June 18, 2014 at 11:53 pm

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus apologizes for joke about beating wife

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus apologized multiple times for joking about beating his wife after Wednesday's loss to the Royals. (Robin Buckson / Detroit News)

Detroit — Tigers manager Brad Ausmus is frustrated with the Tigers’ three-losing streak. After leading the Central Division all season, the Tigers saw the Royals take the division lead Tuesday.

After Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to the Royals at Comerica Park, Ausmus, in his first season as manager, tried to explain how he maintains an even keel off the field with the Tigers’ skid, having lost 20 of their last 29 games.

“It’s not fun but once I get to the field, I’m always in a good mood, especially if I’m driving in and it’s sunny out,” Ausmus said. “Once I’m here, I’m ready to go and I feel like I’m the exact same person you would have seen on Day 1 of spring training.”

Then came a follow-up question: “How are you when you go home?”

Ausmus responded: “I beat my wife.”

It was intended as a joke, as Ausmus quickly added: “I’m just kidding. Luckily, my wife and kids are fantastic. I do get a little mopey at home but my wife and kids are good; they’ve seen me be in a bad mood after a loss, so they’ve been great.”

After the next question, Ausmus apologized for the previous comment.

“I didn’t want to make light of battered women,” he said. “I didn’t mean to make light of that, so I apologize if I offended anyone. Let’s move past that to the next question, sorry.”

Tigers officials had no additional comment Wednesday about Ausmus’ statements, and a source in MLB’s league office said it was unaware of Ausmus’ comment and not planning any punitive action.

The Tigers are 3-7 in their last 10 games and haven’t won three straight since a six-game streak that culminated with sweeping the Red Sox in Boston on May 18.

Ausmus tried to encapsulate the frustration of the ensuing stretch after Tuesday night’s loss.

“They’re getting sick of it, for sure,” Ausmus said. “I’m sick of it, they’re sick of it, fans are sick of it. We’re just sick of it.”

Ausmus replaced Jim Leyland, who retired last season after leading the Tigers to the American League Championship Series. It’s Ausmus’ first managerial job, but he served as a special assistant for baseball operations for the San Diego Padres for the three previous seasons.

Ausmus, 45, has two daughters.

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