BOSTON -- One reason behind the Red Sox's revival last season and their win over the Tigers in the American League Championship Series was an emphasis on baserunning. The Tigers returned to Fenway Park on Friday leading the AL in stolen bases and vastly improved in overall baserunning metrics behind new manager Brad Ausmus.
Ausmus, coincidentally, interviewed for the Red Sox job after the 2012 season before Boston hired its former pitching coach, John Farrell. The Red Sox probably would've had some of the same philosophies under Ausmus, who noted that his emphasis on baserunning isn't team-specific.
Asked if he knew right away when he was hired that he'd emphasize baserunning, Ausmus said, "It wouldn't have mattered what job I got. Running the bases would've been important."
Nor did the roster makeup matter. Without Rajai Davis and Ian Kinsler, the Tigers would be down to less than half the stolen bases, but they'd still be trying to take the extra base. It's a similar philosophy Jim Leyland talked about last year.
The Red Sox, meanwhile, have seen an uptick in outs made on the basepaths this season.