Back Surgery for Brad Ausmus

Jon at Dodger Thoughts passes along the news:

Brad Ausmus’ 41st birthday today comes with some bad news. The Dodgers have announced that Ausmus will have surgery Thursday to address a herniated disc, keeping him on the disabled list until at least “late this summer,” the team said. Ausmus is expected to retire after this season.

At the risk of sounding callous, this isn’t exactly the most horrible news in the world, is it? We love Ausmus as a sort of player-coach, but the emphasis is squarely on “coach” in that equation, since he’s not contributing all that much in the field. If you can get back a 40-man spot, give A.J. Ellis the backup job that he deserves at this point, and still keep Ausmus in the locker room (since you assume that he’s not the type to cut off all contact with the club) for advice to pitchers and catchers, is that really all that terrible?

That said, Ausmus has been nothing but class, so it’d be sad to see his long career end with one April game. Should he be physically able to, it’d be great to see him make it back for September action, before retiring to (hopefully) replace Rich Honeycutt as pitching coach. Or, maybe even slide in as bench coach once Torre departs?

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