DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Detroit Tigers have introduced Brad Ausmus as the team's new manager during a Sunday afternoon news conference.
"I couldn't be more excited to manage the Detroit Tigers," the 44-year-old Ausmus said in a news release. "It's not very often that you get the opportunity to manage a team that went to the American League Championship the previous year. There is a lot of work to be done by Spring Training and no details will be glossed over. Our goal is to hopefully return to the ALCS and then take the next step."
The team also announced that Gene Lamont will remain as bench coach after signing a two-year contract. Lamont has been with the team since 2005, when he joined Jim Leyland's staff as his third base coach.
"I've known Brad since my time coaching with the Astros in 2002," Lamont said in a news release. "He is not only a good baseball mind but a very smart baseball mind. I really wanted to stay in Detroit so I'm thrilled that I'll be able to help Brad as his bench coach. We have a good team with the Tigers and I am confident that Brad will continue that success."
"We are thrilled to introduce Brad Ausmus as the new manager of the Detroit Tigers," said Tigers President, CEO and General Manager David Dombrowski in a news release. "After a great deal of research and conversation, we felt Brad was the best fit for our ballclub. We received positive feedback on Brad from players, managers and baseball executives. Brad had a long-standing career as a player and we feel that he will relate well with the current players. We were most impressed with Brad's preparation and leadership, which are among his many quality attributes. We are confident Brad is the right person to lead our team and continue the recent success of the Tigers organization."
Speculation about the hiring of Ausmus came out of the blue last night when Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports sent out a tweet reporting that the Tigers would hire him as their next manager.
Adam Spolane of SportsRadio 610 in Houston originally reported the news via Twitter.
Ausmus, who interviewed for manager positions with Detroit, Chicago Cubs, Seattle Mariners and Washington Nationals, spent 18 seasons in Major League Baseball as a catcher. He was originally drafted by the New York Yankees in 1987 and played in their minor league system.
He was then drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft. However, he made his major league debut for the San Diego Padres on July 18, 1993, following a trade.
During his career Ausmus played three seasons for the Tigers, where he was an All-Star in 1999.
Ausmus also picked up three Gold Gloves during his MLB days. His lone experience as a baseball manager is with Team Israel in the 2013 World Baseball Classic.
He spent the last three season as a Special Assistant for Baseball Operations with the San Diego Padres.
Ausmus is a native of New Haven, Connecticut. He lives in San Diego with his wife and two daughters.