Say it ain’t so, Brad …

It’s baseball season … hooray … and aside from not having her confidence buoyed by the recent slump of the Toronto Blue Jays, Your Working Girl is having a great time watching as much baseball as she can, including as many Detroit Tigers games as her increasingly solitary time allows.  The team is a joy in the field and at the plate.  Their new manager, Brad Ausmus, is charismatic and, to Your Working Girl’s eye, makes every other MLB manager look slightly seedy.

Ausmus is 45-years-old, good-looking and fit with a slim athletic body and short brown hair. He is the league’s first Jewish manager, a three-time Gold Glove winning catcher, 1999 All-Star and one of the few college graduates in Major League Baseball. When the New York Yankees drafted him in 1987, he said he needed to finish his degree at Dartmouth College first. The Yankees said they’d allow him to attend classes while he played.

He’s calm, thoughtful and smart – a fresh face.

Too good to be true?

In the middle of June, when Detroit’s lead in the American League Central Division shrank from 7 games up to 1.5 games back and they lost 20 of their last 29 games (Blue Jays fans take heart), a reporter asked him about his mood when he returns home after a loss. He said, in a most unlikely Brad Ausmus fashion,

“I beat my wife,” he replied.

Huh?  Come on, buddy … whaddya sayin’?

Fortunately, he immediately recognized his mistake and apologized.

Your Working Girl and the reporters who heard the response, were left scratching our heads in bewilderment about what a quip like that was even doing in the mind of someone like Brad Ausmus – the new kid who went to college and was supposed to bring a bit of class to the game.

“I’m just kidding,” he quickly added before giving a serious answer.

“Luckily, my wife and kids are fantastic,” he said. “I do get a little mopey at home, but my wife and kids are good. They’ve seen me be in a bad mood after a loss. They’ve been great.”

“I didn’t want to make light of battered women,” he added.

Your Working Girl has spent 10,000 hours, and then some, working with abused women. The casualties are too numerous to be named – women and children.

She has, over the years, also spent time talking with donors to the cause, women and men, who have had the terrible experience of witnessing violence against their mothers when their father came home in a bad mood.

By the law of statistical averages, close to 200 of the 1,200 talented men who play on the regular roster of 30 major league ball teams have had the experience of having to witness, often watching helplessly, while their mothers were hit at home.  That is, sadly, how the world works and also, sadly,  the cross too many children have to bear.

The issue about battered women is not only about battered women (although that, heaven knows, is bad enough), it is an issue of traumatized children.

Brad Ausmus is a smart guy with a quick mind and a gift (curse?) for witty sarcasm. Perhaps be could think about how his comments might go down with his ballplayers before he pops off again.

Being smart in baseball in good. Being smart alecky doesn’t help win friends.


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