Detroit, MI, United States (4E Sports) – The Detroit Tigers have hired former catcher and current San Diego Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus as their next manager, replacing Jim Leyland.
According to several media reports, the 44-year-old Ausmus is headed to Detroit to accept the managerial job.
Ausmus played 18 years in the Major League, 2 ½ of those seasons in Detroit. He played 75 games for the Tigers in 1996 but he was traded to the San Diego Padres.
He returned to the Tigers in 1999, playing for two years before he was traded to the Houston Astros in 2000. He played the next eight seasons with the Astros before finishing his playing career with the Dodgers in 2010.
Ausmus was the fourth candidate interviewed for the job by the Tigers, following Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Detroit’s longtime hitting coach Lloyd McClendon and Padres bench coach Rick Renteria.
The Tigers also planned to interview Boston bench coach Torey Lovullo but they failed to ask the Red Sox permission to talk with him about the job.
Ultimately, the Tigers settled on Ausmus despite having no managerial experience in the Minor or Major League levels.
Despite his lack of experience, those who have worked with Ausmus rave about his ability to communicate with players.
“Great mind for the game,” one American League official said. Low-energy look, but a fierce competitor, humorous but tough, all lends to an ability to find everyone’s button that needs to be pushed.”
Former Tigers great Travis Fryman, who played with Ausmus during his first Tigers stop in 1996, described Ausmus as a “very bright guy.
“I’ve certainly heard his name the last couple of years in manager discussions. Certainly catching prepares you to a large extent. So I think Brad would do an excellent job for anybody interested in him,” Fryman said.