The Tigers entered Monday’s game against the last-place Twins with a disappointing 16-21 record. After signing Monday’s starter Jordan Zimmermann to a five-year, $110 million contract, signing Justin Upton at six years and $132.75 million, and acquiring closer Francisco Rodriguez, the Tigers expected to be quite competitive in an otherwise uninspiring AL Central division. But it didn’t happen, which has led to rumors of firing manager Brad Ausmus.
The Twins were kind enough to spot the Tigers an 8-0 lead after the first inning of Monday night’s game, as Jose Berrios couldn’t finish the inning. The Tigers used four walks, three doubles, two singles, and a homer to put up an eight-spot. But not even that was enough. The Twins would score twice in the second, once in the third, and four times in the fourth to nearly erase the deficit, all against Zimmermann, who entered the start with the American League’s lowest ERA at 1.50.
Understandably, Ausmus was not in a good mood. He let home plate umpire Doug Eddings have it after Nick Castellanos was called out on strikes to end the bottom of the fourth. Ausmus was ejected immediately, then came out and got in Eddings’ face. As the coup de grace, Ausmus removed his sweater and draped it across home plate. It was art, really.
The Giants announced on Tuesday the hiring of Gabe Kapler as manager. Kapler, filling the extremely large shoes of future Hall of Famer Bruce Bochy, inked a three-year deal, Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area reports. Kapler was one of three finalists for the job, beating out Astros bench coach Joe Espada and Rays bench coach Matt Quataro.
Following his 12-year playing career, Kapler was a coach for Israel’s team in the 2013 World Baseball Classic qualifier. He then became an analyst for FS1 before joining the Dodgers’ front office as the director of player development in November 2014. He was involved in three scandals there: one in which he tried to handle a sexual assault incident involving two Dodgers minor league players without telling police, one in which he allegedly discriminated against Nick Francona, a veteran and former baseball operations employee, and an incident that implicated most of the Dodgers’ front office concerning the recruiting of international free agents. The Dodgers reportedly kept a spreadsheet of employees and their level of criminality.
Despite Kapler’s background, the Phillies hired him as their manager ahead of the 2018 season. He would lead the Phillies to an 80-82 record that year and then helped them improve by one game in 2019, finishing at exactly .500 before being fired. Kapler’s tenure in Philly was tumultuous, often drawing ire from the local media and subsequently the fan base for not being tough enough on his players. The Phillies also reportedly had a clubhouse issue in 2018 in which players were playing video games in the clubhouse during games, prompting Carlos Santana to smash a TV with a bat.
Kapler has a history with Farhan Zaidi, the Giants’ president of baseball operations. They worked together in the Dodgers’ front office as Zaidi served as GM from November 2014-18.