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.