clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Owner Ilitch has confidence in GM Dave Dombrowski, manager Jim Leyland

I never even considered the possibility Tigers President/GM Dave Dombrowski was in any career trouble. I didn't think there was any reason to doubt manager Jim Leyland would be back next season to finish his contract, either.

Nonetheless, that was the focus of a couple of stories today.

At the Detroit News, Tigers columnist Lynn Henning argued for the return of the pair today. At Yahoo!'s Big League Stew Blog, 'Duk wondered whether that should be the case.

Before we get too far in this post, I should note I buried the lede. Owner Mike Ilitch was asked if there would be any major changes. Detroit News columnist Bob Wojnowski reports the answer is "no."


"I'm staying with Dave and I'm staying with our manager. I feel we're gonna move forward. I think we'll be solid."

Earlier today, 'Duk noted Tigers fans were getting a bit jumpy. A look around our comments section after any game or before any game or during a debate about favorite ice cream flavors can confirm that. (Fire Jim Leyland would be an excellent chile flavored ice cream from Ben and Jerry's, don't you think?)


The Detroit Tigers skipper's contract goes through 2011, but the mounting frustration in Motown makes you wonder if he'll be back for another season. Visit Twitter or the comment section of any Tigers blog during a game this year and witness invectives toward Leyland that we haven't seen since the '08 team started 0-7 and was ready to pounce into action.

Now personally, I can't see what Leyland should have been expected to do different in the second half. No. 3 batter Magglio Ordonez, No. 6 batter Carlos Guillen and No. 7 batter Brandon Inge all went down to injuries, two of the fluke variety and the third was expected as the sunrise no matter who is in charge of the lineup.

Every game he makes a decision or two that can be second-guessed, but that's kind of the fun of baseball. Wouldn't it be boring if there was one book and everyone went by it?

I don't know exactly who is out there that people are so quick to prefer, either.

Dombrowski, who showed guts in December with a make-or-break trade that definitely turned out well, is not without his faults. I've mentioned them in the past. The depth isn't there, the farm still hasn't produced more than a handful of average-or-better major league players. Too much money ended up being wasted.

But really there's no reason to cancel his plan midway through.

Henning wrote:

Blame him for the painful judgment that made Jair Jurrjens an Atlanta Braves star and Edgar Renteria a Tigers disaster.

Are the liabilities enough to justify hiring a new general manager? Plenty of fans would say yes.

And they would be, in this opinion, dead wrong, and for these reasons:

The team should be a contender in 2011. It goes against a prevailing view that a club this bad in August probably won't be a lot better in February.


If you say farewell to Dombrowski -- or take a leaner, meaner look at your organizational budget -- you will be bidding goodbye, perhaps, to all the transforming personnel that's coming aboard there. And, as ominously, you will be cutting loose Dombrowski's loyal associates, as well.

A lot can be said for having a team in the division hunt at the All-Star Break five consecutive seasons. After the depths of hell we've seen as fans, it's definitely a testament that we are so frustrated with finishing second now. I remember just dreaming of .500! ... For more than a decade.

In related news to front office stability, we have these announcements that came down the pipe: David Chadd is being promoted tovice president of amateur scouting as well as special assistant to the general manager. Scott Pleis will be amateur scouting director. And Mike Rojas will be player development director, which was held by Glenn Ezell until he resigned on draft day in June.'s Jason Beck writes about Chadd:

He'll still oversee the Tigers' draft efforts but also take on some other responsibilities during the year, which he was already doing to some degree. He did some pro scouting for the Tigers this summer.

So personally, I'm pretty pleased with the way things went today. I know I'll have my frustrations at the front office and the manager, scratch my head, maybe go on a crazy rant. I have in the past, why would that change? But for the most part, these guys are good for the franchise.