Dombrowski: No contract disagreement, just an ownership decision

Just got off the phone with Dave Dombrowski, who’s apparently doing interviews individually after yesterday’s move by the Tigers to part ways with him. He shed some light on how things unfolded, what led up to the move and what’s next.

For starters, he said, there wasn’t a dispute over contract terms, nor was there ultimatum on his part to clear up his status. He said there weren’t any talk about a new contract or his status until he got a call from owner Mike Ilitch on Tuesday to let him go.

“It’s pretty simple,” Dombrowski said. “Mike Ilitch let me know yesterday they were going with a different leadership direction.”

The longer his situation went unresolved, he said, the more he suspected that would be the case. Still, he said, when he made last week’s trades of David Price, Joakim Soria and Yoenis Cespedes for prospects, he did so without any idea whether he would be around to see the results.

“I didn’t make [the deals] with any expectations other than I felt it was the best thing for the organization,” he said. “My feeling in my heart was that we were not going to win a championship.”

If he knew then that this was coming, he said, he would not change a thing.

“I will always hold my head high,” he said, “that every day I did what I felt was best for the organization.”

Thus ended what turned out to be his final chance to win a World Series title for Ilitch, which will end up his biggest regret of his tenure. At the same time, he said, he leaves with plenty of memories from an organizational turnaround that saw the Tigers rise from doormat to perennial contender.

“Fourteen years is a long time,” he said, “and when you look back, there’s a lot of great memories. We started out with tough times … but we were very successful. I enjoyed my time here.”

As for the fact that his longtime top assistant, Al Avila, replaced him, Dombrowski said he’s happy that he’s getting his shot.

“I’m very happy for Al,” Dombrowski said. “He’s been very loyal. If it’s not going to be me, I’m happy it’s him.”

Dombrowski downplayed speculation that he could take assistants with him to his next stop, noting that the group of assistants he has kept together over the years has worked well together and should continue to do so under Avila. He knows a lot of people in the game, and can build a new front-office group.

On that note, he said, he does not have anything lined up, but he wants to stay involved in the game, preferably at the club level. He’s willing to take time off if the right opportunity doesn’t come up, but sounded like he’d prefer to get back to work sooner rather than later.

“I’m sure I’ll be back somewhere,” he said. “I’m not sure when that’ll be.”

16 Comments

And we all know how tight-lipped DD can be.
I wish Dave well, people can’t deny the good he has done through the years.
Why does human nature seem to focus on the negative?

I just want to say I am not accusing any one person of being negative, I take my shots too.

Lineup vs. KC: Gose 8, Iglesias 6, Kinsler 4, V. Martinez DH, J. Martinez 9, Castellanos 5, Collins 7, Marte 3, McCann 2. Boyd starts.

Hiring Trammell while unable to win and firing him to replace him with JL when the team was ready was whose idea?
Or is the way business are conducted there of was DD setting the precedent?Probably the former:Sparky, the fail to retire Lou and Trammell numbers,the press release about Scherzer.
I have said too may times, in the long run all GM are equal. The highway robberies were compensated by bad trades. In the end, the balance is positive and it was a good ride while it lasted.

In its simplest terms, it appears that Mr. I was thinking reboot and Dave was thinking sell. Fancy terminology and misunderstandings of the meaning.

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Surprised not to see Avila t 1st today.

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Re Alex not at first, It would have been over the top Dan.

My favorite memory of Dave’s tenure will always be October 14, 2006. I was there!

DD’s record speaks for itself.

Not all GMs are equal.

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Miguel told no need to rush. So much for the still contending

My question is who is going to take Avila place?

am a bit surprised. Dombrowski’s tenure was long and very good. if truly the explanation was only ‘we want to go in a different direction,’ seems too little feedback for a former highly valued employee. hiring Dombrowski’s right hand man also does not exactly qualify as much of a change in direction either.

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