LAKELAND, Fla. -- It wouldn’t be quite accurate to say that Brad Ausmus is going where no manager has ever gone before. But it’s definitely accurate to say he made a decision this week to go where the likes of Ralph Houk, Jim Leyland and Sparky Anderson never went before.
And by that, of course, we can only mean one thing: Twitter.
Yes, the manager of the Detroit Tigers is tweeting now. As of 5:11 p.m. spring training standard time Tuesday. Will his world -- and ours -- ever be the same?
“I’ll probably have a rant, a Twitter rant, sometime,” Ausmus reported Wednesday morning, as he eagerly awaited his first full day as an official tweeter. “Maybe get in a Twitter feud with, like, Taylor Swift. Break the Internet eventually, I’m sure.”
Or he could apply his tweeting skills to more practical, pressing matters.
“I’ll use it to refute articles written by media,” he suggested, to the media that was preparing to write those articles.
To which we can only say: Hey, join the club, since that’s what about 98 percent of the rest of the Twitterverse appears to be doing, pretty much 24/7.
Ausmus says he started thinking about venturing across the historic Twitter line this winter. But he craftily waited until he got to spring training, and then ran it past members of the Tigers’ media relations department, who, shockingly, apparently didn’t respond with something to the effect of: “What? Have you gone insane?”
So at 5:11 Tuesday, Ausmus typed out the following tweet and hit send:
Day one message to the team... every pitch, every swing, and every play matters.
— Brad Ausmus (@BradAusmus07) February 24, 2015
So does that tweet put him in historic managerial territory? Research is still ongoing. But officially, three other active managers currently have verified Twitter accounts -- Joe Maddon (2,093 career tweets), Houston’s A.J. Hinch (198 tweets, but only two since 2013) and Texas’ Jeff Banister (484). How many of their tweets actually come from them is anyone’s guess, but a safe estimate would be, oh, 0.0000001 percent. And that might be a little high.
But Ausmus swears that “everything on there will be mine. That’s why I’m saying I won’t be on there a lot.”
If you think you can now start tweeting stuff like lineup suggestions at him, though, our sage advice would be: Don’t waste your keyboard strokes. He may be tweeting. But he won’t be listening.
“Oh, I’m not going to read it,” he said, chuckling, when asked if he planned to check out his “Mentions.” “I promise you I won’t read anything.”