Tigers Release Dombrowski, Bag Winning

Published on 05-Aug-2015 by Perry Rosenbaum
MLB / MLB Daily Update

Maybe another day.

That old bromide is right: past performance really doesn't guarantee future results.

It stands to reason the same is true for dominant baseball teams.

Maybe they’ve won the AL Central title four years in a row, but the Detroit Tigers’ post-season hopes have gone the way of the dodo bird after shipping free agents-to-be David Price and Yoenis Cespedes outa town.

The return for both players was impressive enough, but it sent out a clear signal: the Tigers are shooting for the future at the expense of the present.

The second shot across the bow came earlier today, when owner Mike Ilitch announced that he had released GM Dave Dombrowski from the remainder of his contract. Assistant GM Al Avila will assume the position for the interim.

Perhaps the exact reasons aren't clear, but it isn’t very surprising that Dombrowski was let go.

  • The Tigers are in dire straits this year, as their bullpen has recorded a cumulative -0.2 WAR (29th in baseball);
  • Their 3B and DH situations are similarly untenable at -0.8 and -0.9 WAR (29th and last in the AL, respectively);
  • Justin Verlander has completed the devolution from dominant ace to dumpster fire; and
  • The pitching in their farm system is absolutely barren.

At least Verlander had the mojo when he and Kate Upton met:

Maybe dude's lost a little velocity, but he's still got the touch:

Perhaps the last point listed was the final straw.

Dombrowski traded for chucking prospects from Toronto. If the Blue Jays had any, they wouldn't have kept a revolving door between TO and Buffalo. And Detroit just called up one of them -- Matt Boyd -- who was lit up by the lowly Red Sox in record-breaking fashion.

This departure comes in the wake of a 14-year stint where Dombrowski took the Tigers from utter mediocrity -- remember that 119-loss team in 2003? Ramón Santiago is spinning in his grave -- to perennial World Series favorites. Even though they will likely miss the playoffs this season, his track record is proven.

Getting into detail:

Dombrowski’s the man responsible for:

  • Acquiring future Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera back in 2007, signing the slugger to a deal that ensures he’ll be repping the Olde English D until the Sun burns out;
  • Trading for Max Scherzer and Doug Fister just before the string of consecutive division titles; and even
  • Building for a future he now won’t be there to oversee.

Few GMs would've been able to trade the massive contract of the equally gigantic Prince Fielder after his down year in 2013. Not only did Dombrowski manage to do it, he got a fair return. Ian Kinsler has been an integral part of the team’s offense and defense since coming over, while Fielder is bouncing back from a lost 2014.

Here's a typical reaction after that trade happened:

Don’t cry for Dombrowski. He’s a smart man and a brilliant baseball mind. If he can survive toiling under both Ilitch and notorious scumbag Jeffrey Loria, he can do just about anything.

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