It's not THAT kind of talk

Jason Beck / MLB.com

After a day to try to get over Tuesday’s loss, Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski is going to talk with the media Thursday morning. However, media relations is emphasizing, it’s NOT a press conference. It’s a media availability. A press conference after the end of a season, of course, usually means that something’s going down. At the moment, that does not appear to be the case, at least not for anything big enough to warrant a press conference.

Nonetheless, what Dombrowski says Thursday should be very interesting. He didn’t say a whole lot during September, so we don’t know a lot about his views on the division lead that slipped away. We can gather his feelings on the Miguel Cabrera situation. He has been pretty up-front about his opinions at past seasons’ end, especially last year.

21 Comments

Jason – do you have any idea what time this “media availability” is going to be and if it will be aired on radio or television?? Thanks for everything all year.

Yeah, DD needs to talk about the Cabrera situation. With the season unfortunately ending as it did, you can’t skip town under a barrage of “no comments” and let this fester all winter. As it is, I’m afraid Miguel has painted a big bullseye on his back, and the vitriol hurled at Sheffield may end up looking like a lovefest in comparison.
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–Rich

Jason’s first sentence “after a day ti try…..” Today, it doesn’t feel like I can move one foot in front of the other. Just a terrible sadness. We have to look forward, but I sure wish we could still change the ending.

How do you descibe the season other than just a page of what if’s. Not surprising that one of a never ending series of close games would finally bite the team and us in the backside.
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Rich, you beat me to the point on payroll with the Tigs having the Divisions 4th lowest opening day payroll in 2004 with $46.8m, the second highest from 2005-2007 and easily the highest the past two years with $137.7m and $115.1m. Interestingly, the Twins were 2nd highest in 2004 with $53.6m to the lowest in 2009 barely moving up with $65.3m. I don’t even want to do a comparison in results the past 10 or more years which would really be depressing.
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JL has always coached underdog teams – Pirates, Marlins, Rockies and now the Tigs and no doubt his past limited success has come with teams having no expectations and giving free reign to young talent. The 97 WC Marlins for example won from the wildcard and then finished last the following year.
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Regarding sac bunts, yes the team was 2nd in the AL which is not surprising given JL’s NL grounding, but still 24 of 30 in MLB.
The team was 11 of 14 for Sac. Flies or 24/30.
For stolen bases, the team had 72 all year being 14 of 14 in AL and 27 of 30 in MLB. JL’s comments that you are what you are seems incongruous when looking at Thomas and Kelly’s individual stats. Thomas had 3 stolen bases, no caught from being on 1st & 2nd 89 times, roughly one in 30 steal opportunities. Thomas at Toledo this year went 18 SB’s with 3 caught from 75 opportunities or roughly 1 in 4. Kelly had 1 SB, 0 caught from 17 opportunities yet went 27 SB’s, 4 caught at Toledo from 154 opportunities or roughly 1 in 5. JL seemed to get his mindset in a rutt similar to the offense.
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I hope DD talks a bit about likely changes. 2010 is not looking good when you consider the Tigs have $99.6m committed for only 9 players – Miggs $20m; Maggs $18m; Carlos $13m; Bondo $12.5m; Willis $12m; Nate $10m; Inge $6.6m; Curtis $5.5m and Ricky $2m. Yes, there are many names missing up for arbitration apart from the 4 free agents Rodney, Polly, Everett and Lyon.
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Finding it real hard to watch any baseball apart from the Rockies who I have a soft spot for. Geez, what is it about this underdog thing??

Sorry for typo – team went 18 of 30 for sac bunts. :-)

Jason, many thanks again for another year keeping us well informed and I particularly enjoyed your regular behind the scenes “human empathy type” listings.
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I hope you keep posting through the off season that kept junkies like me sustained last year through to spring.

Yes, thank you, Jason for everything.
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I’ve been numb all day and finally letting the tears flow. I know in the big picture it’s only baseball. But the Lions going 0-16 was only football, the Red Wings choking in the SC finals was only hockey and trading Chauncey for Iverson was only basketball. At least I’m not a Michigan fan.
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I swore I wasn’t going to watch the playoffs until this weekend, but I find myself in front of the Twins/NYY game right now as I try to catch up on some work. I’m a glutton for punishment, I guess.
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I gave myself one day to wallow, and hope to feel better tomorrow. It was a tough day at the office- I felt like a young widow as everyone made a point to tell me they were sorry. One of our attorneys (Red Sox fan) even asked me if I needed a hug. That at least gives me a chuckle now as I type it.
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I’ve really enjoyed sharing this season with you all. Hopefully we will have some happy things to chat about soon.

-Tracey

Hopefully, it’s only about baseball and not people’s personal lives.

Unless Jim decides he wants to spend more time with his family!

Rich, you were right about the statement that “we should be happy since the current team is better than the ones fielded from 1995-2005″ doesn’t carry much weight to it. Another point I’ve seen a lot of people trying to defend is that a lot of the experts predicted the Tigers to finish in the middle of the pack at best, so we should be happy we exceeded expectations. It seems like those people forget that just the season before, a lot of experts predicted the Tigers in the World Series and JL led us to the cellar. It’s easy to outperform expectations when you’ve lowered the bar as far as last year’s disappointing team did. The bottom line is that when you’re paying as much as the Tigers are to put a winner on the field, you need to produce (why do you think the Yankees got rid of Torre?).

Thanks Dave B. I appreciate you including me. I’ve been blogging here a long time but there are people here who really know the game. You listed most of them. And there are passionate fans too. I just try to be as entertaining as I can which doesn’t always work. If I had a nickle for every time I ill-advisedly hit the submit button I’d have some nickles.
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Just want to let you all know I feel as sad and numb as you do. It’s been a tough day. I don’t know how we let ourselves get so wound up over a baseball team but we do. It’s inexplicable really…. Not in any rational terms anyway. It’s baseball. It lifts you to the highest high, but can break your heart just as often. The team becomes an extension of our very heart and soul. Too much so really. That awful gut feeling you get in a game when you can just see disaster coming on the next pitch. (like last night for instance) But we keep coming back for more. It’s just such a great game. Last night’s game was a microcosm of the whole season. I think someone said that already. And I can’t add much to what’s already been said. A lot of great post game/season comments.
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I think life’s lessons are better learned in losing than winning. That’s not a cop out or anything. I hate losing. But dealing with loss is like steel being refined in a fire. It hurts a lot but it makes us stronger in the end. It teaches us to appreciate winning that much more. It’s what I think makes Tiger fans truer fans than say the average Yankee fan. To them winning is not so much a reward for perseverance and loyalty but rather an expectation. I don’t think there exists the same kind of passion. Just my opinion….
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Anyway, I’ve got some thoughts and I still look forward to reading all of yours. I guess I’m done for now. Hang in there blogging Tiger friends. And thanks Jason for providing this forum for good banter and discussion. You are an excellent writer and always professional. Never editorializing. Never disrespectful of the players or management. Always supportive. Tomorrow is always a new day. One last thought, I work with mostly Yankee fans and, really, most of them were feeling badly for me today. Haven’t thought about who I’ll root for in the playoffs.

The comments from the regulars really help – it always amazes me how this Blog site keeps it’s level of decorum, humility and humour when comments on the MLB/Tiger main websites reminds me of Amageddon. We are fortunate to have three regular female posters – Tracey, Tigergirl and Westcoast whose postings always contrast from us male armchair critics.
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Marty, your comment about ill-advisedly hitting the submit button is so true. What is worse, when it hangs on your computer and you hope like hell it freezes and isn’t sent. Isn’t it amazing how your bad posts go and your good posts get lost?? :-)

I think there might be 2 Dave B’s on this site. I work with a Dave B. My freinds and wife call me Brown as there are too many Dave’s. I think I will write a song about these are the Daves I know I know…..sorry, back to baseball, the greatest game. Is it hot stove time yet? We need a catcher that can hit! Dave_B2008, thanks for the stats. In my lifetime I don’t remember a catcher bunting very much, other than Pudge. I wonder how many times Lance Parrish bunted! We don’t need Rodney or Everett. Oh Yeah, we need a manager.

I’m a girl, too!

I need to respond to this:
Rich, you were right about the statement that “we should be happy since the current team is better than the ones fielded from 1995-2005″ doesn’t carry much weight to it.
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I was responding to someone who stated that the last 4 years of autumn depression in Motown are because of Jim Leyland. Do Tiger fans really agree with that statement? I sure don’t. I have enjoyed this team immensely.
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And Rich sure answered his point well, sadly it was not what I wrote. I said the depressing years were 95-05. I never said be happy with the current team, there is always room for improvement. I hope Avilia progresses to a point where he can catch 50% of the time next year. I hope someone pushes Inge at 3B, he cannot fall back into those terrible habits at the plate. I hope Granderson focuses on hitting left handers. GO TIGERS. See you in Lakeland.

Fair enough, Portwinelad. Many others, obviously not you, have always said “at least it’s not 2003″ and I’ve developed a knee jerk reaction to that. I’m glad you came back and cleared it up.
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I don’t think Leyland does a good job, but despite that, we have a fairly competitive team here. I don’t know which is the correct term; enjoying it or it holds one’s interest or my own moniker, the best reality show on TV. Although it’s been a frustrating year, I think we would have snapped off our TVs, computers, and stayed away from the ballpark if it wasn’t fun in some strange way. I suppose the depression part comes in from losing the division in the second (autumn) half of 3 of the last 4 seasons, and fading away completely in the second half of 2008.
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On this subject, the game Tuesday night must have been a riveting drama for neutral observers. For us it was a nightmare. As an example, I usually watch a game quietly and if my wife is also watching, I make little comments about small things, the not so obvious events that are happening on the field that shape a ballgame. Tuesday night I turned into a raving maniac. When Raburn failed to catch that ball in the 9th, I believe my comments were something like “(expletive expletive) Raburn, what (expletive) are you doing? (expletive expletive) Take the (expletive) ball on a hop, (expletive) and hold him to a (expletive) single, (expletive expletive expletive)!!!!!! She went to bed shortly after that. :-)
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–Rich

Forgot to add, I expect DD’s comments today will give us plenty to discuss.
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–Rich

Add my thanks to Jason for providing his writing and for his regular blog posts. I can always look here for the latest information, unlike the blogs for the other teams I follow. And the comments are always respectful and thoughtful..

Marty’s comment about baseball being an extension of our heart & soul was right on. I lost may father this March unexpectedly. (The first game he took me to was Tigers vs. Red Sox, Lolich vs. Tiant.) As this season started, I watched the A’s beat the Angels in a pitcher’s duel, and I went to sleep feeling very calm and peaceful, thinking how comforting baseball will be for me this year after losing my dad. I thought about how impressive the pitchers were, especially that kid Nick Adenhart. I was shaken to the core when I woke up to hear that Adenhart had been killed. So I’m pulling for the Angels to go all the way. – JP

Suddenly today, there are a barrage of pro-Jim Leyland articles and columns in the local paper. What’s going on here? Every single one of these guys are saying the same thing with different words.
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And every single one of them is missing the point.
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Now, maybe they don’t know as much about baseball as they should, considering they also have to cover other sports. Maybe there’s some pressure on them from management. It’s hard to believe that not one has been critical. This is reporting?
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Throw Tuesday’s in-game decisions out the window, that has nothing to do with anything. Likewise throw out this year’s collapse/choke as an isolated event. Look at the entire picture, not just selected pixels in order to make your point.
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Each and every one of these guys has shifted the blame in various directions, but all away from Leyland. And each point they made signifies a problem that goes back to the manager of a baseball team.
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I’m not going to waste time (without compensation) in listing everything Leyland has done wrong. It’s all been written down already, here in four years of blog comments. Read ‘em.
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–Rich

Rich – I like the commentary on how you watched the game when Raburn misplayed that ball – I am guessing many of us had the same type of reaction! My best reaction was when Don Kelly slide home and was safe – I jumped up and yelled “safe” and did the arm motions – all while trying to stay quite as to not wake my kids! My husband was in the other room, so no comment on how official I looked!

Am interested to hear what DD has to say today.

Lastly I need to state that I enjoy this forum very much. It is obvious Tigers fans are very knowledgeable and passionate. Rich and Dave and Tiger Girl have a great sense for the game and good passion for the Tigers. I love MLB.com as a Michigander living in the South it is great to watch MORE games than my friends in West Michigan.
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Leyland is not the best manager ever. I think his shelf life in Detroit is nearing the end. It is smart to develop someone in the minors (Durham, Parrish) that can step up in Detroit in a year or two. But what I see for the Tigers is a roster still built for 2008 in a lot of ways (Guillen, Inge, Robertson will be there next year, don’t kid yourself). In that respect, Leyland is the best person for this job currently. Hopefully our talent still evolves and our nucleus grows. Our drafts have been very good lately. It is a great time to be a Tiger.

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