Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Dombrowski's Inaction On Leyland Says It All

Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski was forthright with his comments following the season, except for one important issue - manager Jim Leyland’s desire for a contract extension.
While he did praise Leyland, he didn’t comment about Leyland not getting a contract extension through the 2010 season.
Dombrowski didn’t have to say anything. His inaction on the subject says it all.
Leyland let the world know he wanted an extension. And he was testy about it, uncharacteristically throwing a couple reporters out of his office late in the season for asking about it. Then he did talk about wanting the extension several times with the media. Now he is miffed he didn’t get one, and said so publicly.
Dombrowski? He has no comment.
I think Dombrowski is making a mistake here. Leyland needs the security to deal with a clubhouse of veteran players, many with long term deals.
There could be a point Leyland has to put his foot down next season. It will fall on deaf ears with the players knowing he might get fired at the first sign the season is going South.
Then again, that could be what is in the cards for Leyland. Get off to a good start - or else.
It was the clear message Dombrowski sent with his silence this week.

Random Thoughts

- It’s a wonderful problem to have, but making final roster cuts for the Red Wings is nearly impossible. Their depth is incredible. Ville Leino looks like a player to me.

- We’ll see if Michigan State’s defense is improved this week vs. Iowa. Last season against the Hawkeyes, the Spartans blew a 17-3 halftime lead and were manhandled during the second half in a loss against a struggling team. The Spartans’ defensive breakdowns at Indiana last week were alarming.

- I see the Phillies over the Brewers in five, the Cubs over the Dodgers in four, the Angels over the Red Sox in five and the White Sox to upset the Rays in four.


Anonymous Hollis Keys said...

Book,you have hit the nail on the head once again. If you(Dombrowski) believe that Leyland is the man to manage the team next year then you must give him a vehicle with which he can battle complacency and inferior play with which in his case involves at least a one year extension. All of the ills of this year's team are not attributable to him but some are. The ridiculous location that many pitchers on this team had with pitches on 0-2 counts, the frittering away of leads in the seventh inning or later,the inability to throw strikes that lead to late inning walks and the high pitch counts by the 5th inning were things out of his control. When all of us were giddy including Dombrowski about what this team could do it was Jim Leyland in spring training who uttered these two prophetic words-"GOTTA PITCH". No truer words were spoken this entire year. Mr. Dombrowski help your manager to be able to hold guys accountable for their own failings because you will certainly hold him accountable for all of theirs.

2:13 PM 
Anonymous Hollis Keys said...

Book, the Wings ability to find players in the spots that they draft in is refreshing. What a fantastic organization! Guys like Helm, Abdelkader, Leino being added to the mix only serve to whet this hockey fan's appetite for what looks like another fantastic season.

2:28 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I want Leyland to stay through at least 2010. But I don't want this seasons version of Leyland - version 2008. It was a bad year for the Skip. And it really did seem to start halfway through version 2007.

For that fact, I like Dombrowski's move to reserve comment on the Skips contract extension.

If the forty-game mark hits next May, and we are below five hundred - and there is talent there to work with - I must say that rather than live through 2008 again.

But then again - who replaces Leyland? Will Dombrowski have a manager picked and waiting in the wings?

I can appreciate Leyland does not appreciate his perception of lack of appreciation. I hope he can shake that mindset and find a way to make the opening of the season be a strong showing.


Funny how a loss in preseason in Hockey doesn't send Red Wing fans (or media) into a state of concern - but a great preseason for the Lions can make everyone excited for a successful season.

I guess that's a tell-tale sign of the biggest difference of a world class sports club.

PS - Liked your column in the OP today.

7:07 PM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

PS - I'll back your bet on the Rays getting beat by the White Sox. Their extra struggle will translate into turbo-adrenaline. You bet I'll back your bet - except I don't bet.

7:10 PM 
Blogger maddog52 said...

Book is there a better time in sports with all that is going on right now. I just love it. Problem is where the hell does one begin.

Lets start on them Tigers. I am disgusted by the last game against the White Sox, but after thsi year it is evident the Tigers needed this season to be over with 60 days ago. The problem I have with Leyland is the promise of thirdbase to Inge and the movement of Guillen back to LF. I like both guys. But personally I understand the want to deal Ordonez I think we'd be making a mistake. Teh guy I would try and deal if we could is Guillen. I just don't feel we need him. Also what the hell is the love for Inge. I like the glove, but what about Hessmen. Yeah he isn't A-Rod, but he hits with power and he is good with the glove. Why not give him a chance. I just don't think Inge and his .202 life time avg is worth keeping as a starter. Defensive replacement and or utility guy YES.. As far as Leyland personally who will replace him? Bottom line Tigers need to update the pitching. What about a guy like Solomon Torres? He is a FA I believe right? He'd be way cheaper the F-Rod.

Me I want the cubs vs angels. But I can see Baseball wanting LA vs BoSox for story line purposes. Can you deny that first round matchup of Angels vs BoSox. WOW!! Other then college football and the superbowl. The baseball playoffs have to be top 3 times of year for sports.

You know as the Pistons get started this preseason. Its interesting to see the comments come out on Flip. Now it isn't a surprise to hear the players didn't respect him. However, the way they are talking was Flip a can I say it GOOF? Maybe Curry being a former out spoken Player is what the Pistons needed. Kind of like an Army Drill Sargeant. Best Friend before you sign the recruitment papers. Nothing more then maggot once you step into the zone... LOL...

oh and watch the lions win this game against the bears and get everyones hopes up. it is very typical. If they win this game I will gurantee they beat Washington. Just to tease lions fans.

8:34 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think Leyland's comments recently may be our doom next season. How can you expect the team to show him respect. He threw his "ace" under the bus twice in the last couple of weeks. What kind of message is sending to the players. Leyland was upset when Grilli made the comments he made and now he's flapping his jaws. If he makes any more comments could Dombrowski decide that he doesn't need the hassle of a disgruntle manager and get rid of him now. I don't understand why Leyland doesn't understand why they gave him only one year, is he having a senior moment? He is as much to blame for this season as the players. It's time to buck up and take responsibility. We couldn't perform at our jobs the way the manager and his team did this season and then ask for a promotion. Dombrowski is doing to Leyland what they should have done with some of the other players. Do well and we will sign you for 2010. Maybe Dombrowski is trying to send a message. No more contract extensions and pay raises unless you perform and perform well and that means everyone, managers included. Cathy

11:36 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Well Pat, I do not know about you but the Tigers played unprepared or no energy baseball at the start of the season. I would not give JL another contract unless they win. I like JL he has a good baseball mind. JL starts out bad next year then replace him with another manager and find him a higher up position inside the Tiger Organization. JL knows a lot about baseball.

9:11 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

hollis keys,
It's got to be one or the other. Extent his contract or fire him. As is, is just going to be an issue from day one next year. Not a good situation for Leyland or the ball club.

10:43 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

hollis keys,
I think under the "L" column in the standings this season there will be less than 10 for the Wings this season.

10:44 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I'm with you about that. What kind of version is going to be there. Seemed like this season he kind of got too antsy and let the circumstances get to him where in 2006 and 2007 he was more of a cool hand at the wheel. His latest comments might get him fired. Certainly they did more toward that end than getting a contract extension.

10:46 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
I was thinking the same thing - a team on a roll because they had to fight their way into the playoffs.

10:47 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Torres is an interesting name. He was available last off season, or late in 2007 when the Tigers could have traded for relief help. Dombrowski likes to develop the bullpen from young power arms within the organization. He may have to bite the bullet, though, and pay some veteran relievers more than he'd like to.

10:49 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You're very perceptive on this. Leyland may have gone beyond the point of no return. It's the last thing anybody remembers about this season. It kind of showed up his bosses. He made things more difficult for himself and the club in the future.

10:51 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

What you wrote is very true about the start of the season. That does fall on Leyland. It's also true, though, that he was stuck with a poorly balanced team with high expectations because of the payroll. He didn't have many options to turn to with the pitching staff.

10:53 AM 
Anonymous Marty said...


Why does everone say that the Tigers need to pay Renteria $3M to buy out his contract? It was widely reported when Boston traded him to the Braves that Boston was on the hook for that money. Did Boston somehow get out of that deal, or were those reports incorrect?


3:21 PM 

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