The Detroit Tigers made things official this afternoon, hiring 46 year old A.J. Hinch to be their new manager.
Following the resignation of Ron Gardenhire in September, the Tigers began their search for their new skipper, and Hinch’s name was always in Avila’s mind.
The team was forbidden from any formal negotiations until the end of the 2020 World Series thanks to his season long suspension stemming from the Houston Astros sign stealing scandal.
However, that didn’t deter Detroit’s search.
“Coming into this managerial search we already knew that A.J.’s diverse baseball acumen, knowledge of analytics and passion for the game were second to none,” Avila said. “However, we also knew there were some important conversations to have about A.J.’s time in Houston.”
“Throughout that dialogue he was clearly remorseful and used that time to reflect on the situation, and we believe he will emerge as a better leader because of it,” Avila continued. “This ballclub is entering an extremely exciting period, with young players primed and ready to make an impact at the Major League level. I’m confident A.J. is the best man for this job as we strive to bring a World Series Championship back to the city of Detroit.”
Team owner and CEO Chris Ilitch also believes that Hinch has learned from his previous mistakes.
“Throughout the interview process it was clear that A.J. had learned from his situation in recent months, and it has changed him in profound ways,” Ilitch said. “Quite frankly, it’s exactly what we wanted and needed to hear. A.J. provides a wealth of knowledge and experience, and we’re proud to have him lead our team.”
Hinch is a proven leader, having helped the Astros win 481 games, achieve four straight postseason appearances, and win two AL pennants.
This will be his second go-around with the Tigers, having played 27 games for them during the 2003 season.
– – Quotes via Chris McCoskey of The Detroit News Link – –