It was announced today, November 3, 2103, that Brad Ausmus has been hired to be the next Manager of the Detroit Tigers. Ausmus becomes the 38th manager in the team's history and he will wear the #7. Ausmus was a player with the Detroit Tigers on three separate occasions for three different seasons. As a player he wore #7 and #12. At the press conference to announce is hire Ausmus commented that he picked #7 over #12 because Andy Dirks currently wears #12 and numbers aren’t that important to him.
It's hard to put into perspective what being the 38th manager of a charter member of the American League really means. Let's take a look at this a different way. Ausmus is the third manager to be hired by (not counting interim manager Luis Pujols who finished out season after Phil Garner was fired) Tigers President/General Manager Dave Dombrowski. He is the 8th manager to lead the team on the field since Mike Illitch purchased the team in 1992, and the 7th guy he has turned the Tigers over too.
Dombrowski did hire Jim Leyland since the two had worked together for a long time in other organizations. He also hired Alan Trammell, and the hiring of Ausmus feels more like that hire. Trammell had some coaching experience at the big league level at that point, where Ausmus has very little. However, that is the trend in manger hires in the MLB of late. The last few jobs have gone to guys with limited to no coaching experience and most have worked out fairly well.
Ausmus will be allowed to hire his own coaching staff but it seems very likely he will retain bench coach Gene Lamont and that will help the Tigers continuity moving forward. Continuity is important for a roster built to win now as opposed to a new manager hired on a rebuilding club.
Illitch has not been as lucky with his skippers. He has owned the team for almost 22 years and has had 8 managers. There is the infamous falling out with Sparky Anderson. The not great reign of Buddy Bell, The hiring of old Iron sides Phil Garner, and Trammell being given a shot to early with not a lot invested in the payroll. Leyland was pretty successful, and Tigers fans are hoping that continues with Ausmus.