The Detroit Tigers shocked the MLB world on Tuesday, announcing that it was releasing Dave Dombrowski from the rest of his contract, which was set to expire at season’s end. Here is the full press release (via @mlbdailydish):
The timing – three hours before the start of a series with the Kansas City Royals – is peculiar. Al Avila says he was told he was being promoted on Saturday, a day after the trade deadline. Dave Dombrowski sounded like a man who knew his fate, but wasn’t sure when the mob hit would happen. Dombrowski was told Tuesday and he wasn’t given an explanation.
As the Mr. I quote in the press release suggests, the “release” was to give DD time to pursue other opportunities. The reports are that it was a mutual parting with no hard feelings. Dombrowski spoke to the national media for the first time on Wednesday and said it was not mutual.
So what gives? I NEED TO KNOW.
One simple guess is that Ilitch canned Dombrowski for waving the white flag, selling at the deadline. That doesn’t make sense, though, because Mr. I ultimately has final say on all moves, and the guy Mr. I just promoted said he agreed with the trades.
Maybe Dombrowski made the deadline trades with a bigger picture in mind, though, maybe a longer “reboot” than Mr. I envisioned. If that were the case, the 86-year-old owner would understandably want to go in a different direction and cut the chord on DD sooner rather than have him sit around as a lame duck for the rest of the season. Mr. I has every right to want to put the “foot to the pedal” as he’s in a race against time to win a World Series, and if DD wasn’t on board, then he needed to go.
Whatever the case may be, Dave Dombrowski should be applauded for his 14 years in Detroit. He pulled the Tigers out of a dark era and into perennial contenders over the last decade. No, he didn’t win a World Series, but that doesn’t mean it was ultimately a failure of a tenure. Not at all. I pray we don’t have to re-live the 90s for people to realize just how good we’ve had it with Dombrowski.
Your move now, Al Avila. You can start by
grounding moving on from your son.