By Ashley Dunkak
COMERICA PARK (CBS DETROIT) – When Detroit Tigers manager Brad Ausmus addressed the media in his office Thursday morning, he had not watched video of his ejection from Wednesday’s game. He did not have to. On his desk sat a newspaper with a large photo of him arguing splashed across the front page.
“I’m sure it didn’t look pretty,” Ausmus said with a wry grin. “I know this picture wasn’t pretty. Someone brought – Dave brought that in to make fun of me.”
Ausmus got the hook in the sixth inning after he went out to defend Miguel Cabrera when the hitter asked for an appeal to first base on a strike call, was denied the appeal and began arguing with home plate umpire Tim Timmons. Ausmus was quickly tossed as well, but the normally laid-back manager took his time and gave Timmons a piece of his mind before retiring to the clubhouse.
Veteran Torii Hunter said last season that he hoped instant replay would not completely eliminate manager arguments from the game. Wednesday, at least, he got his wish.
The entertainment value of manager tirades is high, but such arguments also show players their manager will go to bat for them, so to speak.
“Obviously you never want to see him get tossed out, but it was cool to see him defend Miggy like that,” Nick Castellanos said. “Everybody has their own opinion. My personal one was Miggy got kind of tossed quick just for asking to check. Brad definitely had his back, so us as players, we like to see that.
“He’s a Cali boy, so he’s pretty laid-back all the time,” Castellanos added, smiling. “Yesterday you could say he got worked up pretty good.”
In the weight room on the bike at the time of Cabrera’s final at bat, Don Kelly saw Cabrera get tossed and knew he would be going into the game, so he missed the first tirade of Ausmus. The way the events unfolded, however, did not surprise Kelly.
“You could kind of sense the frustration building throughout that inning,” Kelly said. “When Miggy got tossed, you knew that Brad was going to go next.”
With instant replay in place this season, manager rants have been fewer and farther between. Kelly said that while some people say replay makes the game longer, the way replay makes arguments unnecessary probably makes games shorter, too. To him, the tradeoff seems like a good one.
“You miss it, it’s cool to see, but now they’re getting the calls right,” Kelly said. “That’s the most important thing.”
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