11/1 Ausmus meets with Cubs
Theo Epstein said he wanted the next Cubs manager to have some experience at the job but apparently Brad Ausmus may not need that requirement. The Cubs interviewed Ausmus at Wrigley Field on Friday. Ausmus, 44, who interviewed Monday with the Tigers, played 18 seasons, and was currently a special assistant with the Padres. His only managerial experience was with Team Israel in a qualifying tournament for the World Baseball Classic.
Ausmus was a three-time Gold Glove winner and named to the All-Star team in 1999. He was drafted in the 47th round by the Yankees in 1987, but wanted to attend Dartmouth College. The Yankees allowed him to do so while playing in the Minor Leagues. He finished his career in 2010, having played for the Padres, Tigers, Astros and Dodgers, and compiled a career .251 batting average, 80 home runs and 607 RBIs in 18 seasons.
Houston manager Phil Garner once joked that he had to keep playing Ausmus “because if he starts managing, he’ll be better than me.” Ausmus’ response: “Yeah, but if he keeps playing me more, he may end up losing his job anyway.”
Joe Torre also predicted Ausmus would someday manage, and had the catcher take control of the Dodgers for one game at the end of the 2010 season.
“I’m not going to say that I don’t [have that ambition], but I can’t say 100 percent that I do,” Ausmus said after that Dodgers’ game, a 7-5 loss to the Diamondbacks. “I might go home and decide that is where I want to be all the time. I wasn’t even married until after I got to the big leagues, and I haven’t been home with my family for more than three or four months at a time. They may decide they don’t like me.”
He’s also quick with the quip. In 2010, the Sporting News called Ausmus the ninth smartest athlete in sports.
“I feel like when they say I’m one of the smarter ballplayers, it’s just their way of saying I don’t hit very much,” Ausmus responded.
Cubs GM Jed Hoyer hired Ausmus as a special assistant with the Padres in November 2010 when Hoyer was the GM in San Diego. Ausmus is the third person with a Padres connection to be interviewed for the Cubs job. Rick Renteria, 51, who has interviewed with the Mariners and Tigers, is the Padres’ bench coach. A.J. Hinch, 39, is currently involved with player development in the Padres’ front office.
– Carrie Muskat