DETROIT — The Detroit Tigers decided that the best man to replace a manager who ranked 14th all-time in games managed was to hire someone who has managed none.
The Tigers introduced Brad Ausmus Sunday as the 37th manager in franchise history.
“I couldn’t be more excited to manage the Detroit Tigers,” said Ausmus in a statement released by the team. “It’s not very often that you get the opportunity to manage a team that went to the American League Championship the previous year. There is a lot of work to be done by spring training, and no details will be glossed over. Our goal is to hopefully return to the ALCS, and then take the next step.”
Ausmus, 44, spent 18 years as a Major League Baseball player, primarily as a catcher, including three with the Tigers in two different stints (1996, 1999-2000).
“Brad has a long-standing career as a player, and we feel that he will relate well with the current players,” said Tigers President, CEO, and General Manager Dave Dombrowski in the team’s release.
While he has a history with the franchise, Ausmus has little connection to the current Tigers roster, so Ausmus has retained Gene Lamont as his bench coach. Lamont has spent eight seasons with the Tigers, all as an assistant to previous manager Jim Leyland.
“I’ve known Brad Since my time coaching with the Astros in 2002,” said Lamont. “He is not only a good baseball mind but a very smart baseball mind. I really wanted to stay in Detroit so I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to help Brad as his bench coach.”
At his introductory press conference, Ausmus said no other assistant coaches had been hired. He did not rule out the possibility of Jeff Jones returning as the team’s pitching coach.
Ausmus and the Tigers agreed Saturday to a three-year contract with a club option for 2017. Lamont’s deal is for two years.