Before getting started, let me begin by saying a couple of things.
First, this is a piece I’ve thought about writing for some time now but I have tried to be patient before putting it out there. Now is the time.
Second, despite the title, I AM NOT placing 100% of the blame for the Detroit Tigers struggles on manager Brad Ausmus and/or general manager Al Avila. In fact, most of the blame (at least 75-85% in my opinion) goes squarely on the players. Afterall, they are the ones that have failed to get it done in between the white lines time and time again this season.
That being said, it is time for Chris Ilitch and the Detroit Tigers not only to fire Brad Ausmus but it’s also time to fire Al Avila…before it is too late.
As noted earlier, the fact that the Tigers have not played up to expectations this season has much more to do with guys like Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez, Ian Kinsler, and Justin Verlander than it does Ausmus or Avila. The Tigers, heading into Saturday night’s game against the San Diego Padres, are tied for last place in the American League.
Let me repeat that.
Our Detroit Tigers, a team with multiple Hall of Fame players and some pretty good young talent to go along with them, are in DEAD LAST PLACE IN THE ENTIRE AMERICAN LEAGUE! That is unacceptable.
Though Brad and Al may not be the ones most responsible for the joke the Tigers are this season, there is little question that they are doing their jobs poorly.
One of Avila’s biggest mistakes was retaining Brad Ausmus for the 2017 season. Instead of cutting ties, Avila decided to let Ausmus manage for the remainder of his contract rather than firing him. That right there tells us exactly how much faith Al had in Brad going into this season. If he believed in Ausmus, like he claims to, he would have extended him.
Is Brad Ausmus the worst manager in baseball? Probably not, but he has never been the right guy in Detroit. He should have never been hired to manage a team that was on the verge of doing great things. The former MLB catcher has clearly been in over his head from the get-go. It’s past due that he hits the road. Now.
Speaking of in over his head, that sums up Al Avila perfectly since taking over for Dave Dombrowski as GM of the Tigers. Sure, Avila probably knows baseball pretty darn well, but he clearly does not know how to build a winning baseball team.
Not only did Al retain Ausmus for a lame duck season but he traded away Cameron Maybin when the Tigers did not have capable CF to replace him! Those moves, coupled with the fact that the Tigers are still paying Mike Pelfrey ($8 million), Francisco Rodriguez ($6 million), and Mark Lowe ($5.5 million), three players who are no longer on the team, is more than enough reason to prove that Al Avila is not cut out for his job.
Wait, did you read over that too quickly? That’s right, thanks to Al Avila, 9.5% of the Tigers ENTIRE PAYROLL is going to three players could not cut it in Detroit.
I am going to be completely honest. When it was announced that Ausmus would be back for the 2017 season, I was scared (and pissed). But what really scares the hell out of me is the chance that Al Avila could be in charge of rebuilding my favorite team, especially when he will have to be extra smart about the money he spends and where he spends it. Paying $8 million for Mike Pelfrey was insane and everyone seemed to know it except for one person. Al Avila.
So, Chris Ilitch, (and keep in mind that I have a bone to pick with you too at a later time), if you happen to read this before it’s too late, do us Tiger fans a big favor.
LEAVE BRAD AUSMUS AND AL AVILA IN SAN DIEGO!