By Jeff Moss
July 10, 2016
What do the Marlboro Man, the Disney movie “The Rookie,” Billy Ray Cypress Hill, Scott Spieth, Thurman Munson, Sean Penn, 2Pac’s mom, Merrick Garland, Lin-Manuel Miranda and Dr. Jack Kevorkian all have in common?
They are all part of Tigers All-Star Break Mossisms™. Well, sort of ….
Brad Ausmus Should Be Fired YESTERDAY
Approximately three weeks ago I wrote an article on this website detailing all of Brad Ausmus’ asinine decisions in the midst of a four-game winning streak and how it had become abundantly clear that the Ivy League Mimbo Imbecile hadn’t learned anything dating back from his disastrous rookie season on the bench.
One of the major complaints about Ausmus’ handling of this team since he took over from Jim Leyland in 2014 is that he never shown any sense of urgency whatsoever when making managerial decisions, whether the game in question was a postseason tilt against the Baltimore Orioles or a game in the middle of June versus the Kansas City Royals.
The total lack of urgency from the Dipshit from Dartmouth reached critical mass this week as the team approached the All-Star break needing to put a dent in the A.L. Central lead of the Indians, a franchise that started this season with a payroll about half of what their rivals to the north enjoy.
Instead, Ausmus managed the crucial match-ups in Cleveland and Toronto as if the Tigers had a 15-game lead in the division. Or maybe he is under the mistaken impression that the 2016 season includes a docket of 375 games.
How else can you address four mind-boggling — in REAL TIME — boneheaded decisions between July 4th and earlier this afternoon? Let’s break down each of the asinine choices Ausmus made during their 2-5 run versus the Tribe and Jays …
1) After losing starter Daniel Norris to an injury early in the game and being forced to use a guy who spent the previous 112 seasons in the minor leagues (Dustin Molleken), the Tigers were miraculously tied at 3 in the 7th inning against Cleveland.
At the time, Detroit had lost nine games in a row against the team they were chasing in THEIR OWN DIVISION and desperately needed a victory, especially with the human JUGS machine, Anibal Sanchez, on the bump the next night.
Instead of going Shane Greene-Justin Wilson-Francisco Rodriguez in the 7th-8th-9th in the MOST IMPORTANT game of the year, Ausmus rolled out Bruce Rondon.
Now, Rondon has been fine in Detroit this year, but this wasn’t a time to experiment with the slob who had control problems in Toledo for most of the year. But instead of going with Greene — because the game was tied and the Tigers weren’t up by one — he went with “Fat Boy on a Diet, Don’t Try It, I’ll Check Your Ass Like A Looter in A Riot,” who eventually gave up a home run to Mike Napoli that landed at the steps of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In a must-win game that was tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, Ausmus NEVER used any of his top three relievers.
And as dumb as this was, it was probably the least egregious of his Superfecta of Moronic Decisions this week.
2) In the first game of the Toronto series, the Tigers had a 4-3 lead in the eighth inning and Ausmus was actually managing a pretty good game by utilizing his best relievers in high leverage situations.
But Justin Wilson encountered some trouble in the bottom of the eighth as there were runners on second and third with two outs.
Needing only one out to get out of the jam, it was an absolute no-brainer decision to insert K-Rod into the ballgame for a potential four-out save. At that point, Rodriguez had not pitched in FOUR FUCKING DAYS!!!!!
If there was ever a time for a four-out save, it was in this crucial situation with his well-rested closer.
Instead, surfer boy replaced Justin Wilson with Alex Wilson and we all know what went down from there.
In his post-game comments, Ausmus said:
“I thought about it, but I didn’t want to do that again.”
Again. Yep, K-Rod did enter the bottom of the eighth inning of the Tigers/Angels game on June 1st. And Rodriguez closed out that game with two strikeouts while only allowing a walk.
And the situation in that game on June 1st?
3-0 Tigers with two runners on and two out!!!! Not nearly as crucial a situation as Thursday evening.
And keep in mind, K-Rod is on the record as stating he has ZERO ISSUE with coming in for a four-out save.
Meanwhile, after not being utilized in that game, the team’s best reliever went an ENTIRE WEEK without pitching.
I don’t even know what to write anymore …..
3) On Friday night, with Mike Pelfrey pitching an excellent game — especially for him — the Tigers were down 1-0 in the top of the sixth inning with the bases loaded and two outs. Unfortunately, Mike Aviles was at the plate against righty reliever Jesse Chavez.
Aviles had started the game over Steven Moya because the opposing pitcher was lefty J.A. Happ. But Happ had now exited the mound and this was a perfect time for Moya to break this thing wide open with one swing of the bat.
Consider that at the time of Aviles’ at-bat versus Chavez, Moya’s SLUGGING PERCENTAGE was higher than Aviles’ OPS. That’s. Hard. To. Do.
This was another no-brainer decision for the Mimbo manager. And yet …..
He didn’t even consider it because it was the sixth inning. Never a sense of urgency with this fucktard. EVER. Like, there are only TEN OUTS left. Please tell me when there was going to be a better time to utilize Moya’s bat?
The answer? There wasn’t, as Aviles predictably grounded out to short on the first pitch he saw and the Tigers ended up losing the game 6-0.
4) Finally, Ausmus’ pièce de résistance came during the finale of the Toronto series when arguably the worst starting pitcher in baseball this season (Anibal again) was facing the Jays’ potent offense.
BEFORE the game started, every Tigers fan on social media was begging Ausmus to handle this like a Spring Training game. Consider that by Ausmus’ OWN ADMISSION, everyone in the bullpen was available for action. Hell, even Verlander should have been good for an inning considering he isn’t pitching again until Friday.
If you were going to start Human Batting Practice, he should have been on El Chapo-esque surveillance and pulled the nanosecond he got into trouble.
Instead, after giving up a two-run single in the second to Josh Thole, — a catcher who makes Gerald Laird look like Johnny Bench — Sanchez was still toiling away in the fourth inning!!!!
With all hands on deck… With the next game not coming until FRIDAY… Sanchez was allowed to face Josh Donaldson with two runners on and two men out in the FOURTH.
For Trout’s sake, there wasn’t even anyone warming up in the bullpen at the time.
And I am not saying that last year’s AL MVP hitting a three-run bomb in that situation was predictable, but here were my Tweets leading up to that back-breaking dinger …
This wasn’t 20/20 hindsight. NONE of this criticism is. Tigers fans — me included — were all going nuts on social media about these Ausmus errors BEFORE the shit even went south.
This isn’t advanced calculus, people. These aforementioned four moves were painfully obvious and shouldn’t have been controversial at ALL.
But this dolt continues to manage the team like the season is never going to end and he has the job security of a Supreme Court Justice.
Well, he needs to be Scalia’d before Friday’s game against the Royals and replaced with someone whose decisions the advanced-metric-inclined front-office can somewhat couch.
And speaking of furniture, I am picking up Leyland’s sofa from Comerica Park on Tuesday afternoon. I am sure my movers would be more than happy to remove Ausmus from the premises as well.
Buy or Sell Part 2: Electric Boogaloo
A couple of weeks ago I was adamant about the Tigers not selling because I still think this team — if properly managed — could still do some damage in the second half and, potentially, even in the playoffs.
I figured the organization could add a backend starter for insurance, acquire a situational lefty reliever at the deadline and maybe add fireballer Joe Jimenez at some point in August from Erie. Coupled with the emergence of Michael Fulmer and the return of J.D. Martinez .... well, maybe, just maybe, this team could really be dangerous.
My other thought process was the Tigers really don’t have many obvious sellable assets. This isn’t like last year when pending free-agents Yoenis Cespedes, David Price and Joakim Soria were all overwhelmingly obvious bargaining chips.
But now I am having second thoughts. I think all of the veterans should be put on the block on July 28th if the Tigers aren’t within either four games of the divisional lead or one or two games back of the Wild Card.
And I am talking about everyone from Miguel Cabrera to Ian Kinsler to Verlander. And especially someone like K-Rod, who should have immense value considering that Soria got us JaCoby Jones in return.
Now, I am not sure if anyone would be interested in Miggy considering he is owed $224 million through 2022, but I would definitely listen if someone was interested in obtaining the currently underachieving first ballot Hall of Famer.
And while Kinsler has been tremendous in a Tigers uniform, he is still 34 years old and his value is NEVER going to be higher than it is today.
But the most intriguing trade chip might be Verlander, whose contract is actually much more manageable than Cabrera’s at this point. JV is “only” owed $94 million through 2019 and, if placed on the market, he would be the most pursued starter at the deadline.
You would have to think the Chicago Cubs would be interested considering their starting pitching has gone into the shitter over the last month and, ya know, they haven’t won a World Series since Alexander Hamilton was still around. Well, maybe it wasn’t that long ago but you get the point.
If it is abundantly clear by the end of July that this team isn’t going anywhere this fall, a bidding war for Verlander’s services between the Cubs, Red Sox (could Dave Dombrowski really stop himself from getting involved?) and Rangers could set the Tigers up for the future.
I know I stated last month that it would be a cold day in hell before Mike Ilitch ever helped out Dombrowski by trading him Verlander, but now I am starting to think it might make sense in three weeks.
The question is, will Al Avila have the balls he had a year ago when it wasn’t his head on the chopping block?
Adding premium prospects to the core of Fulmer, Norris, Nick Castellanos and JD-Mart while lowering the budget might end up being the saving grace of the 2016 season.
I am still not ready to pull the plug on anything just yet.
Except on Ausmus, of course.
Dennis Fifthian — Emasculated Dummy
For most of his broadcast career, 97.1 janitorial staff member Dennis Fithian has been a mindless boob who gets emasculated on a regular basis by his partner Pat Caputo.
I have always thought Fithian was one of the least intelligent sports media members in Detroit based on hisawful takes and his allowing Caputo to treat him like a bitch, but he has mainly stayed off the DSR’s radar.
Until today, when this dork Tweeted the following:
And whom was Fithian discussing when suggesting he’d give “them” Daniel Norris in return?
The Oakland Athletics and their 36-year-old reclamation project, Rich Hill!!!!!
Yep, Fifthian actually suggested trading away the centerpiece of the David Price trade — and a kid who last year was ranked as one of the top twenty prospects in all of baseball by Keith Law — for RICH HILL.
I went on the DSR Facebook page and stated that I believe this might be one of the worst Detroit sports media takes since I created this site 13 years ago — and that ain’t hyberBOWL, people.
Daniel Norris for Rich Hill? There isn’t a guarantee that Norris won’t be more effective THIS SEASON once he gets off the DL than RICH HILL.
I mean, we are talking about the same RICH HILL who owned a CAREER WAR of 7.1 before entering this season, which is a complete anomaly based on his past.
And did I mention that RICH HILL is 36 years old?!?!?!?
And this mouth-breather wants to give up one of our young stud starting pitching prospects for RICH HILL???
Like, if the Tigers had a nine-game lead in the division and were one starting pitcher away from a deep playoff run, I STILL wouldn’t trade Norris for RICH HILL.
You are going to give up Daniel Norris for
Jarrod Washburn RICH HILL when you are 6.5 games out of first place and 3 games back for the Wild Card PLAY-IN at the All-Star break?!!?!!!?!?!?!?
This fucking town has never been dumber.
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