Craig Calcaterra

MINNEAPOLIS, MN- JULY 09: Brad Ausmus #7 of the Detroit Tigers looks on against the Minnesota Twins on July 9, 2015 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Tigers defeated the Twins 4-2. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

The Tigers should fire Brad Ausmus now


The news this morning that the Tigers plan to fire Brad Ausmus after the season is over really sucks for Brad Ausmus. But it sucks almost as bad that he still, technically, has the job.

Ausmus is twisting in the wind, somewhat humiliated by that leak and totally undermined by whoever leaked it. How can he manage the Tigers for another game with everyone knowing that he’s a lame duck?

If this was the business or political world Ausmus could just resign. But there’s this stigma in baseball about managers resigning. Jim Riggleman and Ron Washington can tell you about that. Being fired stinks for most of us — our pride would make us prefer to quit unless there were severe consequences for it — but Ausmus can’t do that. Because of baseball’s conventions in that regard and for the fact that he’d be walking away from more than a year’s salary the Tigers promised to pay him if he did. They’re the ones who want him gone, they should be on the hook for it all.

Maybe Ausmus wasn’t the best choice, in hindsight, to manage the Tigers. Maybe this season has been a disaster. But even if Ausmus needs to be one of the ones to pay the price for it, he doesn’t deserve to dangle in the wind like this. The Tigers, now that their plans have been made public, should do the decent thing and terminate his employment. If that keeps the final few weeks of the season from going according to Mike Illitch’s original plan, well, tough. Maybe figure out how to keep your employees from leaking those plans to the press next time.

Wanna buy Cubs playoff tickets? Fill out a fan loyalty survey first.

cubs logo

This is fun. The Cubs are having a postseason ticket lottery. Which, of course they are, as WAY more people are going to want to buy tickets than are available. The pent-up demand for postseason Cubs baseball is big. So: good for the lottery.

Bad for the lottery: the page in which you enter requires you to fill out a survey which asks you just how loyal a Cubs fan you are. How often you go to games and how passionate a fan you are:

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Mere market research? Possibly. Or maybe just a bit of fun. But it’s worth noting that nowhere on the form does it say that your answers WON’T be considered for purposes of the lottery. Which, I suppose, makes it possible that the Cubs are weighing lottery chances based on how serious a fan the entrant is. On the other hand, it’s not like you’re under oath here or anyone is checking, so why would you not just say that you’re a CRAZY UNHINGED MEGAFAN WHO WOULD SOONER DIE A THOUSAND DEATHS THAN SEE THE CUBS LOSE?

Whether it is research or something else, it does seem somewhat pointless to put this sort of thing on your web page. But then again, the decisions people make about what to do with their web pages are utterly baffling to me, so I’m probably the wrong guy to judge.

And That Happened: Thursday’s scores and highlights

Jaime Garcia

Reds 11, Cardinals 0: Time to worry about the Cardinals? Todd Frazier and Brandon Phillips both homered and drove in three to hand St. Louis its fourth loss in five games. They lost 9-0 to the Cubs on Monday. The Pirates loss kept them from losing ground, but they’re playing their absolute worst baseball of the season right now. Good thing momentum is not a thing in baseball. Everyone will tell you it’s a thing and that how a contender plays in September matters, but don’t believe it for a second.

Brewers 6, Pirates 4: Pittsburgh blows a chance to pull to within three and a half games. But hey, it was the Brewers, who have now beat the Buccos seven straight times. Logan Shafer singled home the go-ahead run in the 13th and Luis Sardinas added an insurance run, all off Radhames Liz. If the Pirates’ season ends with a one-and-done in a wild card game rather than a chance to play in a full playoff series, they’re gonna have nightmares about the Brewers all year.

Mariners 5, Rangers 0: If back in the spring you told a Mariners fan that, on September 10, Nelson Cruz would knock his 40th dinger and Felix Hernandez would shut out a playoff contender for eight innings and notch his 17th win, I imagine they’d feel pretty good about things. They might ask you why in the hell Mark Trumbo was on the team, but hey, he knocked in two runs too, so he must’ve been a deadline deal for that one bat to put the M’s over the top, right? In other news, baseball is a cruel, cruel sport and we’re all stupid suckers for investing our emotions in it.

Rockies 4, Padres 3: I imagine much the same could be said about a Rockies fan who learned that Nolan Arenado hit his NL-leading 38th homer and Carlos Gonzalez hit his 37th homer last night. Of course, if you were a Rockies fan who expected big things from this team before the season started you’re so delusional that nothing will ever truly get you down.

Indians 7, Tigers 5: As we learned this morning, Brad Ausmus is going to be fired. Was this his last game? With that out there, how do you not resign? Anyway, Michael Brantley homered twice, including a tiebreaking, two-run drive in the eighth. People in Detroit pining for the Lions season to start. When was the last time that happened? Was Eric Hipple involved?

Mets 7, Braves 2: Bartolo Colon‘s shutout streak ended at 31 innings, but you don’t have to work too hard to beat the Braves anyway. Colon also hit an RBI single. It’s not really fun to make fun of him hitting anymore now that he’s actually good at it.

Blue Jays vs. Yankees; Cubs vs. Phillies: POSTPONED:

See the sky about to rain,
broken clouds and rain.
Locomotive, pull the train,
whistle blowing
through my brain.
Signals curling on an open plain,
rolling down the track again.
See the sky about to rain.