Dave Dombrowski introduces Brad Ausmus as Tigers manager

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus and general manager Dave Dombrowski fielded a number of questions regarding the team's new manager, inlcuding Ausmus' lack of managerial experience and opinion on sabermetrics.

The Detroit Tigers held a press conference on Sunday introducing new manager Brad Ausmus, with general manager Dave Dombrowski calling Ausmus a "tremendous selection to guide us."

Dombrowski and Ausmus fielded a number of questions regarding the latter's lack of managerial experience; Ausmus has not managed at the professional level, his only managing experience coming with Team Israel during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Dombrowski admitted that managerial experience "is a real nice thing to have," but stated:

"You need to be aware of contemporary times. There have been some managers  that have managed in recent times that have been successful without managerial experience... If you go back in time, guys like Joe Torre and Dusty Baker, when they managed at the big league level they didn't have any big league experience managing wise or at the minor leagues at the time."

Ausmus pointed out that his recent playing experience will be a strength in relating with Tigers players:

"I was just playing the game three years ago. I'm not that far removed from the players. I have a pretty good understanding of how the locker room dynamic is."

Gene Lamont will remain the Tigers' bench coach under Ausmus, which he hopes will help "mitigate the lack of experience." Lamont managed eight years in the major leagues, four years with the Chicago White Sox and four years with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Ausmus also thinks that his experience as a catcher will help him relate to pitchers and position players, stating that as a catcher you see "both sides of the diamond."

"The one advantage that catching brings to the manager seat is the ability to work with the pitching staff and deal with the bullpen... I've also been through the daily grind of 500 at-bats or plate appearances as an everyday player, so you have an idea of what that guys is going through who has to grind through a slump or is tired on a Sunday day-game."

Dombrowski indicated that Ausmus' leadership and communication skills were major factors that led to the 44-year-old's hire:

"One of the most important aspects has always been, but even more so today, is communicating with the players and providing leadership.  (It's a) very important part of the job, probably the most important."

The general manager confirmed that they interviewed three other candidates besides Ausmus: Padres bench coach Rick Renteria, Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach and Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon. Dombrowski spoke highly of all three candidates, saying, "I'll be surprised if all of them are not major-league managers at some time."

Barry Larkin was also considered for the job, but declined an interview after deciding that he did not have enough time to devote to the position.

Ausmus also talked about whether he embraces or rejects sabermetrics, indicating that he prefers a middle ground between an old-school and new-school approach.

"I don't think you have to do either. I think there is some value to some of that. I can tell you that players do not like to be inundated with numbers...I think if you can take some of that statistical information and grind it down to a usable piece of information that you can hand of into a player, that can be important. I don't think it has to be one school or another."

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