By Christy Strawser, CBS Detroit
DETROIT (CBS Detroit) Tigers losses keep piling up, bullpen woes are mounting, and the situation is obviously taking a toll on Manager Brad Ausmus, who made an off-the-cuff remark that didn’t sit well with many fans.
When asked by members of the media how he would deal with the latest loss when he got home, Ausmus said he would “beat his wife.” He quickly apologized.
This came after interviews yesterday where Ausmus said, about the slump, “I stopped saying every team goes through this a week ago.” He also said he’ll start pulling Justin Verlander from games where he’s struggling earlier, even if the ace is “pissed at him.”
This time, reporters had been questioning Ausmus about how the first-time manager has been handling the team’s recent skid, CBS Detroit’s Ashley Dunkak said.
“How are you when you go home?” one writer asked.
“I beat my wife,” Ausmus said with his typical deadpan expression. The room filled with laughter – some outright, some nervous – and “You have got to be kidding me” looks came over the faces of the media relations staff members.
Ausmus quickly clarified that he was just kidding, a fact no one doubted, she said.
He went on to answer the question seriously that his wife and kids are fantastic and have seen him go through difficult stretches before.
“I do get a little mopey at home, but my wife and kids are good,” Ausmus said. “They’ve seen me be in a bad mood after a loss, so they’ve been great.”
Ausmus issued an apology for the first part of his answer just a minute or so later.
“I shouldn’t say – listen, I didn’t want to make light of battered women,” Ausmus said, looking a bit distressed. “I didn’t mean to make light of that, so I apologize for that if that offended anyone. Anyway, let’s move past that. Next question. Sorry.”
So, how did fans and media watchers feel about the moment? “It was a rookie mistake,” 97.1 The Ticket afternoon show co-host Terry Foster said on-air.
Co-host Mike Valenti added: “I’m going to tell you something and you may think it’s crazy, but he probably needs a day off.”
Valenti went on to say that Ausmus, a noted family man, was obviously joking — but still — “you can’t do that.”
“He doesn’t look comfortable up there right now, and that comment? Can’t have it. That earns you probably a day off,” Valenti added, later saying, “That happens in New York, he’s got a day off.”
How would venerable Manager Jim Leyland have reacted?
“Leyland never would have said that,” Valenti said, adding, “It’s a sign he’s gripping for answers.”
“An Ivy League degree doesn’t mean you don’t say stupid stuff,” Valenti said.