First-time manager Brad Ausmus knows that the odds are stacked in his favor. The Detroit Tigers are loaded, coming off three seasons in which they reached at least the American League Championship Series.
He has Miguel Cabrera in the middle of the lineup and Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer to lead the rotation. Ausmus spoke with the Detroit Free Press about the situation, saying that he knows he’s set up for success:
“I’ve talked to a lot of the players at this point…The TigerFest and caravan allow me to do that…
“…It’s a great, great group of guys.’ I’ve yet to hear a bad thing. So, if it goes bad, it’s my fault.”
Ausmus enters the job with no previous experience. At one point that probably would have seemed like an unwise move by the organization, especially one like the Tigers that has enjoyed sustained success in recent years. Thankfully for Ausmus, managers like Robin Ventura, Mike Matheny, and Walt Weiss have done well enough in their respective gigs to create this chance for young managerial candidates.
Ausmus should benefit from the cohesion of the roster as well as the fact that he was a catcher during his playing days. Barring something unexpected, he and the Tigers should be in the playoffs in 2014.