While Ausmus had plenty of playing experience on his side, he had never managed. Ausmus retained Gene Lamont as bench coach to help smooth the transition. The other spots on the coaching staff were filled with Dave Clark, Darnell Coles, Jeff Jones and Omar Vizquel. All more than qualified and more than capable.
Ausmus however still needed a hitting coach. Former hitting coach Lloyd McClendon had departed to manage the Mariners and one night while sitting in his home in San Diego, Ausmus was thinking out loud, running through potential candidates.
Enter his wife Liz. "How about Wally Joyner?" Liz said.
"Yeah, how about Wally Joyner?" Ausmus said.
And there you have it. The Tigers had a new hitting coach. Joyner's credentials of course run much deeper that the manager's wife's endorsement. Joyner played 16 seasons in the big leagues, hitting over 200 home runs and had a lifetime batting average of .289.
He is a former All Star and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1986. If it wasn't for Jose Canseco's PED enhance season, Joyner would have won the award.
Joyner was slated to enter the 2014 season as the Phillies assistant hitting coach, but thanks in part to Liz Ausmus, he will have the lead job in Detroit.
He might want to send Liz some flowers.