Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski says it’s not fair to put the blame solely on manager Brad Ausmus for the team’s recent struggles.
The Tigers, winners of the American League Central in each of the past four season, have lost seven games in a row after a 7-5 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday. Detroit enters this weekend’s series against the Chicago White Sox at 28-27, five games behind the Minnesota Twins.
When asked if Ausmus was responsible for the team’s recent woes, Dombrowski strongly defended his second-year manager. "I don't see how you could," Dombrowski said to the Detroit News. "If people are laying this on Brad's shoes, that's not fair.
"I'm not saying we all don't feel accountable. I'm sure he feels accountable," Dombrowski added. "The GM feels accountable. I'm sure the players feel accountable."
Dombrowski says that every team goes through struggles during the season, citing the last time the team lost seven games in a row was during the 2011 season when the Tigers won 95 games and lost in the American League Championship Series to the Texas Rangers.
Detroit's struggles come despite ranking fourth in the majors in batting average and third in on-base percentage.
Dombrowski said Ausmus is doing his best to put the players in the best position to win, calling him a prepared, hard worker.
“People are always going to say about some moves: 'If only you'd done this.' But managers are always making decisions that don't always work," he said. "And anytime they don't work, they get second-guessed, particularly when a team isn't hitting."
- Scooby Axson