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.
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 firejimleyland.com 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.
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.