Newly hired Los Angeles Angels manager Brad Ausmus said Monday winning the World Series is his goal.
“We want a championship,” Ausmus said at news conference at Angel Stadium, one day after his hiring was announced. “I spent 18 years as a player, four years as a manager and I do not have a World Series ring. I want a World Series ring.”
The closest Ausmus came to winning a World Series ring was in 2005 when he was starting catcher for the Houston Astros who were swept in the Series by the Chicago White Sox.
Another goal is to “win today,” Ausmus said.
“My message to the players is win today,” Ausmus said. “I don’t care what happened yesterday. I don’t care what people say we’re going to do or what other teams are going to do. I care about the Los Angeles Angels and I care about winning today. If we do that every single day, we’re going to be just fine.”
Ausmus takes over a team that includes outfielder Mike Trout, considered baseball’s best player, but was 80-82 in the 2018 season, finishing fourth in the five-team AL West Division, 23 games behind the division-champion Astros.
The Angels last reached the postseason in 2014 and last won a postseason game and series in 2009.
Ausmus succeeds Mike Scioscia, who announced following the Angels final game of the season Sept. 30 that he would step down as manager after 19 seasons, including guiding the team to its only World Series championship in 2002.
The 49-year-old Ausmus managed the Detroit Tigers to a 314-332 record from 2014-17, including the 2014 American League Central Division title. He was an assistant to Angels general manager Billy Eppler in 2018.
“Over the past few weeks, our baseball operations personnel sat down with numerous highly qualified and impressive candidates for our managerial role,” Eppler said.
“Ultimately, Brad’s balance of connectivity, communication and leadership skills as well as his understanding of evolving strategies and probabilistic approach to decision-making led us to him.
“We believe his knowledge, drive and growth-mindset will allow him to integrate seamlessly with our players and staff and will be pivotal in advancing our culture and moving us toward our goals as an organization.”
Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Ausmus was a catcher for four major league teams from 1993 to 2010. He played in the 1999 All-Star Game and was a three-time Gold Glove recipient.
Ausmus was chosen by the New York Yankees in the 47th round of the 1987 Major League Baseball draft, the 1,152nd overall selection. He attended Dartmouth College while playing minor league baseball in the Yankees organization.
Ausmus played five seasons in the Yankees organization prior to being selected by the Colorado Rockies in the 1992 expansion draft.
Ausmus spent 1993 with the Rockies Pacific Coast League affiliate, the Colorado Springs Sky Sox, was traded to the San Diego on July 26, 1993 and made his major league debut two days later.
Ausmus was inducted to the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004. He managed Israel during qualifying for the World Baseball Classic in 2012, losing to Spain, 9-7, in 10 innings in the game to decide a berth in the tournament. The Israeli team included future Dodger outfielder Joc Pederson and former Dodger outfielder Shawn Green.