— Tigers Report (@tigers_fanly) October 4, 2016
Another Year, Another Let Down
I wrote this post mainly to vent. My Wife doesn’t give a crap about baseball and my sons still ask if the Tigers or Blue Jays play in Detroit.
I don’t know why, but every year I allow myself to have overinflated expectations about the Tigers’ chances at making the postseason. This season was slightly different, as my lack of faith in Brad Ausmus at the helm quelled my enthusiasm. New GM, new players, new closer, same old result. When will I learn?
The entire 2016 season was summed up by its final week. The Tigers finally slew the Cleveland Indians (who were resting due to clinching the division) and they needed to win the series against the last-place Atlanta Braves to force a makeup game, then perhaps a tie for a wildcard slot.
We let it happen again
Even though we’ve lived this scenario for decades, we allowed the faint flicker of hope to burn inside of us. After all, it’s the Braves, how could Atlanta keep up with the Tigers’ lineup? Just as it played out during the rest of the season, so it did in this final and fateful series. When Detroit put runs on the board, they allowed more, and when JV and the bullpen held the Braves to a one, the Tiger offense couldn’t muster a solitary run. Not one freaking run!
Rumors are Flying
Chris Ilitch is said to be taking over for the frail father of the Tigers, and he’s on the path to a teardown. Others say that Avila and Ausmus will be retained and the cycle of expensive mediocrity will continue.
Where Do They Go From Here?
What would you do if you were at the helm? For one, I would not pick up the club option on Ausmus. Who smiles when they’re eliminated from the postseason?
Not just the odd reactions, but the management of the team. There were several crucial games down the stretch where our best players weren’t allowed to perform. Remember when Romine (batting .134 OBP under .200) was inserted in the 2-hole? He stuffed Maybin, clearly the hottest hitting player in the lineup, at 8 and 9. Just put the best hitters at the top so they get more ABs. It isn’t rocket science.
Mark Lowe was nowhere near his 2015 self at any point during the season. Even still, Ausmus kept marching him out there to blow games. Insanity.
Mike Pelfrey should’ve been released in June. The guy started 22 games and won a total of 4, nearly guaranteeing a loss with each appearance. Every 5 days this bum would march out there and see if he could give up just one more run than the Tigers could score.
I don’t have enough time to contemplate every idiotic in-game decision Ausmus has made during the season, let’s leave it at the fact that after 3 years, his managerial record is slightly better than a coin flip. Despite routinely being provided with talent certainly capable of winning the AL Central. In 2015, the Tigers were predicted to easily win the AL Central and were World Series favorites, that season ended with Detroit in the basement.
The Vikings lost Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson. But tell me about the terrible hand Brad Ausmus was dealt with injuries.
— Jeff Moss (@JeffMossDSR) October 4, 2016
All that to say that Brad Ausmus isn’t the only reason this Detroit Tigers team fell short, but his in-game decisions, lineup mistakes, and pitching management certainly cost 2 games during the year. When you want different results, you have to do something differently. It starts at the top.
What would you do?
Make yourself feel better, buy a Red Wings hat or jersey. Free shipping from Fanatics!