Detroit Tigers: Five Things to Appreciate about Brad Ausmus

The Brad Ausmus and Detroit Tigers rumor mill is already heating up. Will he or won’t he be back to lead the team in 2017?

His three-year term as the Skipper of the Detroit Tigers is up at the end of the season.

But, there are several signs pointing to Brad being back in 2017. Several sources, including CBS Sports, are reporting that we all better get used to an Ausmus-led Tigers team for at least another year.

So, if this is the case, it is time to start looking at the reasons to appreciate the man who has been a highly polarizing figure in the dugout and in the clubhouse. Plus, after yesterday’s piece about reasons Jim Leyland is still missed, it only seemed appropriate to give some love to the current manager.

Even if you’re not a fan of Brad, it might be time to heed the wise words once spoken by the legendary Stephen Stills: “Love the one you’re with.” (*chuckle, chuckle*)

Anyways…here are five things to appreciate about Brad Ausmus:

Mar 14, 2016; Lakeland, FL, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and pitcher Daniel Norris (right) talk during the third inning of a spring training baseball game against the New York Mets at Joker Marchant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The team stands by him.

From the moment that he set foot in the clubhouse as a manager, he has had the team on his side. This speaks volumes. There are some big egos in that clubhouse and they never publicly complained about him. In fact, the team only says kind words about him.

He gives the players their space.

The Detroit Tigers are all grown men. They know what their jobs are. Ausmus also knows that the players know what they are capable of doing. We see this most often when Justin Verlander is pitching. As the ace and the horse of the team, Verlander knows when he ready to come out of the game. He’s not afraid to let Ausmus know if he wants to stay in. I know this makes some fans upset, but think about it: no one knows Justin’s arm better than the guy who it is attached to.

Brad also was criticized for letting Michael Fulmer pitch his complete game against the Texas Rangers. But again, Fulmer knew what he was doing. He knew how his arm felt. It was a moment that needed to be given to Fulmer and Ausmus gave him the space he needed to earn that moment.

He has managed relatively well through this crazy season.

Ausmus has put on a clinic in how to manage through injuries and an odd pitching rotation. He began the year with four veteran pitchers and ended the season with one. He has done a nice job of working with the young ones: Fulmer, Daniel Norris, and Matt Boyd.

He has also worked well with the injuries to key players. He did what he could with right field, center field, third base, and shortstop. Of course, he can only work with whom Al Avila gives to him and yet, here the Tigers are…fighting their way into the postseason.

He has made some outstanding pinch hitting decisions.

J.D. Martinez. Victor Martinez. Big home runs. Enough said.

He gives the young guys a chance.

This is a big deal. The prospects need to be able to show what they’ve got. The manager needs to figure out how to get them in, at the right time. Ausmus seems to understand this.

He may not be many fans’ favorite manager; but, it is difficult not to notice a few of the good qualities that he has shown during his three-year tenure.

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