Brad Ausmus and the Great Lakes Dreamboats

I may have started a trend.

Back in 2006, I left San Diego for the Great Lakes region. It was an easy decision for me. My then-girlfriend-now-wife, who I like to think considers me a dreamboat, lived in the Cleveland area, and we’d been seeing each other long distance for two years. Something had to give, and I am a giver.

It’s worked out pretty well. Life in the Cleveland suburbs, aside from the occasional weather issue, is much easier than life in San Diego. A young couple can rent a 2 bedroom apartment in a nice area here for approximately half the price of a similar dwelling in San Diego. A 1200 square foot home, not including a hopefully finished basement? At least $250,000 cheaper in Cleveland. It’s not bad. I’m not sorry I left. I miss my hometown, but my life is better here.

I’m not the only one to have made the decision to leave San Diego. Other handsome men have made similar choices for a variety of reasons.

On Friday, it was announced that Padres Special Assistant and all-around handsome gentleman Brad Ausmus would be taking over for the retiring Jim Leyland as manager of the Detroit Tigers. This is a big deal for Ausmus, who has never coached or managed professionally at any level, taking over a team that has become a perennial contender. It’s an amazing opportunity, but there’s also little room for growing pains. If the Tigers don’t compete for the World Series title next year, there are going to be a lot of folks in the Midwest wondering if Ausmus was the wrong choice.

Obviously, this was a no-brainer for Ausmus, who spent two seasons with the Tigers as a player back in the day. For me, there would be a nearly overwhelming fear of failure, but I’m sure for him it’s merely whelming. He’s also much more handsome then I could ever dream of being, so that should help with his confidence, although I bet I grow a much better beard than he does.

For the Padres, it’s a loss. There was likely some thought that if Rick Renteria left the organization for a managing job this offseason, which is still quite possible, Ausmus would then take over as Bud Black’s bench coach. Now, both could be gone. There’s not much the Padres can do. When a guy gets an opportunity to manage, you gotta let him go. That’s baseball, right Buddy?  Unless they wanted to fire Black and hire Brad in his stead, it was adios Ausmus. Regardless what you think of Buddy, that wasn’t happening.

But Ausmus and I aren’t the only handsome men to make the move. In 2011, Theo Epstein lured dreamboat Jed Hoyer to Chicago to be his general manager. The Padres absolutely could have stopped him from leaving, but then-CEO Jeff Moorad was more enamored with the less-handsome Josh Byrnes and let him go. Dreamboat Jed took Jason Mcleod and his ridiculously handsome jawline with him. These were bad times. It still hurts thinking about it.

The Cubs weren’t the only team to poach one of San Diego’s dreamboats. Back in 2009, Kevin Towers was forced to sell noted dreamboat Jake Peavy and his contract to the highest bidder. Owner John Moores was in love with his wife’s gynecologist, and because of his impending divorce he was chopping the team’s payroll in half. Peavy had to go, but he had a no-trade clause and some say where he went. After much waffling, he went to the Chicago White Sox at the trade deadline.

Yes, the Padres received some handsomeness in return, but Clayton Richard proved that being a dreamboat isn’t enough on it’s own. You have to be able to provide value other than simply a chiseled jaw and a hard body. This is still baseball, dammit! Peavy, of course, left Chicago for Boston this summer and just won a World Series. Good for him. I grow a better beard than he does, too. Also, Moores just married his ex-wife’s gyno, although I doubt the two ladies still see each other, medically or otherwise. Moores grows a pretty decent beard, but lacks handsomeness. Also, he’s still in San Diego, unfortunately.

Anyway, what is it about the Great Lakes region that draws such good looking men away from San Diego? Is it a trend or just a series of coincidences? Will handsome prospects Austin Hedges or Casey Kelly someday be playing in the Midwest too? I don’t want to think about it right now, and you don’t have to either, but if they do, just know that I was here first. And I’m handsome, dammit.

The Vocal Minority posts on Mondays. Follow me on Twitter. And when the seasons get you down, I’ll come running to tuck you in.

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