By: Holly Horning & Kurt Snyder
It’s safe to say that we at Totally Tigers have a duty to keep the pedal to the metal and continue to dissect a topic that is obviously near and dear to the hearts of anyone paying any attention to our baseball team.
Below, Holly and Kurt take on one question and it addresses ours and a whole lot of others’ concerns about the manager of the Tigers.
This has been a highly flammable topic and I think our answers just may keep the home fires burning. So let’s go…..
How concerned should we be about the “miscommunication” between Price and Ausmus on Sunday?
Very concerned – this is a Code Red for everyone involved. And let’s clarify this incident – it is anything but “miscommunication.”
Price’s actions are the story within the story and a microcosm of the increasing dysfunction on this team. As a veteran with a reputation as a top professional, and a guy known to go for the complete game, he knew what he was doing. I noticed in the sixth inning that he did not look at all happy on the mound. Was his self-imposed exile due to the team only mustering two hits for him while Cespedes took a tumble for an error? Did it have something to do with the increasing level of clubhouse dissention? Both? Or was it because players now feel they can or have to call the shots?
We’ll never know the real reason but the fact that Price quit and overruled Ausmus’ request for him to take the mound in the seventh speaks volumes.
Whatever it is, Ausmus has lost control of his players as I pointed out in this week’s blog, https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2015/06/30/chaos-in-the-clubhouse/.
Add David to the growing list of players calling the shots on the field and ignoring signs from the dugout.
The severity of this breakdown now requires that Mr. I and Dave step in to mitigate the damage. If they don’t, more players will become unhappy, unfocused – and the Tigers will gain speed in their descent in the division. Star players will find it hard to maintain their stellar stats and for the first time in many decades, players may start asking to be traded. Potential teammates may even refuse being traded to Detroit.
Despite the fact that Ausmus tried to downplay Sunday’s event, there is evidence that the Tigers are in crisis mode. Dave Dombrowski has not been seen or heard from in weeks and he is no longer trying to support Brad in the media.
And after an article about the incident ran in the Detroit Free Press, it was mysteriously removed the next day. Not only that, but it was also erased from all search engines as if it never existed. That’s a sign of a team trying to control significant damage.
Concerned? This is a game changer. Any shred of respect the players had for Brad Ausmus following this episode certainly has deteriorated.
We don’t have a manager who commands respect. We don’t have a manager who players would run through a wall for. The Tigers have settled into a long stretch of nothingness. No momentum, no roll, no drive, no sign of any intent to contend for the division title. A win here, a loss there; just one spinning wheel. And astonishingly, with all that’s been going on, they were still only 6 games back going into Wednesday’s game versus the Pirates. It’s because the team has talent, but talent still needs leadership.
So, here is my concern. After this little episode this week, if the Tigers do not act quickly and decisively and cut the cord on their manager soon, Price won’t even consider the Tigers past this season. Cespedes won’t even consider the Tigers past this season. Whether they are part of our future plans or not, a message must be sent to these guys that this is an organization that can admit a mistake.
It’s a mistake that should have been admitted after last season, but my guess is that Mr. I felt Ausmus needed more time. Well, you can see what Brad has done with it. And the man has to be gone to give the Tigers any hope of making any noise between now and October.
Tiger fans everywhere have been worried about the window closing on this team, and I have never worried about the window for a moment. However, I can easily fall in line if Brad is allowed to exhibit more episodes of “miscommunication” and lack of control that will efficiently slam the window closed.