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Tigers hit rock bottom, Ausmus should be fired

Tigers hit rock bottom, Ausmus should be fired
Posted at 9:53 AM, May 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-09 12:46:06-04

Tigers Manager Brad Ausmus should be fired.

Right now, the Tigers have no life, no spark with him at the helm. After their 8-3 loss to the Texas Rangers on Mother's Day at Comerica Park, the Tigers are at rock bottom.

*They were swept in the three-game series by the Rangers.
*The Tigers have now lost six in a row.
*Worse, they are a horrid 5-9 at home this season.
*They are in fourth place in the AL Central with a 14-16 record, seven games out of first place already and it's not even hot outside.

After the game, Ausmus was asked about his job status by the media. "I understand you have a payroll like ours, the manager is in the crosshairs," he said. "That's fine.

"I knew when I took this job that I'd probably get fired before I walked away from it. Not this job in particular, but just managing in general."

And before you jump in and say, 'Brad doesn't pitch or hit, it's the players' fault,' save it. If a manger can win Manager of the Year WITHOUT hitting or pitching, he can get canned for his team NOT hitting or pitching. It makes total sense. It's how it works in baseball.

Let's face it. The Tigers have been bad under Ausmus for more than a season now. Remember, they finished in last place last season.
The Tigers went out and spent big money in the offseason - Jordan Zimmermann, Justin Upton and Mike Pelfrey - and added major pieces to the bullpen.

Ausmus was supposed to have all he needed to win and give the Tigers a shot at winning the division and making the playoffs. Nope.

Instead, Ausmus - in the last year of a three-year contract - has turned into a million-dollar funeral director, overseeing a dead ballclub.

That's where the Tigers are, even with a nearly $200 million payroll. You can bet owner Mike Ilitch isn't happy he bankrolled this team to the hilt.

Simply put, it's embarrassing how bad this team is. "It just seems like every day it's one part of our game isn't clicking and it costs us the game," Ausmus said. "Today, it was the bullpen. "Sometimes it's been the hitting, sometimes the starting pitching."

For whatever reason, Ausmus, hasn't been able to get this team righted. That's what he's paid for. The notion that the manager of a baseball team doesn't deserve any blame is simply dumb. First, if a manager didn't matter, no team would have one. Players would just play and that would be it. 

Managers matter. That's why most get fired during the season. Don't forget former Tigers' president Dave Dombrowski fired manager Phil Garner after the team started the season 0-6 in 2002.

We get it. Many media people in town like Ausmus. That's fine. Still, if the Tigers are honest about the job he's done - or not done - they have to act to save the season before it gets away from them. The players, of course, almost always stick up for their manager and accept the blame. It's admirable, but lame.

"He's not the one that goes out there and plays," Tigers' DH Victor Martinez said. "It's our fault. It's easy to blame the manager for this and that. I don't think it has anything to do with the manager or somebody else

"It's easier to focus on the manager than to focus on the 25 guys that we have here."

Still, let's be honest. Many questioned why Ausmus, who had no previous managerial experience, was given a veteran club ready to win as his first gig.

The bottom line remains that the Tigers aren't playing up to their potential. It's not just one or two players. It's across the board. That normally falls on the manager. They also don't seem to be focused. The base-running mistakes and mental errors in the field that cost them big time.

Despite Ausmus working on it often in spring training, it has stayed terrible. Those things usually point to the manager as well.

Last season, if people wanted to use injuries as an excuse for save Ausmus' job, OK. This season, the Tigers are healthy. There's no excuse. In 2014, there are those who blamed the Tigers getting swept in the first round of the postseason against the Baltimore Orioles on Ausmus, who didn't handled the bullpen correctly.

Then last season, the Tigers struggled in a division that was a lot better than it had been. Embarrassingly, Detroit finished in last place.

Six weeks into the 2016 season, the Tigers appeared head in the same direction. They have a seven-game road trip to Washington and Baltimore. It could truly be the beginning of the end for Ausmus. If it is, it would be warranted.