Atlanta — This was exactly the scenario Tigers’ manager Brad Ausmus was concerned about when the 2016 schedule first came out and he saw his team would be closing the season in a National League park.
“My fear when I looked at it was, if it came down to the wire like it is now, we’re going to lose one of our best hitters, and our best left-handed hitter for sure,” Ausmus said.
Finishing the season in Atlanta, at Turner Field, means playing by National League rules. Which means no designated hitter. Which means no Victor Martinez in the starting lineup.
“I’m not so much concerned that the pitchers have to hit,” he said. “I’m more concerned that Victor Martinez is not going to be hitting. I don’t like the fact we’re an American League team finishing in a National League park and a guy who’s hitting .290 with 86 RBIs is relegated to pinch-hit duty.”
Ausmus said he understood that with 15 teams in each league, there is going to be an interleague game every day. But, if anybody ever asked him — which he says nobody has — he’d rather at the end of the season, the games be played in American League parks.
“It’s easier for National League teams, especially in September with expanded rosters, to find a designated hitter in an American League city, than it is for an American League team to lose a DH in a National League city.
“I don’t particularly like it.”