Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski has finalized his decision making process of selecting a new skipper by naming former major league catcher Brad Ausmus as the new manager for the Detroit franchise.
Ausmus, who played two stints with the Tigers during his 18-year career, is only 44-years-old and has never managed or even coached at any minor or major league level.
Signing a three-year contract with a club option for 2017, Ausmus takes over for 68-year-old Jim Leyland, which in turn brings a total different end of the spectrum, going from old warrior to extremely wet behind the ear. But despite his lack of experience in coaching terms, Ausmus had several people in Major League Baseball backing him up, including Tony La Russa and his former battery mate Todd Jones.
Dombrowski explains, “”It really became quite clear for me, for us, that he would do an outstanding job for us. It was probably not where I started, but it’s where we ended, and I feel very good about that. You can’t settle into, in today’s world, what you’ve been doing year in and year out. You have to at least keep an open mind to different types of situations. That’s where it led us.”
Ausmus, who will now lead a team who has had several playoff appearances during the past seven years and has one of the leagues highest payrolls, has a challenge at hand. Walking into a room being almost the same age as some of your players as well as making much less than all of your stars is never easy. To never have managed brings the challenge even more forefront. But with his intelligence, work demeanor and history with his clubhouse precense as a player, Dombrowski was swayed into making the choice.
To make things simpler though, Ausmus will keep Gene Lamont on as the bench coach. No other coaching decisions have been made.