over due) for a HR. I think now would be good.

  13. jud

    May 12, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Why didn’t Iggy go to third!!!!!..why didnt Goss go for the front of the bag…more clown base running to go with no offense.

  14. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Victor is useless left-handed.

    • jud

      May 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

      They asked him if he considered going RH. He said “never”…so he goes .300 RH….050 LH…if I’m managing I tell him to bat right!!!!!!

  15. jud

    May 12, 2015 at 9:40 pm

    When was the last Tiger home run from Anyone…I can’t remember any this whole month???

    • Coleman

      May 12, 2015 at 9:50 pm

      That’s easy…JD Martinez.

  16. tbran

    May 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    Soria is special.

  17. jud

    May 12, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    JD…Cecpedes and Casty and the 9th…now that will put the fear of god in you!!!

  18. Coleman

    May 12, 2015 at 9:52 pm

    2 runs in the last 22 innings….zzzzzzz.

  19. tbran

    May 12, 2015 at 10:04 pm

    Kinsler, can you hear me? You are due brother and at this point I’ll settle for a single.

    • tbran

      May 12, 2015 at 10:05 pm

      I glad you were listening Kinsler — THANK YOU!

      • Coleman

        May 12, 2015 at 10:07 pm

        This could have happened last night too if they didn’t make him try to bunt.

        • tbran

          May 12, 2015 at 10:08 pm

          100% correct.

        • Kevin in Dallas

          May 12, 2015 at 10:59 pm

          Post of the game.

  20. Jud

    May 12, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    You guys been calling this for two days…the only guy on the team that could have done that is Kinsler cause they would have walked Miggy who hasn’t done squat either……
    Simon Soria Goss, Kinsler Nesbit save the day!!!

  21. Jim EggersUSMC

    May 12, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    I give Jud all the credit for this win, and great comments tonite especially from K in D as regards the Metroplex sports scene. Off to Seattle for M’s vs SD, going to ride Matt Kemp like a pony.

  22. Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi

    May 13, 2015 at 12:47 pm

    During last night’s game, announcers wished happy birthday to a 90-year old Yogi Berra. For a good read on Yogi including his Yogi-isms, see:

    My favorite Yogi-ism is “The future, like everything else, isn’t what is seems anymore.”