Brad Ausmus is nothing like Jim Leyland. If you couldn’t tell that by the looks of them, or the attitude of them, or the fact Ausmus isn’t smoking and drinking hard liquor during his press conference then you must have a hard time figuring things out. It’s kind of like giving your Grandpa an iPhone 5 or 6 or whatever you punks are into today after he had been using a giant flip phone that you are pretty sure didn’t have service and may not have been an actual phone but a box of Rice-A-Roni. It is going to take a little time to get used to this new technology and a new device that actually reads numbers and has the capability to use a bullpen efficiently. That or you throw the new phone away and realize that your old life of Fox News and Old Spice was better.
One thing is for sure: the Detroit Tigers are going to be a radically different team in 2014. Is it a good or bad thing? I’m going to say good because my television deserves a break from the nightly abuse of me cussing at it over Jim Leyland’s quirky, old fashioned decisions, but I would be cautious to get too carried away because sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone.
Even if the Tigers do start managing better it will be hard to get back the fans who swooned over Leyland’s looks, and it will be hard to find a guy with as much Fonzi at 100-years-old coolness. Brad Ausmus may not be what the women go for, but his new style of managing and his infusion of concepts like sabermetrics — which Leyland used to think was the name of a 1950s piano player — could be the difference in a team falling just short and a team winning it all. It is a new style, a new look, a new philosophy and hopefully a new championship coming to the city of Detroit by way of Brad Ausmus. I just wish he smoked.