On Sunday, Justin Verlander looked alot like his old self (seven scoreless innings), but the bullpen could not do their part as the Detroit Tigers bullpen gave up seven runs in the eighth inning before losing by a final score of 8-3 to the Texas Rangers. The loss was the Tigers sixth in a row, dropping them to 14-16 overall (fourth place in the A.L. Central).
With a payroll approaching $200 million, many are starting to point fingers in different directions. Some blame the staring pitching which is near the bottom of the league in terms of both ERA and WHIP, while others think the hitting has to step up and earn their keep. But many of the fingers are pointing directly at the Tigers Manager, Brad Ausmus.
Following the game, Ausmus responded to a question about whether or not he was feeling the heat.
Via Matthew B. Mowery of The Oakland Press:
"No, I mean, I understand when you have a payroll like ours, the manager's the guy that's in the cross-hairs. That's fine." Ausmus said. "I knew when I took this job, I was probably going to get fired before I walked away from it. Not this job particular, but just managing in general. How many managers walk away from a job? Not many managers out there. Most managers that are out there now were fired from their other jobs. So I understand I'm in the cross-hairs."
Despite understanding that the manager often gets the blame, Ausmus vows that he is not going to do anything differently moving forward.
"That's not going to change the way I do anything. I'm still going to prepare the same way, still going to be positive." Ausmus said. "I'm not going to make decisions based on whether I'm going to get fired or not. I played baseball a long time, so I'm very comfortable with that."
What do you think Nation, should Ausmus be shouldering the blame for the Tigers losing record, or is it the players who should be feeling the heat?