The Red Sox have already had their interview with Alex Cora and reportedly have asked for permission to interview Ron Gardenhire, giving them two known candidates for the vacant managerial position. Now, we’ve learned of a new candidate, though it won’t come as much of a surprise. According to the Boston Herald’s Chad Jennings, Boston interviewed former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus for the position on Monday.
In full pursuit of a new manager, the Red Sox today interviewed former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus.— Chad Jennings (@chadjennings22) October 16, 2017
Ausmus has had one managerial job in his career, and that was with the Tigers. It didn’t end well and he finished with a 314-332 record in four years in Detroit, though he did have two winning seasons and one division title in his tenure. He was also, of course, originally hired by current Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, leading to a lot of speculation about his potential to be hired in Boston. Sure enough, the Red Sox are interested and apparently Ausmus is too. It was unclear if he wanted to immediately return to managing in 2017 and he’d already turned down a chance to interview for the open Mets manager gig.
There are certainly some pros and cons with Ausmus, though you will surely hear plenty of complaints about this potential move. The biggest criticism, at least in my eyes, is that the Red Sox are going with a retread instead of fresh blood. That is fair, though Ausmus is still on the younger end of the age spectrum. In addition to that, he has had some problems handling media criticism, and I don’t think it’s unfair to say Boston’s media can be a tad more stressful than that of Detroit. That’s not a great quality for someone in Boston, and among all the good and bad about John Farrell his ability to handle the media was among his best qualities. It needs to be for every potential manager.
On the more positive side, Ausmus has had success in the majors and is familiar with Dombrowski. It has been reported that the divide between the front office and manager was a big issue last year —- or at least it was perceived as a big issue — so whoever is brought in needs to mesh with Dombrowski. Ausmus wouldn’t even get an interview if that wasn’t the case. Additionally, we’ve seen tons of managers over the years struggle in their first gig then learn from their mistakes and succeed in their second. Surely, there’s no guarantee this would be the case for Ausmus, but it’s worth considering.
In the end, I’m not enamored with the idea of Ausmus at the helm, though I’m definitely more excited about him than Gardenhire. I could see scenarios in which Ausmus worked out fine. That being said, Cora still seems to be the top choice among fans and according to Ken Rosenthal, that is also true of the Red Sox.