General manager Dave Dombrowski (through 2015) and manager Jim Leyland (through 2012) both had their contracts extended yesterday by the Detroit Tigers, ensuring that the masterminds behind the only record in the AL Central to be above .500 remain together until at least the end of next year.

I tend to have a “meh” attitude about Leyland’s extension. I’m sure there are Tigers fans who think he’s a moron, just as I’m certain there are Tigers fans who think he’s a genius. The same probably holds true for any manager on any team in baseball. And it’s somewhat fitting, because over the course of a season, how many games does a manager really win or lose for their team?

Dombrowski on the other hand is the man behind the Dontrelle Willis three year, $29 million extension.

The Tigers’ success, which is a relative term, relative to the rest of the terrible, terrible, terrible American League Central, can’t be looked at as an isolated event when deciding whether or not to sign the team’s general manager to a new contract. Yes, the Tigers could very well win their division this season, but where will that leave them for next year when they have almost $74 million of their payroll already committed and glaring holes at several different positions?

And that’s not even factoring in the arbitration pay outs expected for Max Scherzer, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson. Or the club options on Jose Valverde and Rick Porcello. It is, however, including the $13 million that will be spent on the rapidly declining skills of Victor Martinez who no longer benefits from his positional adjustment, meaning that four win above replacement seasons can now be scored as three wins above replacement.

Let’s try a little bit of an exercise here. Close your eyes and begin to remember all of the contracts that Dombrowski handed out, all of the bad trades he’s made. Think about signing Carlos Guillen to a contract extension. Think about trading Jair Jurrjens for Edgar Renteria. Think about the contract he gave Brandon Inge. Think about how he acquired Gary Sheffield. Now, wait for it, imagine that he did all this in the American League East.

The Baltimore Orioles would more than likely have some serious competition for the next five years.

And The Rest

Shane Victorino got suspended for three games because of this:

Yonder Alonso is so desperate to find a position on the Major League roster that he’s even taking grounders at third base.

That may be unfortunate news for Kevin Youkilis who will be heartbroken to learn he doesn’t have a spot in Cincinnati.

Jose Reyes will be out at least two weeks and perhaps a few million dollars this coming offseason due to an injured hamstring.

Let’s lose our minds because C.C. Sabathia has had a couple of bad starts against the Boston Red Sox.

San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy saw a hypnotist as a means of overcoming an addiction to chewing tobacco. If only the hypnotist could hit.

Shane Victorino is doing a’ight at the plate this year, but Roy Oswalt is far more vicious with a bat.

Washington Nationals relievers Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen are the best of friends:

Lookie, lookie, we did another one of those live stream things. This is the full tilt version, but highlights are available on the MLB Video page.

Comments (9)

  1. Just remember… you only have to be as good as your division. Which, the Tigers are.

  2. A little selective on the history of Dombrowski, no? Dude has made some good trades as well. Ugueth Urbina’s prison sentence for Placido Polanco. Ramon Santiago for Carlos Guillen. Maybin/Miller/a pile of crap for Miguel Cabrera (yes, there was the Dontrelle Willis Tax, but still). He also got some decent seasons out of Ivan Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez free agent-wise, and drafted the likes of Curtis Granderson, Justin Verlander, Jacob Turner, Brennan Boesch etc. It hasn’t all been wine and roses, but this was a team that had 3 straight 100+ loss seasons not so long ago. In the AL Central.

    • I think the negatives far outweigh the positives. Even when he does a positive move, he quickly negates it. Acquires Willis as part of Cabrera deal, and gives him an extension. Hanging on to Ordonez at way over market value this year, despite his obvious decline. Drafted Curtis Granderson, but ends up trading him for essentially a player he could’ve drafted in Austin Jackson. Good upcoming prospects, and he deals Francisco Martinez, Casper Wells, Charlie Furbush, and Chance Ruffin for two pitchers at the height of their value and bound for regression. He’s simply not a good GM.

  3. ChrisDTX layin’ down the law on you Parkes. Nice lop-sided argument.

  4. This feels very much like the “Well, Jack Morris just pitched to the score” kind of argument. On the one hand, yes, DD’s made some very silly moves along with his good ones. Whether he made them a) because he’s not a very good GM or b) because he knew he had more margin for error being in the AAAA American League Central is, in the end, basically impossible to say.

    Let’s just let the city of Detroit have its pennant. It needs it.

    • Only, it makes no sense for Jack Morris to pitch to the score, just as it makes no sense for a GM to not improve his team as much as possible regardless of division.

  5. Dustin, I bet Dombrowski would be really hurt by your takedown there… if he didn’t have an American League Pennant with which to dry his tears. Seriously, if the Jays had a GM who built a world series team we’d probably give him an extension. And I would definitely support it no matter how much he payed Dontrelle Willis. Which isn’t to say he’s a good GM, just that there are extenuating circumstances.

    Best line from that Sabathia article: “Sabathia, who is still the favorite for the AL Cy Young.” Maybe the AL East Cy Young – homerism is where its at.

  6. As to your last comment there, I’ve been wondering this since I started reading this blog – do you honestly believe that a pitcher approaches every inning and every at bat the same way? Or is it just a matter of these blips evening out over the course of a 162 game (or 40 start) season?
    Because there is no doubt in my mind that sometimes pitchers DO pitch to the score, just like I’ve seen pitchers get ruffled by aggressive baserunning. But I see the validity in that second point, that over the course of the season those numbers smooth out somewhat.

    • I talk about on the whole when it comes to pitchers. Is a guy going to throw more strikes to speed up a game in which his team is up by ten runs? Definitely. But this stuff has a way of evening out over 30 starts.

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