By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
It’s Tuesday, so two topics will be tackled by our writers. With injuries dominating the Tiger news over the last several weeks, Kurt and Holly head in a different direction. They will discuss a recent Brad Ausmus decision and how our television media tends to react … or not.
Remember, our writers do not share their answers. So, take a look, as this should be an interesting range of perspectives.
What thoughts came to mind when Brad removed Mike Aviles from the game Saturday after his 2 base running errors?
Why not cut right to the chase on this one? My first thought was, “Way to go, Brad!” As a manager, you can’t ignore mental errors. And when one player commits 2 on the base paths within the course of a couple of innings, it hurts your team and cannot be tolerated. It was a great message sent by Ausmus, and I was all set to go nuts if it didn’t get done.
These are the types of moves we need to see from our manager. The team has struggled so much on the base paths over the last couple seasons and Brad seized the opportunity to deliver a message.
And it had to be a long trip back to the bench for Aviles at the end of the inning, after Brad motioned for him to return to the dugout. I have no problem recognizing Brad for decisiveness and discipline when we see it.
Players need to be held accountable. So expect to see a lot more focus from Aviles and others going forward.
We’ll never know Ausmus’ real intent as he protects his players. Only one time has he ever reprimanded a player openly – and that was Rajai Davis.
I’d like to think that maybe Brad now is getting more comfortable with managing and pulling players after they make mistakes. This then would be only the second time in 3 years he’s done that.
Also likely is that Aviles was pulled in the late innings for defensive reasons. With the score 2-0 and the Tigers having a devil of a time scoring runs that day given the 2-for-10 RISP and whopping 13 LOB, this may have been Brad’s outfield version of Romine-for-Castellanos.
Mike was absent from the past two games and splits showed he faced Sunday’s pitcher, AJ Griffin only once, going 0-for-4. Not enough of a legitimate reason to keep him out of the lineup. Then again, Ausmus has had better success having centerfielder Tyler Collins in the #2 spot instead of McGehee.
But whatever the rationale, anything that gets the players being smarter on the basepaths is a really good thing.
Why does our TV broadcast crew continue to miss or ignore some of these key moments within games with no comments as if nothing significant happened?
I don’t understand it really. The broadcast team as a whole, regardless of who is commenting, seems reluctant to get even remotely close to an editorial comment. They just aren’t very critical of anyone; even when it would be fair and warranted commentary.
There are so many opportunities to discuss the game within the game; and I do believe they are trying to do more. But the viewing experience could be so much more interesting.
When Avila was picked off concluding a horrible night on the base paths, they must have had some opinion about what was going on, don’t you think? But once again, they chose to say nothing.
As critical as I am about our radio team, at least they will point out incompetence by a player on occasion. If the same type of approach was across the board, I could respect how the game is called during the TV broadcast.
I hope for more substance from these guys every game, but they shy away from opinion often. They must have some kind of unspoken edict from the ball club about what they can and cannot comment on.
Ever since the Baltimore Orioles fired the best announcer in the business, Jon Miller, it sent a warning shot to all baseball media personnel. Miller made a semi-critical statement during a game broadcast and found himself released the next day by the Orioles’ owner.
So the silence we hear is not unusual, and quite frankly, it is expected. Especially since the FSD announcers are hired and paid in part by Mr. I. And yes, it is a conflict of interest. But the Tigers need to boost their viewership so they can maximize these new tv contracts coming up and they don’t want fans disenchanted.
But if you listen closely, Mario and Co. often are analyzing and expressing puzzling moves but being smart about it so they don’t get into trouble.
Tone of voice actually has more power of persuasion than the actual words uttered – or as we say in the business, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” And how they do it, and get away with it, is to refrain from negative words and use a positive tone of voice so it doesn’t outwardly appear to be critical.
But you really have to listen. Often, what you hear to be positive is actually a quasi-honest assessment if you focus on the actual words instead.