17 August 2010

the awesomeness of ausmus

brad ausmus has been traded 5 times, but has only played for four different teams.  that is kind of crazy.  he was traded as a minor leaguer from the rockies to the padres, for whom he made his major league debut in 1993.  the pads later traded him to the tigers who sent him to houston after just half of a season in motown.  two seasons later, the astros sent him back to detroit who traded him back to houston after two years as a tiger.  he signed with the dodgers as a free agent prior to the 2009 season.

i mention all of this because i find it fascinating that the tigers and astros seemed to value him so much, yet they parted with him so easily.  i also find it interesting that upper deck chose to include ausmus as the dodgers' representative in their 2009 update set.
not jim thome or george sherrill or even doug mientkiewicz.  backup catchers don't usually get this kind of love from card companies.  at least not since the 70's when the dodgers had four catchers featured in their 1979 topps set.  speaking of topps, they also included ausmus in their 2009 update set (with juan pierre lurking), and brad was kind enough to sign and return a copy for me.
and, with russell martin out for the year, ausmus has suddenly become the guy behind the plate which may garner him a card in the 2010 update set.  but, just in case it doesn't, i made a goose joak original for him
ausmus seems like a good guy.  he won 3 gold gloves with the astros, most recently in 2006, and he hit .295 for the dodgers last year as martin's back up.  but that was last year, and now on to the reality of this season.  there is no awesomeness anymore.  ausmus missed virtually all of the first half with a back injury, and since his return he has struck out 11 times in 33 at bats.  he is hitting just .162 on the season and his ops is well below .500.  he has come back as a 41-year old and has been asked to be more than just a back up back stop, and with no real alternative (sorry aj ellis) it looks like he'll be out there regardless of how he performs.  where's derrel thomas when you need him?

thanks brad and good luck!


Johngy said...

I applaud the love shown to the backup catcher.

SportsCardGirl said...

Let this man show us what he really got. Hope he will do great this season.

Dodgerbobble said...

Too bad the Dodgers traded away Carlos Santana and Lucas May. As you said Russell Martin is done for the year. AJ Ellis and old-man Ausmus are the two Dodger catchers. A bit thin at the position, huh? Thank you Ned Colletti for your wonderful GM work. I'm sure the Dodgers will overpay for some second rate catcher in 2011.