Reports: Tigers to fire manager Brad Ausmus after season

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Friday, September 11, 2015

Detroit Tigersmanager Brad Ausmussaid late Thursday that he hasn't heard anything concerning his future amidmultiple media reports that he will be fired after the season.

The Detroit Free Press and WDIV-TV in Detroit both reported Thursday night, citing sources, that owner Mike Ilitch will dismiss Ausmus after the Oct. 4 season finale against the Chicago White Sox.

"I haven't been told anything," Ausmus told the Detroit News in a text message late Thursday night when asked about the reports.

He declined to comment further.

Tigers general manager Alex Avila issued a statement Friday saying the team continues "evaluating all personnel."

"I have stated several times since becoming Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager that we are evaluating all personnel, and know that includes the players, the manager and his staff, and minor league operations," Avila said in a statement. "In fact, I reconfirmed with Mr. Ilitch and Manager Brad Ausmus this morning that these evaluations are on-going and decisions in any of these areas will be made by the end of the season."

Ausmus, who has one year remaining on his three-year deal, guided Detroit to its fourth consecutive AL Central title last season and has a 154-148 record with the Tigers. Picked by many this season to again contend in the AL Central, the Tigers are in last place with a 64-76 record.

Ausmus was hired by former Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski, who was fired Aug. 4 and replaced by Avila.

When asked if the Tigers are currently in an awkward position, Avila told ESPN via text message Friday that, "Of course it's awkward, but you deal with it and move on."

Between injuries and trades, it seems to be harder and harder for the team to avoid wondering what might have been if things had worked out differently.

Justin Verlander began the season on the disabled list with a triceps injury. Slugger Miguel Cabrera was sidelined for five weeks with a calf injury in July. Victor Martinez had a DL stint with knee inflammation in May. And after an underwhelming first half, the Tigers traded away starting pitcher David Price, reliever Joakim Soria and outfielder Yoenis Cespedes at the deadline.

"We had a lot of our key pieces that were missing, and quite honestly, we've missed them all year, whether it's been injuries early on or trades after the second half," Verlander said Sunday. "It's kind of disappointing that we never had a chance to play as the team that was constructed, but that's the game of baseball. It happens sometimes."

Verlander was asked Sunday about the possibility of Ausmus not returning next season.

"That's not in our realm of control," he said. "No offense to you guys, but whatever you write and say is outside noise. This clubhouse, we focus on ourselves and what's going on. You can't let that stuff get to you."

Ausmus said Sunday that -- despite the injuries -- there is still ample leadership within the clubhouse -- players such asIan Kinsler, Alex Avila, Cabrera -- though he admitted that the absence of Torii Hunter, who rejoined the Minnesota Twins in the offseason, was noteworthy.

"It's hard to quantify it. I think Torii was huge last year in the clubhouse. I think we do miss it somewhat," Ausmus said.

ESPN Staff Writer Katie Strang contributed to this report.

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