The definition of insanity is doing the same thing, the same way, over and over again and expecting different results. In my book, Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is the most insane man in baseball.
All season long, Ausmus has labeled his relief pitchers as being a “6th inning guy”, or an “8th inning pitcher”, or whatever. All season long, it’s stayed the exact same. Joba Chamberlain in the 8th inning, and Joe Nathan in the 9th. Throw in Joakim Soria here and there too. All season long, we’ve had to endure heart-attack 9th innings and games that don’t even get to the 9th inning, because the 8th inning blows up.
Now that we’re into October, the most important month on the baseball calendar, you’d think Ausmus would FINALLY realize that the pitchers he labeled are not doing their jobs. 6 months of brutal bullpen pitching. Something has to change, right?
Game 1 on Thursday: Ausmus pulls Max Scherzer with 1 out in the 8th. In comes Joba Chamberlain, and off go the Orioles. After Joba’s disaster is too much for him to bare, he brings in Soria, where the dumpster fire only gets larger. Combined, Chamberlain and Soria got 1 out. 1 OUT! Tigers lose 12-3.
Game 2 on Friday: This time with a lead in a MUST WIN GAME, Ausmus pulls Anibal Sanchez after 2 perfect innings and decides to put in Joba Chamberlain. DUMPSTER FIRE! Joba allows 3 runs. Well this isn’t working out, let’s bring in Joakim Soria again to save the day. NOPE! Soria blows the save, gets the loss, and the Tigers are 1 game away from golf season. 12 runs in the 8th inning in 2 games!!
I’m really not sure what has to happen for Ausmus to realize that the roles he has for his bullpen staff are not working. At this rate, by the time he realizes it he will be out of a job. It’s a joke, and the best part is, we haven’t even seen Joe Nathan in the 2 games this postseason. Ausmus wants his pitchers to know he is a “loyal” manager. Baseball doesn’t work like that.
This is the playoffs. You don’t label your pitchers, especially when your bullpen is as bad as the Tigers is. You put your best pitcher out there regardless of the inning or situation. If you think your pitcher can get an out, you put him out there.
Brad Ausmus is insane. And he is quickly showing that he’s not worthy of being the manager of the Detroit Tigers.