Leading up to Tuesday night’s game against the Kansas City Royals, the Detroit Tigers had yet to spend one day of the 2014 MLB season without having at least a share of the lead in the AL Central.
Now that Kansas City has taken the first three games of this series, the Tigers find themselves trailing the division-leading Royals by a game and a half.
However, Detroit’s month-long catastrophe yielded to be the topic of conversation following the Tigers’ 2-1 loss on Wednesday afternoon; that spotlight has quickly shifted to Brad Ausmus and his confusing choice of words.
During his post-game press conference, Ausmus was asked about his emotions when he returns home after his team loses, specifically during this dreadful skid.
Chuckling, the Tigers’ manager said, “I beat my wife.”
Then after a smile and a pause, he added; “I’m just kidding. Luckily, my wife and kids are fantastic. I do get a little mopey at home, but my wife and kids are good.”
It didn’t take long for the Dartmouth graduate to realize that he had made a mistake, as he offered an apology shortly after.
“I didn’t want to make lightly of battered women,” Ausmus said under his own direction. “I didn’t mean to make light of that, so I apologize for that, if I offended anyone.”
There’s no debating whether he tip-toed the lines of morality or not; his comments were clearly out of line.
So with that discussion set aside, let’s not misconceive the magnitude of this situation due to the horrendous baseball that has been played in Detroit since May 19.
And accompanying that notion, let’s not let this mistake overshadow the fact that the Tigers are 9-20 over the course of the last month.
Whether fans call it “misfortune”, or “painful”, or even “disgusting”, whatever this slump is called, don’t categorize it as “just baseball” any longer. It has been far more excruciating than that.
This must be a turning point for the Tigers’ season. If this stretch doesn’t turn out to be the low-point for Detroit in 2014, then all postseason-talk can be thrown out the window.
The only way that the organization can move past this unfortunate mistake is by stringing some wins together on the baseball field.
If it hasn’t been already, the Tigers’ mental toughness as a unit will be put to the test moving forward.
If Tigers fans are still searching for this team’s remedy, look no further than Brad Ausmus. A team can only go as far as they are led.
Whether changes need to take place during preparation, in the locker room or on the field, Ausmus needs the grip the reigns of his team (which is fully capable of winning) and put them into a position where they can succeed.