Tigers general manager Al Avila said Friday the Tigers were dealing with an “awkward situation” concerning manager Brad Ausmus and his future, which Avila said will not be determined “until the end or near the end” of the Tigers’ 2015 season.
There have been expectations the Tigers would fire Ausmus as manager after Tigers owner Mike Ilitch last month dismissed former Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski. The Tigers are in last place, are headed for their worst season since 2008, and have recrafted their front office ahead of roster changes that could be dramatic.
Expectations on a successor have for some time centered on former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.
Various reports this week have said Ausmus’ firing had already been internally finalized by Ilitch. Avila said Friday, following a morning conversation with Ilitch and with Ausmus, that no such decision has been made.
“It’s unfortunate it happened the way it’s happened,” Avila said. “It puts us all of us in a very awkward situation.
“But you deal with it. I already spoke with Mr. Iltich, I spoke with Brad, and we’ll deal with this situation. But it’s not like Mr. I. has made a decision yet. If he had, he would have told me.
“So we’ll deal with this rumor and move on. We’ll continue. And we’ll make a decision toward, or at the end of the season.”
Avila said he took issue with reports that he had privately been displeased with Ausmus.
“I’ve never said that to anybody -- anybody,” Avila said. “That’s a complete farce. If somebody out there says we’ve already made a decision, which would mean ownership has made such a decision, that’s news to me.
“And I don’t like it when in addition to that speculation, they’re attributing false statements to me. And that (Ausmus unhappiness) is completely false.”
Avila said he had spoken early Friday morning with both Ilitch and Ausmus and that reassurances came from all parties, beginning with Ilitch, that no moves have been agreed upon, and that Ausmus would continue as Tigers skipper as the regular season approaches its Oct. 4 close.