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Brad Ausmus - Are his days numbered?

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33 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

Yep.  Chris Ilitch needs to make his mark and shake this thing up.  The FO has done some things right but they are failing in the main.

I'm not sure Chris will judge Avila on the moves he made while his dad was in charge. Well, probably the Lowe and Pelfrey signings, but not Upton, maybe not Zimmermann. They obviously changed course when Chris took over, and that course was to pay more attention to the budget.

Not much you can do when your net moves were dumping $9M in Maybin and signing Avila for like $2M. The grave had already been dug by all the go-for-it moves the previous years. And there was nothing wrong with most of them, the problem was not winning a world series.

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On 6/23/2017 at 11:20 AM, Who is the Drizzle? said:

I'm not sure Chris will judge Avila on the moves he made while his dad was in charge. Well, probably the Lowe and Pelfrey signings, but not Upton, maybe not Zimmermann. They obviously changed course when Chris took over, and that course was to pay more attention to the budget.

Not much you can do when your net moves were dumping $9M in Maybin and signing Avila for like $2M. The grave had already been dug by all the go-for-it moves the previous years. And there was nothing wrong with most of them, the problem was not winning a world series.

I really don't see how spending money has harmed their performance at all to date.  In some cases (esp Lowe and Pelfrey) they clearly spent the money on the wrong people, and in Zimms case his healtg crashed. 

In terms of position players spending money has worked out fine, except for Victor.  Victors contract would have been fine in the context of the whole team if they had built + managed the bullpen competently.

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A dying man owns a baseball team. He tells is GM to win now. He spends everything in sight, loading up on contracts that will hamstring the team later. His GM trades every potential player with value to get that last piece that will put them over the top. They don't win it all. The dying man dies. His son is left to clean up the financial and organizational wreckage. That is the short term history of the Detroit Tigers.

     Hiring or firing a manager or GM will not make much difference.  The farm system is barren because anybody of value was traded away to go for it. The farm system was left with players who were just organizational filler, with little long term value.

Conclusion : Don't fire Brad . It is not his fault. Don't fire GM Alva or Chadd as they only followed ownership's wishes. The team is old and broken down in too many places. It seems to me that Chris needs to decide what will be the model to rebuild the team. The sensible thing to do is to do a rebuild of the team and farm system, while providing enough product to keep some fan interest. If there was anything of value in the farm system and the team was not held hostage by large contracts, the rebuild while using free agency, would be a three year project. It is now 4 to 5 year project to rebuild this team. Start with a strategy to develop some players in the farm system.  Get rid of everything having trading value to restock the minors. Do it now.

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Couldnt disagree more with the thrust of this post by HA.

The idea that the Tigers would be a winning team in 2017 or in the next year or three with the same mgt team, if only they had kept youngsters like Knebel and Suarez and had never saddled themselves with win now players is laughably ridiculous.

Without the win now players and big contract extensions they couldn't even dream of competing in 2014 - 2019 with the farm system products from the last 5+ years and modest spending.

Relatedly, if we are looking to rebuild or retool, some of the key young talent that we have which can foreseeably contribute to winning in the future or be traded in a rebuild was largely acquired by trading win now guys in 2015; we helped to stock the system because ee hsd those guys.

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You do replace the brain trust because the types of players they put together never won the World Series which was the goal.   Even if they were to turn it around and squeak into the playoffs this year they would be ousted. With this payroll that is a failure.  

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A couple of assumptions,  agree or disagree:

- Miggy and JV were signed to long-term contracts because they were the face of the franchise, not simply because Ilitch was in win now mode.

- Vmarts overpay has always been understood as one of those Mr I moves meant to reward special guys.  We needed his bat (healthy) too, so it was a win now move as well, but it wasn't simply so.  His contract will hurt in 2018 but that's it....no real impediment to any future retooling.

- Uptons contract was and remains perfectly reasonable for a competitive team, and we needed his bat.  This was clearly a win now move.  Given that he has an opt out clause, it mau not be an issue beyond this year, or he could be a guy that helps us win, or he could be a guy that helps keep us respectable while the retooling/rebuilding happens, or worst case he could stick around and suck (unlikely in my opinion).  Most likely he has a great year and opts out.

- Zimm was a win now guy, and as with all pitchers he came with risk, and so far  that risk has not worked at all.  He is the ONE win now contract that is likely to be a bust + albatross.

Mr I's big spending might hurt this team and its efforts to stay competitive, or *might* still be the cornerstone of the team's ability to stay competitive over the next few years, or it might be that Chris Ilitch writes off the bad contracts against other Ilitch inflows/assets and chalks it up to dear old dad without killing the franchise for the sins of the father.

In any case, the contracts were reasonable and necessary risks for a team that had the frontline talent in Miggy and Verlander to compete.

Casimir in another post somewhere suggested that nobody considered the opportunity cost of spending money; on the contrary, those who argue against the money spent would have likely missed the opportunity cost of winning with the great frontline talent that they have had; with an underperforming farm system, spending money to fill in the blanks was really their only option.

Moreover the real opportunity missed was by putting AA and BA in charge of a team that could have made the playoffs most of the last 3 years but didn't because of crappy management, particularly of the bullpen.

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To be clear, i am not suggesting that the Miggy/JV/VM contracts were not intended to help the team win...of course they were, but they probably would have been a lot smaller/shorter if not for Mr I's emotional/family approach to his stars.  THAT is the albatross of his legacy if there is one, not the urge to win now.  And IMO the spending has helped them win a lot more games up to this point than they would otherwise have won.  

Going forward as I said above depends on many factors, not the least of which is Chris I's attitude/approach/decisions.

The other potential albatross would be Chris I keeping this shotty mgt team in place.

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14 minutes ago, Motor City Sonics said:

You do replace the brain trust because the types of players they put together never won the World Series which was the goal.   Even if they were to turn it around and squeak into the playoffs this year they would be ousted. With this payroll that is a failure.  

I would agree to the extent that they should have made the playoffs most of the last three years inclusive of 2017.

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55 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

 

Casimir in another post somewhere suggested that nobody considered the opportunity cost of spending money; on the contrary, those who argue against the money spent would have likely missed the opportunity cost of winning with the great frontline talent that they have had; with an underperforming farm system, spending money to fill in the blanks was really their only option.

Moreover the real opportunity missed was by putting AA and BA in charge of a team that could have made the playoffs most of the last 3 years but didn't because of crappy management, particularly of the bullpen.

I keep forgetting the popular falllacy that the contract given to MartinezV had to go specifically to him and couldn't have been used for other resources.  It was impossible to take that expense and allocate it to fill a roster slot in another way.  It could have even been used to fill multiple holes.  I know, it's hard to imagine that.

I realize that a laugh track plays every time Aoki's name is brought up.  But the real laughter is the WAR that each of those two have put up since that off-season.  Now I'm not going to pretend that I figured that'd be the case.  But at the cost of retaining MartinezV vs bringing in an Aoki cost type piece and being able to bring in another bat or, praytell, another bullpen arm,....  It just might have been a better use of expenses.

Now, if you want to debate that the management team at the time wouldn't have been able to identify a useful bullpen arm, fine, you got that.  I can't really argue that point based on the results of the past several seasons.

But, hey, at least we've got MartinezV's injured 97 OPS+ to enjoy this season and next.  A top 5 payroll with a bottom 5 MLB record.  Money well spent.  A textbook example of how the Tigers maximized opportunity cost.

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49 minutes ago, Casimir said:

I keep forgetting the popular falllacy that the contract given to MartinezV had to go specifically to him and couldn't have been used for other resources.  It was impossible to take that expense and allocate it to fill a roster slot in another way.  It could have even been used to fill multiple holes.  I know, it's hard to imagine that.

I realize that a laugh track plays every time Aoki's name is brought up.  But the real laughter is the WAR that each of those two have put up since that off-season.  Now I'm not going to pretend that I figured that'd be the case.  But at the cost of retaining MartinezV vs bringing in an Aoki cost type piece and being able to bring in another bat or, praytell, another bullpen arm,....  It just might have been a better use of expenses.

Now, if you want to debate that the management team at the time wouldn't have been able to identify a useful bullpen arm, fine, you got that.  I can't really argue that point based on the results of the past several seasons.

But, hey, at least we've got MartinezV's injured 97 OPS+ to enjoy this season and next.  A top 5 payroll with a bottom 5 MLB record.  Money well spent.  A textbook example of how the Tigers maximized opportunity cost.

Everybody acknowledged from the get go that VM was an overpay and too long.

But there was absolutely no opportunity cost in terms of missing on Aoki or whoever.  V-mart was someone that Ilitch wanted, period, amd he was going to be paid like family, period.  We all thought, well, at least he can hit if he's healthy (which was correct in 2014 and 2016) and we need that kind of bat  (which we did).

The big mistake was to keep playing him every day in 2015 even though he was absolutely killing the team.  THAT was a total failure management on the part of BA and probably AA by extension.

It's understandable not to stand up to Mr. I when it comes to getting the player he wants, especially if that guy can produce something of value for the team, but it's another thing to keep playing that guy everyday in 2015 when he's producing -2 War and clogging up the DH spot for other fragile players like Miggy.  

To suggest that VM was a cold calculated move gone wrong or that folks here thought that it was a great deal without any downside is a total revision of history on your part, or a fallacy, if you will :)

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5 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

Everybody acknowledged from the get go that VM was an overpay and too long.

But there was absolutely no opportunity cost in terms of missing on Aoki or whoever.  V-mart was someone that Ilitch wanted, period, amd he was going to be paid like family, period.

To suggest that VM was a cold calculated move gone wrong or that folks here thought that it was a great deal without any downside is a total revision of history on your part, or a fallacy, if you will :)

I recall thinking we should have gone after Andrew Miller. Nelson Cruz was a cheaper option too that could have replaced Victor and at least played some OF. Chase Headley would have solidified 3B defensively, while Nick could have DH'd or learned 1B.

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Cas, FTR your post from a few days ago made a general point about all spending being ill considered.  If you meant to only focus on VM you neglected to make that clear in that post.

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9 minutes ago, Who is the Drizzle? said:

I recall thinking we should have gone after Andrew Miller. Nelson Cruz was a cheaper option too that could have replaced Victor and at least played some OF. Chase Headley would have solidified 3B defensively, while Nick could have DH'd or learned 1B.

Yes, i think we all prefered younger + healthier players, but we all recognized that Mr I wanted VM and hoped for his health to hold out long enough for a title shot.  By all rights that should and could have happened in 2014 and 2016 with VM if mgt hadn't screwed up the BP.

FWIW, it's also possible that Miggy influenced the decision, intentionally or otherwise.  They may have thought that they were keeping their star happy (and maybe even sober?) by keeping his chum around.  That's kinda wild speculation on my part I realize.

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20 minutes ago, sabretooth said:

FWIW, it's also possible that Miggy influenced the decision, intentionally or otherwise.  They may have thought that they were keeping their star happy (and maybe even sober?) by keeping his chum around.  That's kinda wild speculation on my part I realize.

That is reasonable speculation.  I believe they originally signed Martinez, in part, because of his connection to Cabrera.  I think Cabrera's playful persona makes us forget that he once had a significant drinking problem that got him in trouble multiple times

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37 minutes ago, Who is the Drizzle? said:

I recall thinking we should have gone after Andrew Miller. Nelson Cruz was a cheaper option too that could have replaced Victor and at least played some OF. Chase Headley would have solidified 3B defensively, while Nick could have DH'd or learned 1B.

Nick's bat won't play at first, or DH really. There may have been a time we thought it might, but he is going to be a feast and famine guy - low OBP hitter that runs into 20 HR per season.

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13 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Nick's bat won't play at first, or DH really. There may have been a time we thought it might, but he is going to be a feast and famine guy - low OBP hitter that runs into 20 HR per season.

If his bat won't play at 1B/DH it won't play at 3B with a poor glove either. The considerations cancel each other out.

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I think Chris Illitch is concerned with payroll and rightfully so. I can't see him firing Brad just to make a move that won't change anything and taking on an additional salary. I suppose he could plug in Vizquel, but again that won't solve anything. I think he will tell Avila to push hard on offing some veterans and move out some payroll, Verlander and Kinsler specifically. Barring that he will ride out the season as is and re-evaluate options in the off season.

I see nothing to be gained by removing Ausmus beyond a cheap and transparent move "to do something" that won't stem the flow of water coming on to this sinking ship.

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19 minutes ago, rhino said:

I think Chris Illitch is concerned with payroll and rightfully so. I can't see him firing Brad just to make a move that won't change anything and taking on an additional salary. I suppose he could plug in Vizquel, but again that won't solve anything. I think he will tell Avila to push hard on offing some veterans and move out some payroll, Verlander and Kinsler specifically. Barring that he will ride out the season as is and re-evaluate options in the off season.

I see nothing to be gained by removing Ausmus beyond a cheap and transparent move "to do something" that won't stem the flow of water coming on to this sinking ship.

I think there is a value in accountability.

And yes I know it's not his fault entirely but he still has to go along with the other people whose fault it is for the total lack of results.

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On 6/23/2017 at 11:20 AM, Who is the Drizzle? said:

I'm not sure Chris will judge Avila on the moves he made while his dad was in charge. Well, probably the Lowe and Pelfrey signings, but not Upton, maybe not Zimmermann. They obviously changed course when Chris took over, and that course was to pay more attention to the budget.

Not much you can do when your net moves were dumping $9M in Maybin and signing Avila for like $2M. The grave had already been dug by all the go-for-it moves the previous years. And there was nothing wrong with most of them, the problem was not winning a world series.

I think it's worth pointing out here that at no point during the past decade did the Tigers ever have the best record in the league. The highest they ever achieved was third best record, and in their 2012 Series year, they had the seventh best record (and pythag as well). This, despite the MLB Network ex-player pundits predicting year after year that the Tigers would run and hide from the league, perhaps because they saw Miggy and JV on the roster every year and reasoned, "welp, the other teams are cooked."

Whoever reading this post believes in pythag, the best Tigers team was the 2013 squad that got frustrated by the Bosox in the ALCS. Their 99 win pythag was second only to those Sawx. FWIW, the 2006 team that launched this era was tied with the Yankees for the league best 95 win pythag.

This was the longest era of sustained success any of us have lived through, but when the dust settles five or ten years from now and we regard the 2006-2014 Tigers with fresh eyes, we'll be disappointed anew when we realize they weren't as great as all that, after all.

I still enjoyed the helll out of it, though.

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56 minutes ago, Gehringer_2 said:

Nick's bat won't play at first, or DH really. There may have been a time we thought it might, but he is going to be a feast and famine guy - low OBP hitter that runs into 20 HR per season.

If this is what he is, then he worthless at any position.  I really thought he was going to hit this year and had been encouraged by his hard hit percentage.  I have not totally given up on him yet, but it is looking more and more like he is a bust.  

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13 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

If this is what he is, then he worthless at any position.  I really thought he was going to hit this year and had been encouraged by his hard hit percentage.  I have not totally given up on him yet, but it is looking more and more like he is a bust.  

According to the B-R Play Index, there is only one guy who basically matched where Nick is now in terms of career start with similar Defensive WAR and Offensive WAR in his first five seasons:

Ty Wigginton Stats

He ended up making it through 12 seasons, earning over $25 million, and finishing with 2.5 career WAR.

One advantage Nick has over Wigginton: Nick started his big league career at 21. Wigginton was drafted out of UNC and made his debut at 24.

But even considering age difference, it's sobering to realize that we have been pinning a lot of the future hopes of this franchise on a Ty Wigginton clone.

EDIT: Nick becomes arb eligible next year, too. So regardless of what any of us think of him, he's going to get a nice, fat raise next year.

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I guess with Brad I really wonder what kind of bullpen moves do you question the most. To me it's hard to separate those out from roster construction, which isn't necessarily an issue on him. Honestly there's only so much a manager can do when his bullpen arms are liable to implode and any given time.

I do really wonder how much influence he has over call ups and fa signings, though



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1 minute ago, chasfh said:

I think it's worth pointing out here that at no point during the past decade did the Tigers ever have the best record in the league. The highest they ever achieved was third best record, and in their 2012 Series year, they had the seventh best record (and pythag as well). This, despite the MLB Network ex-player pundits predicting year after year that the Tigers would run and hide from the league, maybe because they saw Miggy and JV on the team and reasoned, "welp, the other teams cooked."

Whoever reading this post believes in pythag, the best Tigers team was the 2013 squad that got frustrated by the Bosox in the ALCS. Their 99 win pythag was second only to those Sawx. FWIW, the 2006 team that launched this era was tied with the Yankees for the league best 95 win pythag.

This was the longest era of sustained success any of us have lived through, but when the dust settles five or ten years from now and we regard the 2006-2014 Tigers with fresh eyes, we'll be disappointed anew when we realize they weren't as great as all that, after all.

I still enjoyed the helll out of it, though.

I think they were very good and entertaining, but they didn't have that one great team like 68 or 84 where everything came together.  That was disappointing, and was largely bad luck, but there was also a roster construction problem.  Their rosters were never complete teams which might explain why they never had the best record.  They usually had great starting pitching and enough hitters while lacking relievers and defenders.  I think there was a belief during that period that in order to win the World Series you needed outstanding starting pitching.  It seems like their rosters were built to win the World Series rather than the regular season and yet they failed to win the World Series. Again, a lot of that was bad luck, but maybe having more balanced teams would have given them a better chance too.   

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26 minutes ago, tiger337 said:

If this is what he is, then he worthless at any position.  I really thought he was going to hit this year and had been encouraged by his hard hit percentage.  I have not totally given up on him yet, but it is looking more and more like he is a bust.  

given how many MLB ABs he has under his belt, it may be more likely his defense has more room to improve than his bat. But to be fair, I think if he consistently fielded as well as he did much of last season, then 20 hr and a 310 OPB isn't so bad. He wouldn't make any All Star teams but he would not be the worst deficit for them to fix either. Still it would be ironic if Avisail ends up being more productive in the end. More likely they will both be journeyman types.

But speaking of Nick, he is an example of one the things I think this org really seems to be missing the boat on, which is that they seem from all the evidence to believe that 23-24 is still really young for a hitter. It is not. Almost all good hitters show early. The Tigers hold onto guys waiting for something to happen long after they have passed the point where they should already have shown their quality. If a guy isn't putting up solid MLB numbers at 25, then you are looking at a guy destined to be a AAAA or utility level for a couple of years on each side of his 28th birthday when he reaches his maximum strength and hits the ball a little harder - basically Tyler Collins. Maybe it's just because the system has been so empty, but the guys hanging around for years at Toledo like Moya and Collins and Fields before them, should have been long gone out of any functioning system, replaced by younger guys that really still have some chance of getting good.

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