Tigers pick Ausmus: Will that decision come back to haunt Houston?


Brad Ausmus could come back to haunt the Houston Astros.

Ausmus, who had a love-hate relationship with Astros’ fans as a catcher, was named manager of the Detroit Tigers this weekend. Congrats Mr. Ausmus, it’s been a long time coming.

For years, fans, media and others close to the game have anticipated that the former Astros’ Gold Glove catcher would one day manage in the majors, despite his overall lack of experience in the role.

Ausmus was a candidate for the Astros’ managerial spot when Brad Mills was fired, but reportedly withdrew his name from consideration.  He’s also been rumored for managerial positions with the Cubs and Nationals among other teams since he retired after the 2010 season.

Catchers seem to make good managers. Think Bruce Bochy, Mike Scioscia, Joe Maddon, Mike Matheny, Joe Girardi and Ned Yost. Even former Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland was a catcher, though he never made it to the majors.

And, for the record — not to add fuel to the fire — Tony DeFrancesco was, ahem, a catcher during his nine-year minor league career. Just sayin’.

To be sure, Bo Porter may become the long-standing manager the Astros have never had if you consider Houston has had only four managers in 50 years with tenures of 5+ years. Three of those — Larry Dierker, Art Howe, Harry Walker — lasted five years, Bill Virdon eight. A manager with a long run would certainly help to bring stability to a franchise in need of some consistency.

Catchers do seem to have a different perspective and they obviously have the opportunity to work day-in, day-out with the pitching staff, which is always a challenge for a new manager. They’re also involved in strategy as well as game planning and game management, so it’s easy to make a case that catchers will fare well in the manager’s chair.

  • Will Ausmus do well in Detroit?
  • Did Houston err in not going after him harder?
  • Who will last longer with their current club: Ausmus or Porter?
Advertisements

40 comments on “Tigers pick Ausmus: Will that decision come back to haunt Houston?

  1. Well – first – the Astros will have to face the wrath of Sandy who really wanted Brad here for – ahem – personal reasons.
    As for me:
    1) Ausmus should do well in Detroit – he is taking over a perennial playoff team with an owner who spends the big cash.
    2) Not sure if Houston erred or not – but I am not jumping up and down in support of Bo Porter either.
    3) There is no doubt in my mind that Ausmus will be in Detroit long after Porter is back working as an assistant coach someplace in the majors. It is probably not fair – but mlb is not a fair world.

    Like

  2. Detroit has the hitting. Ausmus brings a knowledge of pitching. That’s a good combo.
    I would have preferred Ausmus when the Astros were interviewing. Today, I would have preferred Ausmus, Tomorrow, I would prefer Ausmus.
    At least we have Strom.

    Like

  3. I don’t think it’s fair to characterize this as a decision that could come back to haunt Houston. I don’t believe Houston had a shot at signing Ausmus before picking Porter. Their only hope was for Ausmus to remain employed elsewhere at a lower position (than manager) until about 2016 when the prospects are coming on strong and they might cut ties with Porter.

    Like

  4. I’m thrilled that Brad is going to finally manage in MLB. He was a favorite of MANY, MANY women in Houston, as well as a superb defensive catcher (4 gold gloves).
    As for not getting him to Houston…….would YOU want to manage a team that changes managers more than most people take a bath????? I wish him all the best, and I’ll get my Ausmus “fix” every time we play the Tigers……..he’s real easy on the eyes, right Sandy!!!

    Like

    • O.K. You two ladies have always supported the Astros, while Bopert and I are negative ninnies. It is Winter, as of right now the Astros have not lost a game in a month, FAs are listening to the Astros proposals, a few months to ST, and all is right with the world. Come on, it is you job to lift us up.

      Like

  5. There is an interesting choice of direction here. The need for manager stability vs the need to find the “right” manager.
    I think it is a reflection of owner ego that so many managers with overall winning records were let go especially during the McLane era. It seems like it has been an annual rite of spring to have a new manager or pitching coach or hitting coach to break in.
    Were all these men bad or incompetent or were they just the scape goat du jour?
    So is the new regime going to take a new direction and work for stability? I would hope that they would work towards that but they should not ignore replacing Porter for due cause. It will be a tough decision either way.

    Like

  6. Porter is inexperienced. He didn’t wow the world with strategical LuRussaship but he should be given a chance with more talent. Supporting sticking Lyles out there for a fourth season but nitpicking Porter is inconsistent.

    I remember spending 15 years sitting in platoons looking at the platoon sergeant and thinking I could do his job easy. It seemed not much different from my job. Then the day came that I got the job. I couldn’t lead water of a paper sack. Managing is different, and no matter how much baseball you are around, the world changes when you become skip.

    Ausmus seems to have all the tools to be successful. Add my wife to the list of big Ausmus fans. Me not so much, I think his complete and total disapperaring act offensively might have cost the Astros more than the defense brought back. Hard to put a metric on that one though. Great guy, wish him luck. Timing wasn’t right for him and Houston. Doesn’t mean that door won’t be open in the future though – but here is guessing that his heart of hearts would be in SanDiego.

    Like

  7. Now wait a minute Steven – if a guy can pick the wonderful arm pit known as Detroit (talking about the city – not the team) over San Diego – Houston should rank a bit better as far as quality of life. Though I understand with his manager’s salary he probably could buy up about 2 or 3 square miles of vacant buildings in Motown.

    Like

  8. For one thing, Ausmus probably got a much better deal than Porter. That might be why he quickly took himself out of any consideration here. And he must highly regarded in MLB to get a job, having no resume as a coach, running a club with so much ready talent and taking over for a future HOF manager. Dan, you’re right, Detroit is no Houston, but presently, Minute Maid is no Tiger Stadium. Ausmus steps into an enviable situation.

    Like

  9. Ausmus, like Matheny, is a steady, intelligent, no-nonsense student of the game who will lead a perennial contender like the Tigers to the playoffs or near to them every year. Not sure Ausmus would have done so well with losing such as the Astros in the rebuild mode, though he has a wonderful sense of humor and might’ve been able to deal with it. Will the Astros regret not bringing him into the fold? I’d say no. Porter will do all the dirty work so that Biggio can take over when the team starts winning. Just my opinion.
    One thing, however, the ‘Stros will likely regret will be losing Jimmy Paredes today to the Marlins off the waiver wire. Talk a guy who was misued, miscoached, mis-everythinged! Paredes, who came over from the Yankees in the Berkman deal, is a fleet-footed, switch-hitting 25-year-old who for whatever reasons, and I’ve written this before, reminds me of an unrefined Robinson Cano. Paredes has HR power, gap power, should be able to hit for average and be a base-stealer. He has looked out of sorts at the plate in the big-leagues for a couple years now, but looks like all he needs is some straightening out in his plate approach. Also, the guy had no business playing the outfield and actually cost the Astros a game this year when he an Altuve collided. Paredes should be playing 2B for someone and I’m betting he gets it together and flourishes in Miami. He’s too young to be called a career 4A player. Hate to see him go!

    Like

    • So the Astros will regret losing Paredes, even though they have Altuve. And Paredes didn’t have a chance, even though he had chances everywhere. And even though he couldn’t hit consistently from either side, he just needs some straightening out in the organization with the lowest batting avg in the NL.
      The Marlins are the only team more screwed up than we have been, but they’ll straighten him out. Maybe we should have traded him for Stanton. Good-trade!

      Like

  10. I still think Tony D deserves a shot at the manager spot.I think Ausnus will be an excellent manager and I’m not really sue about Biggio. He could be a player’s manager but maybe not an owners. But then again I don’t know because my crystal ball is on the blink.

    Like

  11. Why do we continue to set our sights so low? Seems we’ve gotten too used to being a crappy franchise. Tony De Francesco, by all accounts, seems to be a nice guy and a solid AAA manager. But he went 16 and 25 during his cup of coffee with the Astros. If he was a real standout, other big league clubs would be clamoring for his services, rather than signing guys like Ausmus.

    Paredes is another fringe player who got a chance with the big club only because we have been the worst team in the game and have had no other real talent to put on the field. We have younger guys with far more upside to protect on our 40 man roster.

    Good question oldpro, but I really don’t recollect Altuve being so sloppy on the bases in 2012. Hopefully he rests most of the winter and comes back in 2014 with his head screwed on straight. As for Paredes and Villar, to be polite, I don’t think they’re fully focused everytime they step on the field. My bigger concern is that DeShields seems to be getting a bit of a reputation for not having a great work ethic. If that’s the case, regardless of his talent, he’ll get left behind at some point by guys that want it more.

    Like

    • But the Astros hired Vince Coleman to teach baserunning and four of your speed guys did a poor job running the bases in 2013. That seems so odd.
      Your explanation of frustration seems fair to me with these four, but what is the basis for their frustration and does it apply to others in the org, also?
      If the feelings are because of the club’s positions in the regarding their staus in the organization, do we need to address them, or maybe make some trades to satisfy some people before they go south on us.
      Personally, I think DDJ was in a perfect place at 2B to make a huge move in this org and frittered away his chance by lack of applying himself. I saw a catcher once field hundreds of ball a day to make himself a 2B and he was not near the athlete DDj is, but he was one fine baseball player. Nobody was going to stop Biggio from being a 2B once he made his mind up. Does DDJ somehow see himself as a fabulous CF and unworthy of 2B or is it just too hard. He really doesn’t have the arm for CF.

      Like

      • DDJ had 50 SBs and was caught 18 times. Brandon Barnes in comparison had 11 SBs and 11 CSs. I know the latter is popular here, but I think he’s a better example of poor base running.

        Like

      • oldpro, to be frank, some guys are just not real smart. For baseball players, that sure shows in the mental aspects of the game, whether it be in getting picked off, trying to steal at the wrong time, or being thrown out trying to stretch with no outs. Smart ballplayers almost never do that stuff. Vince Coleman can teach and teach, but if it’s not absorbed, then it does not translate to the field.

        I think as the franchise evolves, we’ll continue to see more signings from the college ranks, where draft picks have already played what amounts to be a minor league career and bring with them a certain level of maturity.

        Your choice of Biggio is a great example. How many guys made it to the All Star game as a catcher and then a second baseman? DeShields could learn something from Biggio, but only if he wants to.

        Like

      • Billy, I referred to his baserunning, not his base stealing. A person would have to look at game recaps like I did to see how often DDJ ran his team out of an inning. It happened a lot and was culminated by a huge mistake in the playoff finale trying to score from third on a foul popup behind third. the bases were loaded with nobody out in the bottom of the twelfth and he was on third. His out at the plate became the second out and they lost the game in the fourteenth. It was a devastating play for his team. The team they lost to went on to sweep their way to the Cal Championships.
        I cannot tell you how many important runs he cost his team trying to steal third base late in a game, especially with two outs. Also, trying to stretch hits that shouldn’t have been stretched. It happpened a lot.

        Like

  12. Billy, no doubt DeShields has had more success than others in stealing bases. But 50/18 is not a great stat. And my point about him was specifically related to a concern that has been raised about his work habits.

    Like

  13. As a side note, Baseball Prospectus revealed their Astros top 10 prospects list yesterday for 2014 and DDJ was not on it. Correa, Springer, Appel, Folty, Singleton, Velasquez, McCullers, Santana, Ruiz, Feliz.

    Like

  14. Some thoughts about DDJ.. He is still younger than Appel and I liked his over .400 OBP and high .800 OPS. I don’t like hearing he is not working hard enough and I guess it bugs me that a kid who had to be around baseball his whole life due to his dad’s career has an apparent low baseball IQ. Critical year for him, but it is not too late for him to get it rolling.

    Like

  15. David Murphy *could* improve this club with a strong veteran presence, and he’s
    a pretty good bat. Another guy who I think would be a plus would be Bartolo Colon.
    Colon comes with some PED problems……but I can forgive that, if he performs like he did last year with the A’s. Thoughts?

    Like

    • Becky, David Murphy would be an improvement to the OF if he returns to form in his hitting. He is 32 and that would be my top end age for this team. If I were the GM, I would draw the line at 32, That eliminates a bunch of the FAs. Unless you could steal someone older, I would just pass. Would like to get a catcher and move Castro to First/DH. As to 1OldPro note on the Prospects, it appears that Jason Parks needs to grade the Astros on a curve. These appear to be an upgrade on our 2013 roster, even though Parks does not think their high end is Cooperstown.

      Like

    • I don’t think we need a 40 year old cheat on this club. Chances are he’s been doing it his whole career. Signing him here would be the wrong message to send.

      I’d sign Murphy to play left only if we do not find a right fielder.

      Like

  16. Getting back to Ausmus, how could he haunt the Astros. I think the Tigers beat us most of the times we played them this year, so he hurts us if they beat us every time we play his team. He haunts us if he steals a good minor league coach from us.
    But the way he haunts us the most is if he eliminates us from contention, whenever that time arrives. I wish Ausmus good times in Detroit. Would have backed him here, but now I hope we eliminate his team from contention when our time comes.

    Like

  17. Yeah, if Brad’s first hire — Dave Clark — to coach 3B is any indication, he’s not as smart and not as much a student of the game as I thought. Wow, Clark was horrible at 3B. Could be it was the manager, though, putting pressure on Clarky to be tentative, to be sure. Coaching 3B at Minute Maid, isn’t that easy with the short LF porch and tricky wall. A lot depends on how the ball comes off that scoreboard at the Crawford Boxes. That’s probably how Clark sold it. You had to like Clark’s energy though. So maybe Ausmus is smart afterall.

    Like

  18. With the Tiger’s lineup, maybe Brad is not worried about Clark waving in runners scoring on homeruns. Ya think?
    On another note, did anyone see the Astros.com article about Strom and Borkowski totally reworking Matt Heidenreich’s delivery right in the middle of the AFL season. Matt is happy about it and is very complimentary of their expertise.
    Can you see what I’m doing here?
    I keep changing the subject to keep our dialogues going. Let’s get this thing up to 60 comments so Chip puts up more beef for us to chew on!!

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s