Tigers tab Ausmus as new manager

Detroit, MI ( - The Detroit Tigers have named Brad Ausmus their new manager.

Ausmus, a former major league catcher, has never been a manager at the big league or minor league level. He has been a special assistant in the San Diego Padres' front office since retiring as a player in 2010.

"This guy was born to manage," said Tigers general manger Dave Dombrowski at a press conference Sunday.

The 44-year-old Ausmus played 18 seasons in the majors from 1993 through 2010 and batted .251 in 1,971 games. He twice played for the Tigers, first in 1996 and again from 1999-2000.

Ausmus, who also spent time with San Diego, Houston and the Dodgers, was a three-time Gold Glove winner and earned his lone All-Star Game nod as a Tiger in '99 when he hit .275 with career bests of nine homers and 54 runs batted in.

The Tigers needed a replacement for Jim Leyland, who retired following the ALCS loss to the Boston Red Sox. He spent the past eight seasons with the Tigers, guiding the club to four playoff appearances and two American League pennants.

Detroit reached the World Series in Leyland's first season of 2006, falling to the Cardinals, and also lost to the Giants in last year's Fall Classic.

The Tigers were 93-69 this past season and won the American League Central title for the third straight year.