Notes and quotes from Avila’s announcement keeping Ausmus

Tigers general manager Al Avila’s announcement keeping Brad Ausmus as manager for next season touched on a handful of key points for why he came to the decision. Among them:

The improvement from young players as the season has gone on. While Avila mentioned key players who have improved under Ausmus’ watch, Ausmus and Avila talked about the fact that the teaching process doesn’t stop when a player reaches the big leagues.

“Brad physically has gotten involved with each player — McCann, Gose,” Avila said. “I mean, he goes out there and he works with these players, hand-in-hand in trying to get them better. So it’s not that he’s teaching from a distance, he’s actually in there with them. … The staff, for me, has done a great job. Look at the young pitchers we’ve acquired. If you look at the young pitchers we’ve acquired, since they’ve been here, they’ve actually improved.”

In addition, Avila said: “You have to understand one thing: It starts from the minor leagues to the big leagues where you teach baserunning, you teach base stealing, you teach other aspects of the game. That has not stopped. In our meeting, we’ve addressed it where we acknowledge in today’s world, today’s baseball, there are young players being pushed to the big leagues probably a lot sooner than they should be here. We’re a perfect example of that. We’ve got Triple-A pitchers that have not had good seasons in Toledo pitching at the big league level. I can acknowledge that right now. We’ve had players come up from Toledo that have not had good seasons in Toledo come up and play. So we’re force-feeding here. As much teaching as you can possibly do, some of these guys are going to make some mistakes. It’s on the player, really. You go through that process of teaching and practicing, and at the end of the day the player has to perform. You have to acknowledge that sometimes, players are pushed too fast and it just takes time.”

Avila also talked about getting support from key veteran players, as did Ausmus.

“Baseball is a sport of individuals. At some level, they’re all playing for themselves,” Ausmus said. “But they have to understand that the bigger goal is winning and we have the vast majority of players on this team understand that, especially the veteran players.”

Avila noted the preparation level he has seen from Ausmus and his coaching staff.

“I can tell you he really works hard at preparing before each game,” Avila said. “What people don’t understand is, when we hired Brad, he and I had talked one on one quite a bit about what we felt, what I felt, what some people felt, we needed [from] the leadership role on this club. And one of [the factors] was that he himself had to personally get involved in the teaching of these young players. And he has. And that’s one of the things that I’m proud of him, because I know what he does. I know what he does in that office with his staff preparing for each game. I know how he comes out and works individually with each player. In that batting cage, he takes a personal approach to each guy. Those are things that I look at. The average person out there watching on TV or in the stadium, maybe they don’t understand that, which is fine, because they don’t need to understand that. But it’s my job to know that.”

The preparation and effort level stayed consistent, Avila noted, during tough times down the stretch, especially when Ausmus’ future faced greater scrutiny.

“It’s easy when things are going good and some of the things that should happen that don’t, maybe you ignore it or whatever,” Avila said. “But the most important time is, when things are going bad and the [crap] hits the fan, let’s just say, ‘OK, now let’s see what these guys are made of.’ That’s when the real inner person comes out. And he has shown me that he is calm, cool and collected and has continued the course, continued working through all kinds of stupid [stuff] that’s been going out there. And that’s what has impressed me.”

Lastly, there was an acknowledgement that the team Ausmus managed wasn’t the team he was expected to have going on, both through injuries early on and through trades in July.

“This has been a flawed team coming out of spring training because of all the injuries,” Avila said. “All you have to do is just write down every injury we’ve had from Day 1 without our club — Joe Nathan was supposed to be our closer, [Bruce] Rondon was supposed to be a major part of the back end of our bullpen. Victor Martinez gets hurt right off the bat,  Justin Verlander gets hurt, right off the bat. Right off the bat, we faced adversity, and it didn’t get any better. It got worse.”

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There are many parallels between Aumus and Nats manager Matt Williams. Both finishing their second seasons after starting out as inexperienced managers, somewhat disappointing results, etc. Take a read at how it’s going down in Washington. Check out the player comments coming from that clubhouse.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/nationals/manager-matt-williams-lost-the-clubhouse-will-he-lose-his-job/2015/09/26/5244beca-647b-11e5-9757-e49273f05f65_story.html

All anonymous comments. No one is quoted in any interview. At least, not in that article.

the coach is quoted and some fans, but no ball players. Meanwhile, Alex Avila and Nick Castellanos have openly endorsed Brad. Gee, I wonder why. Of course, so has Miggy and Victor.

I’ll say this: No player I’ve talked to regarding Ausmus since Dombrowski’s firing has asked not to have his name attached to a quote, neither last night nor in early August.

Apparently Avila also said this: “You see all the injuries that we’ve had,” Avila said. “From day one, we didn’t have a chance. This has been a flawed team coming out of spring training because of all the injuries.”
That is very concerning. I don’t know how happy we should be about hearing someone at the helm who resorts to using an excuse for the whole season, or in fact, even thinks like that.
“From Day 1 we didn’t have a chance”!??????

Dan, I agree with you about the excuses. ElT has made the point several times about other clubs which have incurred injuries and still been successful. And, as a reality check, the Tigers came out of the gate with the best record in MLB until April 20, when the season went south.

Of course, the team with more WAR lost to injuries was also the first to clinch.
Lack of depth was the difference, not injuries.
Miguel and Victor? of course. Both already know to say ” the right things “.
Kinsler? of course, I know most if not all here love him but he keep making bonehead mistakes on the field and running , two in the last two games. The run scored with a pop-up to second, McCann had no chance there. And last night running
He only batted when the season was lost. There is a reason why Texas left him to go to make space for a rookie. Texas was set to call up Odor when Kinsler was with them
“Victor Martinez gets hurt right off the bat” there is something called DL for that and he remained playing
Verlander did not sound happy last week.
And good luck trying to win with Castellanos , and Gose instead of Price and Soria
Soria is a good closer mismanaged since day one. He was used in the 6th inning and that was just an insult. And giving rest too long then using him game after game. The BP was bad, Ausmus made it worse.
It sounds to me like a pride motived call. You got your way selling , not with the manager too. The leak cemented his position.His side ,probably ,was responsible for the rumor.
“the appearance of at least an opinion from somewhere in the organization lingered with a report and no resolution. And that put Avila in an admittedly awkward position.” Who benefited from that? Ausmus

Thanks. I wonder how many paying fans are happy about having a pitcher starting the last game, as well as a shortstop, a CFer and a catcher and a who won’t be around next year?

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