Ausmus: “I still haven’t hung pictures up on the wall in my office”
If reports of Brad Ausmus’ impending dismissal at season’s end caught members of the Tigers front office off-guard (baseball operations people were surprised of any reports, which might say a lot), they were less of a surprise to Ausmus.
“Not really [surprised],” he said.
To some degree, it’s the situation. His status has been up in the air since Dave Dombrowski was fired last month. At the same time, he saw enough managers go through the same thing during his years as a player to know things can go down ugly.
“I still haven’t hung pictures up on the wall in my office,” Ausmus said, with a twinge dark humor. “Very few managers end up walking away from the job. They’re usually told to walk away, and even when they’re not fired, they’re often just not re-hired. So trust me, I’m aware of that, and I’ve been aware of that since I was a player.”
One of those situations came in 2004, the year the Astros went from under .500 at the All-Star break to within a game of the World Series. Houston hosted the All-Star Game that year, and news of Jimy Williams being fired almost immediately after the game.
“It was a little odd, and I felt for Jimy,” Ausmus said. “I called him when they fired him because I felt partially responsible.”
More from Ausmus:
- Will this affect team: “Not at all. These guys will continue to play the game the right way. People want to make a big deal about that, and often managers use it in the final year of a contract to try to get an extension. But the truth is, the players will respect you or not respect you regardless of what your contract status is.”
- “I have a contract, and I will do everything I can to help the Tigers until they tell me they don’t want me to help them, or until the contract expires — whichever comes first.”
- Has he heard from former teammates and managers: “I’ve had a lot of people reach out to me, but obviously that’s personal.”
- On confidence level he’ll be back next season: “I’m not going to put odds on it for people betting.”
- Did getting booed as a player prepare him for this: “I didn’t get a lot of this. There wasn’t as much focus on me as a player. I wasn’t a prime-time player. I was a piece of the puzzle on a team. I was certainly booed at times as a player, but you don’t worry about that. Being booed isn’t necessarily bad, because it just means fans care. I’d rather fans be in the seats and booing me than not showing up.”
- On concern over potentially differing voices within organization: “You mean the anonymous source? I love anonymous sources. They don’t quite have the spine to put their name next to their words. I mean, that’s coming from above me. That’s not really my concern. My concern is the clubhouse and the field. So I’m not worried if there’s multiple voices coming from above me. I can’t control that.”