Ausmus not thinking job security with in-game calls

May 9th, 2016

WASHINGTON -- Brad Ausmus thought about times like these before he began managing.

"Before I was ever hired, I said it in a [managerial] interview: I will never make a decision because I'm afraid to get second-guessed by the media, and I'll never make a decision because I'm afraid to lose my job," Ausmus said. "I'm just not going to do it."

He said it because he saw it as a player.

"I've seen managers make decisions because they were worried about what the media was saying," the former catcher said. "That's not why you make decisions. You make decisions because you think it's the right decision to help your team win. Now, are you going to always be right? No, of course not. Managers are human."

Ausmus also said it because he knew how managerial tenures can end.

"The other thing I knew when I took the job," Ausmus said, "is I'm going to get fired at some point. It's just the nature [of the position]. When you take a managerial job, there's a very good chance you'll get fired."

He doesn't know the chances at the moment, but he isn't concerning himself with it either. After dealing with buzz about his job security last fall, he has learned how to deal with it, maybe even developed a comfort level with it.

"I've been on the hot seat for a year," he said.

Ausmus said he talked Monday morning with Tigers general manager Al Avila, who did not join the team on its week-long trip to Washington and Baltimore, but offered support.

Ausmus' decisions Monday involved moving Nick Castellanos to cleanup, keeping Justin Upton in the fifth spot, and keeping Victor Martinez on the bench with no designated-hitter slot available for the Interleague series at a National League park. Martinez, Castellanos and Miguel Cabrera are all expected to get a game off during the three-game series against the Nationals, with Cabrera moving to third base one night while Martinez starts at first twice.

Ausmus made his moves not out of panic from a six-game losing streak, but out of necessity for a team with three prominent hitters for two spots and looking for a spark.

"You just have to get a win somehow. It takes one win, one hit, something that can turn it around," Ausmus said. "That's exactly what happened the previous time we were struggling, when we rattled off six out of seven."

Ausmus was referring to two weeks ago, when the Tigers bounced back from a sweep to Cleveland by taking three of four from Oakland and sweeping the Twins. He also refers to past experience when he says a team can erase a slow start without much trouble.

"I've told this story dozens of times: We were 15-30 in Houston [in 2005] and went to the World Series," Ausmus said. "You don't know. You get hot. There were two years in a row in Houston where we were very mediocre, maybe even bad, the first half of the season, and then were on fire for August and September and went to the playoffs. We went to the NLCS one year and the World Series the other year."