From Stripes to Sox: Why Brad Ausmus is a Frontrunner for Red Sox Manager

In the latest episode of this MLB season’s managerial shakeups, the Red Sox announced yesterday that John Farrell (2013-2017) would not return for the following season. It was both a surprising and unsurprising move, but now the question on everybody’s minds is who will Dombrowski choose to replace him? Domby was as wooden and mysterious as ever during Wednesday’s 11 AM press conference, leaving us all to speculate while he ponders his “shortlist.”

The two names I’m hearing most are Alex Cora, a former Red Sock and member of the 2007 championship team, and former Tigers manager Brad Ausmus. I have a *gut feeling* that fellow displaced manager Brad Ausmus could be the next in a long line of Red Sox skippers. He’s one of four managers who’ve been let go from their teams this season.  Here are a few reasons why I think Ausmus could be heading east:

Ausmus grew up a Red Sox fan. 

Ausmus is a Connecticut native who saw his first baseball game at Fenway Park. His late mother even grew up in my native Brookline, blocks away from Boston’s hallowed ballpark. Managing the team he’s loved since childhood would be a passion project, and after this season’s lifeless, half-hearted attempted at a postseason run, we could use someone who gives a crap.

He’s sought after by other clubs.

If there’s one thing this Red Sox management loves, it’s grabbing guys that other teams want, even if it means throwing enormous gobs of money at them to get them here. I could see Davey wanting to get a seasoned manager he already trusts so that he doesn’t lose him to the Mets.

He has potential.

Detroit was Ausmus’ first go-round as a manager, but it’s a known fact that many managers, like Joe Torre, had more success in their later managerial gigs than their firsts. Ausmus was 314-332 in four years as manager of the Tigers, but based on the clamor and buzz around Ausmus, the Majors seem to think he could really grow and flourish if placed in the right environment. Considering the Red Sox have a very young team, having a younger manager trying to prove himself could be good for all parties.

The Red Sox considered hiring him once before

Funny story: Ausmus was a contender for the managerial position before Boston ultimately went with John Farrell, who’d been a pitching coach with the organization in the 2000s. He’s already been vetted, and now has managerial experience under his belt, which makes him an even more viable candidate.

He could be a placeholder while Varitek warms up as head of the PawSox

Despite the fear that Varitek’s illustrious career could be tarnished if he doesn’t do well in the management position, fans are clamoring for the former captain to return to the helm. While Dombrowski said in his presser that managerial experience wasn’t 100% necessary, no one wants a virgin. Ausmus could be the perfect temporary fix for a year or two while Varitek finds his footing managing in the minors.

Dombrowski’s already hired him once before

You know what they say about the devil you know… If the Red Sox don’t have a good season in 2018, the next person’s head to roll will be Dombrowski himself. The easiest way to ensure an easy transition and smooth sailing into this new season is to hire the same guy you liked for your old office. Ausmus is known as a manager who sticks to the script, so he wouldn’t exactly make waves for the man who would be his two-time boss, and he’ll probably be loyal. Dombrowski is nothing if not predictable.
I definitely would prefer Ausmus to, say, Girardi jumping ship from the Yankees – they have a very different style in that club. I just think there are strong indicators here, and some loud whispers that point to this Tiger trading in his stripes for sox.

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