LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Brad Ausmus is ready to establish his own style as Detroit Tigers manager. For one, he will not be growing a mustache like his predecessor Jim Leyland.
"I used to have a mustache like Jim. I also wore Ray-Ban sunglasses," Ausmus said Friday before he met with the pitchers and catchers. "Time for a change."
Ausmus spent his first day as a manager at any level trying to look as comfortable as he can. Not easy when the job is replacing a possible Hall of Famer who won 700 games and two pennants in eight seasons as Tigers manager.
Ausmus regularly texts with Leyland.
"We've been talking and I know he'll be down here," Ausmus said. "He has been fantastic. Things will be different, but I look forward to talking with him."
A catcher for 18 big league seasons, Ausmus had the reputation for being a team leader. He feels it's Plenty of experience for giving his first talk to the three-time AL Central champions.
"I've been preparing for that talk for more than 20 years," Ausmus said. "I have been through all of this as a player. I am ready."
He's also ready for the 162-game grind.
"You are going to go through losing stretches throughout the season," Ausmus said. "It is going to happen, but the way to handle it is to not let a five-game losing streak turn into a six-game losing streak. I'm very fortunate to be here."