Detroit – — The list of what Brad Ausmus did not do when the Tigers clinched a postseason spot on Wednesday is longer than the list of what he did do.
Ausmus did not rush outside and honk the horn of his car.
He did not bang the bottom of a skillet with a spoon.
He did not run around the house yelling, "We're in!"
And he did not celebrate, even though he was at home with his wife, with a glass of champagne.
If anything, he had a beer.
"But I think I had the beer before the Seattle game ended," he said, referring to the Mariners loss to the Blue Jays that assured the Tigers of a spot in the playoffs.
Get the gist?
Hours after the Tigers beat the White Sox, 6-1, on Wednesday at Comerica Park — a game that forever will be known as "binocular-gate" for Chris Sale's accusation signs were being stolen — the Tigers found themselves guaranteed of a spot in the postseason because of the Mariners loss.
They welcomed it, of course, but are looking to achieve far more than that. It was weird, though, that they weren't even at the park when it occurred.
"It was kind of ho-hum," Ausmus said.
If he were to get excited at anything less than clinching the division, winning a World Series or being appalled at the fact that Sale hit Martinez simply for suspecting him of stealing signs — "that was weak of Sale," Ausmus said after it occurred — it would be out of character.
And the Tigers manager is seldom out of character.
In fact, being unflappable isn't just one of his major traits, it's one of his major strengths according to Torii Hunter, who would not be surprised Ausmus welcomed, without fireworks, the clinching of a playoff spot.
"But I give him an A-plus," Hunter said. "His first year, and a playoff spot already, he's done a great job. We accept him in this clubhouse. We love him and we respect everything he says.
"He's made some tough decisions this season, some right ones and some wrong ones, but he stood firm with what he believes in. You never see him sweat."
Whether in a rookie manager or one who's been around years, it's immensely important for the skipper to set that kind of tone.
A worried manager could make for a worried team. A manager who feels pressure might mean his team does as well.
"Yeah, he can get upset, if we're not playing up to our capabilities," Hunter said. "But whenever there's a storm, he knows how to go through it.
"We had a lot of peaks, we had a lot of valleys this year, but that's what formed us. And for him not to panic this year, in his first season as a manager with what we went through, I don't think he will ever panic."
Even now, with another American League Central championship within sight, Ausmus shows no heightened anticipation.
"I don't concern myself with what might happen," he said. "When it happens is when I concern myself."
Typical Ausmus comment?
In terms of making sure the cart stays behind the horse, as typical as they come.