Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski held a “media availability” session with reporters Thursday to discuss the end of the Tigers’ season. Apparently, this was not a press conference, as those are called such when an announcement is to be made. Seems like semantics to me, but no major announcements were made, so…
MLB.com’s Jason Beck was there, and he is reporting that Dombrowski touched on the Cabrera situation a bit, saying that he (Dombrowski) was upset when he got the phone call to come and pick up his player, but that it certainly wasn’t the first time in his 20 years as a GM that he has had to do that.
He went on to say that he is confident that Cabrera will use the offseason to deal with the problems that he has. There is more in Beck’s article, but this really seems like a non-issue to me. Cabrera screwed up, no one is debating that, but his place on the team is secure for the next six seasons at least. He just needs to adhere to the rules set down once by a former coach of mine; Be on time, work hard, and keep your name out of the paper. If he does that, MVP awards will follow.
Dombrowski used this session to discuss the team’s failure to win the Central, but he didn’t seem surprised. “The effort was there,” Dombrowski said. “I really didn’t think we’d win a lot more games than 86 games this year. I mean, really, that’s really about where I thought like our club’s capabilities were at the time, in that neighborhood. For a long time, I thought 86 wins was going to win our division. Unfortunately, I was wrong, 87 won. I tip my cap to the Twins. They played great.”
As for the potential of bringing back the Tigers’ impending free agents, the Free Press’ John Lowe reportsthat Dombrowski said he would like to bring all of them back, including mid-season acquisitions Aubrey Huff and Jarrod Washburn, but it’s unlikely that they would all return.
The News has some other tidbits from the meeting, noting that Dombrowski addressed Curtis Granderson’s role as a leadoff hitter. “The Curtis Granderson from this year is not the leadoff hitter I would have anticipated. I’m very hopeful that we can revert him back to the kind of hitter he was.”
The biggest news may have been that Dombrowski seemed content in thinking that Placido Polanco may well have played his final game in Detroit. While he did say that the Tigers would like to bring him back, he spoke highly of prospect Scott Sizemore, saying he feels Sizemore is ready to play at the major league level. “No matter what happens, Polly has been a wonderful player and person.” Sounds like well-wishing to me.
Dombrowski called Lloyd McClendon a “very good hitting coach.” He did say that the team has not yet completed talks with manager Jim Leyland as far as his coaching staff, and would not say that all of this year’s coaches would return.
So, as you can see, that’s why it was not a press conference, as nothing major really came out of it. We may have gotten some insight into the Polanco and McClendon situations if we can read between the lines. It sounds like Polly will move along, and Legendary Lloyd might stick around. Other than that, we will have to wait and see.