Detroit • The Detroit Tigers hired Brad Ausmus as their new manager Sunday, turning to a 44-year-old former catcher with almost no managerial experience to replace Jim Leyland at the helm of the three-time defending AL Central champions.
Ausmus, who worked most recently in the San Diego Padres front office as a special assistant to the general manager, emerged as Detroit's pick less than two weeks after Leyland stepped down. He takes over a team that has reached the AL championship series three straight years and should be well positioned for another big season in 2014.
Ausmus managed Israel's team for the World Baseball Classic, but he's inexperienced as a manager compared with some other potential candidates. Ausmus played in the majors from 1993-2010.
"This is a winning franchise," Ausmus said. "I think I should be held to that standard as well."
The Tigers also interviewed Padres bench coach Rick Renteria and Los Angeles Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach as well as Tigers hitting coach Lloyd McClendon.
The Dartmouth-educated Ausmus' name also recently surfaced in connection with the Chicago Cubs' job.
There will be one important holdover on Detroit's coaching staff. Leyland's bench coach, Gene Lamont, will remain in that role. Ausmus agreed to a three-year deal with a club option for 2017. Lamont agreed to a two-year deal.