Things haven’t been going well for the Detroit Tigers. Things especially haven’t been going well for manager Brad Ausmus either. Ever since his arrival in Detroit, Ausmus has had a tough road to hoe; however, much of the criticism he’s brought on himself. After the Tigers 5-3 loss, which by the way allowed the Cleveland Indians to set an American League record, the skipper and his team faced a bit of undue criticism.
In the third inning, after a walk issued by Buck Famer, Tigers catcher, James McCann was tossed for arguing balls and strikes. Undoubtedly, as we’ve seen throughout his tenure, Ausmus came out and was promptly ejected as well.
What James McCann said to prompt ejection in 3rd inning…https://t.co/0H0g8rh0k6 pic.twitter.com/G7Xh4YLC7C
— Evan Woodbery (@evanwoodbery) September 13, 2017
But, that’s just the beginning. In the next at-bat, Farmer and new catcher, John Hicks, seemingly were crossed up and the fastball caught home plate umpire Quinn Wolcott on the left shoulder.
This doesn't look good. #Tigers catcher John Hicks "whiffs" on a ball right after James McCann and Brad Ausmus got ejected. #Indians pic.twitter.com/aC1I5oRFf8
— Underdog Sports (@RealTheUnderdog) September 13, 2017
After this, the Indians broadcast made the egregious claim that it was a purpose pitch, meant to injure the umpire that had tossed two Tigers. That fired up Brad Ausmus.
Tigers irate over insinuation of purposely hitting umpire https://t.co/vMHq50ueo3 via @detroitnews
— Chris McCosky (@cmccosky) September 13, 2017
Ausmus addressed the Indians broadcaster’s comments to MLive:
“I heard the Indians broadcast. To imply that that was intentional is, first of all, a lie,” Ausmus said. “If any player on this team intentionally tried to hurt an umpire, we’d deal with that severely. But for anyone to imply that that was intentional, that’s completely wrong…They’re out of line saying that, quite frankly.”
While it isn’t a good look, there are a couple of things to take notice of when watching the play happen:
- First, John Hicks is clearly looking for an offspeed pitch. From the way he is holding his glove, anticipating a drop, it’s easy to see he was crossed up.
- Second, John Hicks had just entered the game, and there was a man on second base. Going through a plethora of signs–to guard against tipping pitches–can easily cross up a new battery mate.
- Third, and this is, admittedly, reading into the situation, but after Wolcott recovers and resumes play, Hicks checks on him to make sure he was okay. Before putting on his mask you see Hicks take a very deep breath, almost as a sense of relief. Maybe he knew it didn’t look that good and was trying to hope people wouldn’t read into it too much.
At the end of the day, there are 17 games left in this season, and the end of 2017 cannot come soon enough. What happens to Ausmus after that? Well, that’s a discussion for another day.