Brad Ausmus receives a vote of confidence from new Tigers general manager Al Avila

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Tigers owner Mike Ilitch cut ties with longtime general manager Dave Dombrowski on Tuesday afternoon, but it doesn’t sound like anybody else is on the chopping block yet. Al Avila, who has been installed as the Tigers’ new GM and vice president, said Tuesday in his introductory press conference that manager Brad Ausmus’ job, for one, is safe.

“I believe in Brad Ausmus,” said Avila, via Chris Iott of MLive.com. “He is our manager for the rest of this season for sure. I have all the confidence in him. I think he’s done a good job. Just like everything else from here on out, everything will be evaluated. Our staff will be evaluated. Our major-league club will be evaluated as we have done in years past.”

Detroit sold off David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and Joakim Soria last week, but the club is only three games back of the second American League Wild Card spot entering play Tuesday.

Ausmus boasts a 141-126 record since taking over as the Tigers’ manager last year.

He also carries the distinction of being ranked HBT’s most handsome skipper.

Brewers have 3 positive COVID tests at alternate site

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
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MILWAUKEE — The Brewers had two players and a staff member test positive for the coronavirus at their alternate training site in Appleton, Wisconsin.

Milwaukee president of baseball operations David Stearns confirmed the positive results Saturday and said they shouldn’t impact the major league team. Teams are using alternate training sites this season to keep reserve players sharp because the minor league season was canceled due to the pandemic.

Stearns said the positive tests came Monday and did not name the two players or the staff member. Players must give their permission for their names to be revealed after positive tests.

The entire camp was placed in quarantine.

“We have gone through contact tracing,” Stearns said. “We do not believe it will have any impact at all on our major league team. We’ve been fortunate to get through this season relatively unscathed in this area. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get all the way there at our alternate site.”

Milwaukee entered Saturday one game behind the Reds and Cardinals for second place in the NL Central, with the top two teams qualifying for the postseason.

The Brewers still will be able to take taxi squad players with them on the team’s trip to Cincinnati and St. Louis in the final week of the season. He said those players have had repeated negative tests and the team is “confident” there would be no possible spread of the virus.

“Because of the nature of who these individuals were, it’s really not going to affect the quarantine group at all,” Stearns said. “We’re very fortunate that the group of players who could potentially be on a postseason roster for us aren’t interacting all that much with the individuals that tested positive.”