LAKELAND, Fla. -- Brad Ausmus' first address to his full squad as Tigers manager went much like his other firsts this Spring Training. There wasn't a lot of fanfare, even less tension, and apparently no nervousness.
"A lot of these guys have been here," said Ausmus, noting the number of position players that reported early. "They've been kind of sitting in on our meetings in the morning anyway, so it wasn't daunting at all. I've been around collections of talented baseball players before and spoken, even as a player.
"Again, I don't know why, but I wasn't really nervous. Not really any nerves involved."
It doesn't seem much different, he noted, from the past three Spring Trainings he spent with the Padres as a special assistant. He worked with catchers there, but also sat in on meetings.
"It just feels like Spring Training," he said.
Ausmus did not get into what he said, but noted that the tone was far from fiery.
"It wasn't like an explosive speech," Ausmus said. "Baseball's a long season. You may make a couple points about what you want to do in Spring Training here, maybe some general thoughts on the way the game should be played. But this isn't football, where you rally the troops for a three-hour battle. Baseball's a long season. Stay the course. Don't let emotions get the best of you."
For those same reasons, Ausmus doesn't anticipate having a lot of meetings during the season.
"I've been on teams where the managers have too many meetings," Ausmus said. "They lose their significance, and they don't bode well if you have too many. You really have to pick your spots. Generally, you want to pick your spot for a meeting when your No. 1 starter is pitching."