By:  Kurt Snyder

A reader, Frankie Russo, asked Totally Tigers to share some thoughts in response to a Detroit News article this past week. The subject and ultimate conclusion of the article was that Brad Ausmus never had a chance to succeed. I would love to take that on, Frankie! Thank you very much!

Normally, which I had already done after reading it, I would just shake my head and move on with my own approach. My own direction. It’s not the intent to react to articles from the local papers. Sometimes. But rarely.

But since you asked, I will comply.

So let me cut right through the muck and spill it out there for you. Did Brad have a chance to succeed? No, he didn’t.

The reasons?

No experience
No savvy
No drive
No fire
No measurable level of motivation
No instincts
No flexibility
No creativity
No grit

And, of course, no noted indication recognized by Dave Dombrowski, that he didn’t possess any of these traits. All of them necessary to have a chance to succeed.

Brad Ausmus has had no chance because he mainly doesn’t give himself one. He doesn’t have what it takes to succeed as a major league manager.

To come here, take over this team and only manage one playoff appearance that concluded with an ugly 3-0 sweep is a failed managerial effort.

So who else contributed to his continued lack of success? Well, his boss of course and probably his ownership.

I will try to make this more clear. In a previous blog, I inferred that Al Avila hired Brad. That, of course, is not true. Al just chose to keep him. Or he was told to keep him. Would love to know the answer to that one.

Normally. And I hate to use that word under this regime; but normally when a new GM comes in and takes over, he puts his stamp on the team. He employs his own people. But I wonder if Al Avila has even changed anything in Dave Dombrowski’s office after he left.

Given how things have been operating, Al probably only did 3 things. Put a piece of tape over the Dombrowski nameplate, wrote his name on it with a Sharpie and sat down in Dave’s chair.

The next thing? Tell Brad he’s good. No changes required. And then with chances to make warranted changes every season since, he told Brad he’s still good enough to continue.

Now, granted, we don’t know how much power Al Avila has. We don’t know how much choice he had in who would be the manager when he took over. But when ownership makes a change in general manager, things are not going according to plan. They are not satisfied with the direction the ballclub is going.

The answers? Normally.  New GM. New manager. Those are the obvious first 2 moves if you are the owner. That’s if you are indeed dissatisfied with your team.

So who is the victim in all of this? Well, we are, of course. But Brad is a victim too. He has been given no chance. What his career needed was to follow a more developmental path to a managerial job. A path that included learning the ropes at lower levels first. He was not a candidate to come to the majors without any experience. He has proven that for years now.

For 4 years, the Tigers have not been fair to him. They have given him the indication that he is doing the job. He is rather lucky that the Tigers have instilled confidence in him. But it is confidence he has not earned. Geez, the guy could learn more by being fired than hang around thinking he is doing everything the organization expects.

Has Brad improved? Sure, slightly. But not enough.



It’s all you have ever heard in reference to this team during the Ausmus tenure. And continually, in response, the Tiger organization continues to employ him as manager.

He needs a fresh start. He has his money. He now must go work on his craft. The atmosphere in a Ausmus-led clubhouse and dugout has not been conducive to winning.

And this rebuild we are about to experience cannot move forward with him still leading the team. It’s a road to nowhere.

15 thoughts on “ROAD TO NOWHERE

  1. Is there something you would like to share about the atmosphere ? I hear the criticism but don’t see it. Also I wouldn’t waste my time responding to that blog they run. What qualifies him vs you or anyone else ?


  2. Thanks Kurt! And I can agree with you. At the end we can say he was not the right man at the right time, and yet his 4 year experience with the Tigers is not enough to manage a superstar team in a winning mood. Does money come into the decision to keep him? Isn’t there anyone better? Or the organization thinks he’s the guy to manage the ‘leaner &younger troop after the sell out?


    • Frankie, I think the real question is, “Is there anyone worse”? Dusty comes to mind and JL will always top that list but……


  3. Kurt, I am impressed with your list of “No’s”. Not sure I could have come up with such an expanded list. As far as the clubhouse go’s: If we’ve seen and read at least 3 different times recently where a player has either openly showed their disgust with Brad (Nick), or questioned his managing (KRod), or showed him up during a game (Miggy), then one could only assume the clubhouse is not a fun place to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cannot overstate the level of bafoonery on the part of Al Avila. If Brad goes and Al stays the stupid have won and more futility lay ahead.


  5. Nice work. But if the folks in management and ownership are satisfied with the job he’s doing, nothing is likely going to change. It’s a similar situation with the Red Wings and their coach. Just treading water.


  6. The Tiger’s poor play has relegated them to occasional “peaks” at games to see how things are going.
    In one short peak, I witnessed deficient base running (not taking third base which ultimately would have resulted in tying the game), no communication on a grounder to Norris to throw home and Miggy not covering first base on a bunt single. No fundamentals at all. Wondering who’s at fault.


  7. Brad has been 4 more years of the same underachieving that marked every year (minus the first 4 months) of the Jim Leyland years . Leyland had more talent top to bottom and still got very little out of it. 2 miserable failures in the WS with a team that had more talent over his tenure than any other in baseball.


  8. Brad seems more suited for a front office position like he had in SD than a managers position like in the D. I agree with an above statement, I wonder what he said to blow DD away in the interview.


  9. Tigers since’06 and especially since the post Trammell era(’08-on) have been all in with all glitter and no substance.


  10. I always thought baseball was here to entertain us. Can we not still be entertained even when they don’t win the World Series? Is it always going to be win the WS or bust every year? Or, can we simply enjoy the ride even if they don’t win the division and the AL Pennant and the WS Championship? Why are we never happy with what is?


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