DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has talked several times about the vantage point of watching games from the dugout. On Tuesday, he got a different view, watching his team from Justin Verlander's club suite.Ausmus said he found out around an hour and a half before first pitch that he
DETROIT -- Tigers manager Brad Ausmus has talked several times about the vantage point of watching games from the dugout. On Tuesday, he got a different view, watching his team from Justin Verlander's club suite.
Ausmus said he found out around an hour and a half before first pitch that he had the evening off, thanks to Major League Baseball's one-game suspension for his on-field tirade the previous game. While bench coach Gene Lamont filled in, Ausmus was a spectator, barred from the dugout and clubhouse.
Ausmus watched from a different angle and checked out the Fox Sports Detroit telecast with Kirk Gibson on the call. He even admitted to checking out social media.
"The only thing I checked on Twitter was to see if there was a #firelamont hashtag yet," Ausmus said, half-joking. "There was. When [James] McCann was hitting [in the seven-run seventh inning], I had a feeling it might go."
That was the one move, Lamont admitted after the game, that he was a little nervous about. All in all, though, the former White Sox and Pirates manager knew what to do, despite the nerves. Lamont has managed plenty of games after Ausmus or his predecessor, Jim Leyland, have been ejected. Still, Lamont admitted, managing the entire game is a different feeling.
"Usually Brad leaves me in a bad situation," Lamont said Tuesday. "Usually when you get kicked out, you're quite a ways behind. It's different. You look at the lineup and [think], 'Well, I'm going to do this, if we get to this stage.' You try to kind of put the score of the game [into play], what you're going to do with your pitching.
"... I'd like to say I was cool as heck, but I was a little nervous."
Ausmus wasn't buying it.
"He was just playing up to the crowd," Ausmus said.
Ausmus' suspension was the first for a Tigers manager in six years. Leyland was suspended for a game in 2010 for an argument with umpire Marty Foster that included inadvertent contact with crew chief Gary Cederstrom. Lloyd McClendon, Leyland's hitting coach at the time, took over managerial duties for that game, while Lamont assisted.
Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for MLB.com since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast.