Los Angeles Angels Fire Manager Brad Ausmus
The Los Angeles Angels have fired Brad Ausmus after just one season with the team. Ausmus signed a three-year contract before the start of the season, but finished 72-90 with a minus-99 run differential and 35 games behind the AL West champion Houston Astros. Before taking the Angels job, Ausmus managed the Detroit Tigers from 2013-17, posting a 314-322 record. After a 98 loss season with Detroit in 2017, Ausmus was relieved of his coaching duties.
Angels GM Billy Eppler released the following statement:
“I want to thank Brad for his hard work and dedication to this organization over the last two seasons as both a special assistant and a manager. He navigated this franchise through one of its most difficult seasons with class and professionalism.”
A Difficult 2019 Season
There’s no questioning that 2019 was a difficult season for the Angels. The most difficult time of them all was the tragic death to starting pitcher Tyler Skaggs. The loss of Skaggs was not only very difficult for the team emotionally, but they also lost the heart of their clubhouse and arguably their best pitcher.
The Angels were forced to overhaul their rotation mid-season after free agent signings Cody Allen, Matt Harvey, and Trevor Cahill struggled to get going. Also, injuries to impact players like Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani, Tommy La Stella, Justin Upton, Andrew Heaney, and Andrelton Simmons caused the Angels to play short-handed throughout most of the season.
Despite the ninth-largest payroll this season at $164.4 million and having superstar Mike Trout in his prime, this year marks the fifth consecutive season that the Angels have missed the postseason. Los Angeles has made the playoffs just once in the past decade.
Maddon to Los Angeles?
After the dismissal of Ausmus, the Angels top managerial target appears to be Joe Maddon. After mutually agreeing to part ways with the Chicago Cubs, many believed that the Angels would fire Ausmus to pursue Maddon. Maddon worked in the Angels organization for 31 years in various roles. He was also the bench coach in 2002, when the club won its only World Series championship.
ESPN’s Jeff Passan tweets that “a number of sources” believe Maddon will land with the Angels.
Brad Ausmus’ firing by the Los Angeles Angels, as @Buster_ESPN first reported, clears the way for Joe Maddon to return to the Angels, the team for whom he worked for 30 years. While it’s not a fait accompli, a number of sources believe Maddon to the Angels is likely to happen.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) September 30, 2019
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