Ausmus drapes hoodie on plate after ejection

Ausmus drapes hoodie on plate after ejection

DETROIT -- If Tigers fans wanted more emotion out of Brad Ausmus, they got it on Monday.

"I haven't watched it. I haven't looked at it," Detroit's embattled manager said of his ejection in the fourth inning of Monday's 10-8 win over the Twins at Comerica Park. "I was angry, you know? I was angry, and it just kind of unraveled there."

No one who did see it will soon forget it. Ausmus' ninth career ejection -- and the second of a frustrating 2016 season -- was a memorable one. It also might have helped keep Nick Castellanos in the game, allowing him to hit his go-ahead home run in the seventh inning.

The tirade began with a called third strike to Castellanos to end the fourth inning. Castellanos began arguing with home-plate umpire Doug Eddings, but Eddings soon turned his attention to Ausmus, who was yelling from the dugout.

Dean fans Castellanos

It wasn't just that particular pitch, Ausmus said, but others earlier in a game in which the Tigers led by eight runs after the first inning but only one run by the time Castellanos struck out.

"There comes a point when you get seven or eight guys coming back from home plate complaining about the strike zone, they can't all be wrong," Ausmus said. "I understand sometimes hitters have a skewed view of something, but when you've got that many guys coming back, they can't all be wrong."

Eddings ejected Ausmus before he'd even stepped out of the dugout. From that point on, however, Ausmus had his say.

Ausmus let out his frustrations on Eddings, kicked dirt on the inside part of the plate, then pulled off the hoodie he had been wearing all night and used it to cover the plate. For good measure, Ausmus tossed his cap -- which he had removed while taking off his hoodie -- on his way off the field.

The tirade also included some language that was caught on the Fox Sports North broadcast, language for which Ausmus apologized.

"I certainly don't want young kids hearing what I'm saying," he said, "but I'm not going out there to try and be politically correct. I'm going out there because I'm upset. And when I'm upset, sometimes some cuss words come out. So I apologize to any kids that might have heard it. Don't repeat it. But it's part of baseball. It has been for 120 years."

By that point, any issue Castellanos had with Eddings was pretty much forgotten, which proved key in keeping the Tigers' most consistent hitter around for his late-game heroics.

"I'm pretty mild-mannered," Castellanos said. "I was just going to let him know pretty mildly that I just disagreed."

The episode elicited the loudest ovation Ausmus has heard in Detroit all season. The third-year skipper has taken criticism for the Tigers' slow start, and he faced questions about his future from the media on Monday afternoon after 11 losses in the previous 13 games, which dropped Detroit five games under .500 entering Monday.

"You know what? We get it. I'm on the hot seat," he said before the game. "I might get fired. We're done talking about it. You want to talk about baseball, you want to talk about the Tigers, you want to talk about getting on a winning streak, that's fine. This, we're beating a dead horse."

Those frustrations, he insisted, had nothing to do with the ejection.

"It had only to do with the strike zone," he said. "You guys have been around me enough to know that I'm not extremely emotional. But if I'm going to get angry, I'm going to get angry about what's happening in front of me. I'm not going to get angry about what happened yesterday or last week."

Still, he'll take any support he can get.

"I haven't really considered it that way, but I'll take the support if it comes," he said. "I don't think one tirade is going to be enough."

Bench coach Gene Lamont took over managerial duties. Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia collected Ausmus' cap and sweatshirt and returned them to him later.

"I thought it was good," Saltalamacchia said. "I had a front-row seat. I was right there. It was a rough game, obviously. We were frustrated, you know? But we got the win, and that's what we're here to do."

Jason Beck has covered the Tigers for since 2002. Read Beck's Blog, follow him on Twitter @beckjason and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.