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?