AL Central Preview: Can Ausmus do what Leyland couldn't?

Max Scherzer became the new ace of the Tigers rotation, winning the Cy Young Award. (Jared...

Max Scherzer became the new ace of the Tigers rotation, winning the Cy Young Award. (Jared Wickerham/Getty Images/AFP/Files)

BILL LANKHOF, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:03 AM ET

The defending AL Central champion, Detroit Tigers, traded away a scary-good power hitter. Their starting shortstop has such wonky wheels, if he was a horse, they’d have to shoot him. They lost a closer to free agency, gave up a solid starter for prospects, and saw long-time manager Jim Leyland give up his job to a guy who’s had less managerial experience than one of those Rollback Price automatons at your local WalMart.

 

So, what could go wrong, right?

Brad Ausmus has never led a major-league club, except in his dreams. He takes over a team that, even with all its off-season permutations, remains a force. They have reached the ALCS the past three seasons, went to the World Series in 2012, but in Leyland’s eight seasons as manager, never ended a season by winning the last game they played.

Now Ausmus, a 44-year-old who caught 18 years in the big leagues, but whose only managerial experience has come with the Israeli national team, will try to go where Leyland never could.


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