TIGERS IGNORED NEED FOR NEW SKIPPER

By:  Kurt Snyder

We were all worried about this weren’t we? All of us.

When Al Avila took over the reigns as GM, there was an order of business to take care of. And one very obvious first step. The whole town knew what it was. In fact, the news media went as far as announcing that Brad Ausmus would be fired after the 2015 season.

But he wasn’t. Avila shocked everyone by holding onto a manager fans and media alike thought would never live to see another day in Detroit. He certainly hadn’t earned another season. The Tigers ravaged by injuries all year, were also saddled with a manager not capable of persevering, not able to lead them out of it.

By now, we are all too familiar with how Brad seems to compound all the issues by continuing to be one of the team’s weaknesses. Well, that didn’t just begin. It’s been going on for over 2 years. And after year 2 of the same old song and dance, Avila had one simple and obvious move to make to kick off his tenure. Firing Ausmus and bringing in his own guy would wipe the slate clean, the necessary move before rebuilding the roster.

But we all moved on and watched Al go to work, putting together a better team for Brad. Tearing down the bullpen and building it back up. Signing Jordan Zimmermann and Justin Upton. Heading into the spring, there were reasons to be excited about this team. On the surface, it appeared Avila had addressed most of the issues that had cost the Tigers last season.

All except for one. And even though fans were quiet in the off-season and sat back and watched Avila masterfully improve his roster, there was still the issue of who was kept around to lead. I remember comments among the fan base, people who were still reluctant to get behind the team even with all the new additions and the all-important subtractions. There was still one common denominator.

Would any of these moves matter? Could the Tigers perform in spite of their manager? Well, no, that never happens. So far, Brad’s biggest quality is his ability to put teams to sleep. And unfortunately, it has been his own.

So the bloom is off the rose for Al Avila. He received high praise on this site during the off-season. His roster changes, most of them, outside of the signing of Pelfrey, seemed smart, calculated and strategic.

But through almost 40 games, very few of his acquisitions are performing. Outside of Jordan Zimmermann, they have all struggled.

We wrote a post on this site back in March titled, Tiger Fans in Wait and See Mode. It is borderline prophetic.  https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/2016/03/08/tiger-fans-in-wait-and-see-mode/

There has been guarded optimism. We have all waited. We have all seen. But the Tigers are free-falling and there is now only one question. How much longer can we bear to watch?

17 thoughts on “TIGERS IGNORED NEED FOR NEW SKIPPER

  1. I will remain a tiger fan for life. Its in my blood. But I cannot continue to watch them knowing they will find a way to lose. I’ll probably get a lot of work done around the house now .. Dammit!

    Like

  2. This team is in free-fall right now with no end in sight. Ausmus isn’t the only thing wrong with this team, but he’s certainly not right either. Changes have to be made.

    Like

  3. It’s just become too frustrating and it is no longer pleasurable to watch this team. I would rather watch them in full rebuild mode with some hope of evolving into something exciting. This manager’s decisions are sometimes mind boggling.

    Like

  4. I’m with Doug. I am always behind my team, but there are problems in the withering Tiger garden that need to be dealt with seriously. When those are fixed I will return to full bloom as well.

    Like

  5. Good article. I too was appalled when Avila made the choice to keep Ausmus. While I don’t think all of this losing streak has been his fault, he still has to go, as they will never win under him.

    Like

  6. 1) You could write a book, something on the scale of “War and Peace”, on how Ausmus has mismanaged Sanchez alone. 2) Over an extended period of time poor leadership will have the effect of bringing a general malaise and dysfunction to every part of an organization. That’s the situation now and the seeds of that could be seen 2 years ago.

    Like

    • Yes! Why is it so difficult for Ausmus to see that Sanchez always struggles the third time through the order? It doesn’t matter how masterful he has been to that point, or what his pitch count is, or even what the inning is, the third time is NOT the charm. And yet Ausmus waits until the lead is blown, or the game is out of reach, to bring in a reliever.

      Like

  7. Excellent summary Kurt. A chain is no stronger than the weakest link. We knew it going into the season. For whatever reason the gamble was made that the individual parts of the team would be strong enough to hold it all together. In my opinion it was a risk with no possible benefit. It is hard to watch it play out.

    Like

  8. Apathy has set in. I don’t bother to peak at what is happening on TV and haven’t tuned-in the radio for game updates. Totally Tigers and the local paper comment sections are my only fix. As Holly indicated, she and you are “obligated” to follow the games so we continue to have the luxury to follow activities going on behind the scenes. Can’t thank you enough!

    Like

  9. Avila will reach for the “eject” button on Thursday – an off day, if they lose 2 of 3 to the Twins. If not…. The forest fire will continue to burn a while longer. In the mean time, they MUST sit Upton or send him to Toledo. You can’t continue to take an automatic out in the majors.

    Like

  10. I used to never miss a game. Now I only watch if there’s nothing else to do. But I do check the internet every morning to see if the manager has been fired. When that happens I’ll be an avid fan again, at least for a while.

    Like

    • Joe, have you noticed that Bobby Wilson, the catcher we gave away to the Rangers hit his second grand-slam and is hitting a solid .320? Not sure what analytics our team is following!

      Like

  11. It looks like the Tigers are trying to set a new record for most men left on base. How many times have they loaded the bases only to come up empty? It is no longer fun to watch😒

    Like

  12. Good thing we have Romine to go in the 9th inning to play better defense than Nick can. I’m sure glad he was there to field that grounder in the ninth. My gosh can you imagine what would have happened if Nick was forced to field that?? Oh boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I am no ausmus fan and I question his decisions. BUT it’s hard to blame him when our bullpen is in shambles, starters are inconsistent, we have NO bench, Gose, Upton and McCann are automatic outs, Iglesias and JD are having lousy seasons at the plate, and miggy can’t hit with anyone in scoring position (1 for his last 19 with the bases loaded). They are good on paper but that’s it.

    Like

Comments are closed.