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Dave Dombrowski Speaks on Miguel Cabrera, 2009 Season

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[Updated at 3:30 p.m.]

Detroit Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski met with the media for an hour this morning. Dombrowski addressed the performance of his team this season, and the trade deadline acquisitions that ultimately didn't work out.

But as you might imagine, the main topic of discussion was Miguel Cabrera and where he and the Tigers go from here.

As reported in Tom Gage's article on the presser, Dombrowski admitted that he thought Cabrera was capable of playing last Saturday. (Though as Buster Olney points out today [Insider], BigMig could've still been drunk when he took the field.) Previous experiences with such situations in his 20 years as a general manager, along with whatever legalties surrounded the incident, factored into the decision.

While Dombrowski was certainly angry when picking Cabrera up from the Birmingham police station on Saturday morning, he knew no constructive conversations on the matter would take place until later in the day:

"You're at home at 7:30 in the morning, and you get a call from the police station to come and pick up one of your players.

[...]

"But you also have to realize that you have step-by-step issues that you have to deal with. The first thing is that the person needs some sleep.

"You're not going to have a logical conversation with somebody at that time of the morning. They need some sleep. But we've had numerous conversations with him and his representative."

Dombrowski emphasized, however, that he's "confident" that Cabrera knows he made a mistake and is taking the necessary steps to address whatever problems he may have.

From John Lowe's article on Freep.com:

"He (Cabrera) has acknowledged — we know, he made a mistake. We all know that. He knows he made a mistake.

"I feel confident he is going to address the issues that he needs to address to take care of the problem that he has. Those issues will remain personal and private."

No word on whether or not Cabrera will talk to the press (or the fans) again about the matter. Perhaps he feels he did so before Tuesday night's game. How do you guys feel about that? I think it'd be a pleasant surprise if Cabrera acknowledged his mistake directly to the fans, rather than through remarks to the media or an issued statement. But I don't really expect that to happen.

Dombrowski also admitted that the Tigers' offense was a major shortcoming, causing more day-to-day anxiety over the team's performance than expected.

Again, via Gage's article:

"To me our biggest shortcoming was the offensive part of the club. You could almost write the same story about every game we lost. Normally we pitched well. Normally we played good defense. We didn't score enough runs.

As someone who did write that same story about every game the Tigers lost, believe me, Double-D: I wholeheartedly agree with you.

"I thought we would have a better offense. It was a club that befuddled me. Every day was a struggle, even when we were in first place.

"Was there any player that had a career year offensively? I don't think so. We hung in there, but you never felt 100 percent comfortable."

Addtionally, Dombrowski said it was "very disappointing" that the Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff deals failed to help the Tigers win the AL Central and make the playoffs:

"If they would have worked, we would have won. Washburn was an unfortunate situation because a (knee) injury we knew he had came to the forefront -- and he won only one game for us.

[...]

"In Huff's case, he just didn't hit for us. I'm not really sure why. I didn't expect him to come in and carry the club, by any means. But I thought he'd be a good bat for the middle of the lineup.

Finally, Gage noted that Dombrowski wouldn't say that the team might not make any coaching changes.

UPDATE: On his blog, Jason Beck said that Dombrowski gave Lloyd McClendon "a vote of confidence," calling him "a very good hitting coach." He also admitted, however, that he and Jim Leyland haven't yet fully discussed the coaching staff.

Beck has plenty more on Dombrowski's remarks, including a possible hint at Placido Polanco's future with the team, so be sure to click over there. (Like you needed me to tell you.)

No word on whether or not anyone asked about that salmon mock turtleneck Dombrowski was wearing Tuesday night.