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 Did Ilitch get mad at DD?

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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:32 am

Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Lynn Henning
Tigers GM staying patient
Dombrowski: Better play, more wins yet to come


DETROIT -- If you know Dave Dombrowski or have heard him speak extensively, in your mind you can recall his voice and all its inflections.

Tuesday's conversation was revealing. There was not the customary bounce, the crackle, nor, probably, should there have been.

His voice was serious and measured. It was audio that fit the visuals from a bad first two weeks of baseball in Detroit.

Dombrowski heads a Detroit Tigers team that was supposed to maintain steam as a national story once the regular season started. And a coast-to-coast story the Tigers certainly have been. No one in baseball seems able to figure out how the Tigers lost 10 of their first 12 games and looked so gosh-awful in doing it.

The Tigers had not hit until slipping the handcuffs during Monday night's come-from-behind victory over the Twins at Comerica Park. The pitching has been a bit of a mess in the early going, with the big surprise there the trials of manager Jim Leyland's starting rotation, particularly Dontrelle Willis. Defense has been another issue, as have -- you might have heard this one before -- injuries.

Throw all of the above into a blender and you have a recipe for one vile batch of baseball.

The only thing that makes it all doubly distasteful for Detroit's audience, not to mention a president and general manager named Dombrowski, is that the Tigers have the uneasy distinction of carrying baseball's second-highest payroll: $138.7 million

One can imagine the conversations Dombrowski has had with owner Mike Ilitch, who, like the fans who are going to set an attendance record well past the 3-million mark in 2008, expected a different start.

Dombrowski would not discuss Tuesday any dialogue with Ilitch. He did talk about the ugly start, which he believes should be kept in perspective when a season spans six months and 162 games.

"To me, we haven't played good ball this year, and we're a better ballclub than that," he said, speaking from his office at Comerica Park. "We've just struggled. I've seen it happen with many clubs over the years. At the start of the season, it's magnified.

"Hopefully, as the season goes on, the team will perform like the good ballclub it is."

Bullpen not biggest thorn
Dombrowski has already been second-guessed plenty by fans who have their points. Not among the valid criticisms, in this view, are suggestions the Tigers should have or could have stocked their bullpen with surplus arms beyond the point they had already added relievers for 2008.

Denny Bautista and Francisco Cruceta had been brought aboard for prices (players offered in trade or free-agent money paid) the team could justify. Other pitchers on the market (see Eric Gagne) were either ridiculously expensive or uncertain improvements or both.

Spring camp should have been reasonably smooth. It was not. Fernando Rodney's ominous arm troubles (today's examination in Birmingham, Ala., has the entire organization nervous) could not have been forecasted anymore than Cruceta's visa problems that kept him out of spring training.

Still, the bullpen, for all its moments early in April, has not been the team's biggest problem. Too many hitters have been no-shows and the starting pitching has been a serious letdown, easily the most alarming aspect from the first month's first half.

Confidence not lost
Willis is front and center there. He has not had a clue this month where his fastball is going, and now is on the disabled list, which might, in an ironic way, be to his advantage. There will be rehabilitation starts in the minor leagues. They could give him time and some cushion to get back on track.

Fans are right to wonder, though, why it was so essential to sign Willis to a two-year extension that pays him $22 million spanning 2009 and 2010.

Why the rush when Willis had been having control problems and pitching issues last season for the Florida Marlins?

"When we acquired him, he was a quality big-league pitcher who had a down year last season," Dombrowski said Tuesday. "But even considering last year, if that was a worst-case scenario, we would still be in a position where that deal (extension) made financial sense.

"We were getting a 200-innings (per season) pitcher, a left-handed starter, and the upside from obtaining a pitcher like that, of course, made for a very good situation for us.

"Really, you make that decision when you make the trade," Dombrowski said of the extension.

"If you make the trade and didn't feel he would pitch well for you, you wouldn't have included him in the trade (Miguel Cabrera, of course, also came to Detroit) to begin with."

If Dombrowski was worried, he never let on during Tuesday's conversation.

"Many of the guys who have started slow this year have a track record," he said. "I think you just have to wait and see beyond a two-week period.

"That's why this game is very difficult to play. This is not a sprint. It's a long session out there. People have a tendency to over-react to things, positively and negatively."
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:37 am

I think Ilitch got mad at DD. That's what i read between the lines somehow. Well... i could understand if he did.

He opens up the big big wallet and then has to watch his team play like they have the first couple of games. DD definitely had to calm Mike down.

Mike: Suicide DD: BLAH!

Mike: grouch DD: BLAH!

Mike: rant DD: Sorry

Mike: puke DD: Hug

Mike: Suspect DD: Cheers 2

Mike and DD: Drunk Drunk
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:33 am

very well said! applaud
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:59 pm

Ilitch wants that World Series Ring
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Thu Apr 17, 2008 1:01 pm

swiss_tiger wrote:
I think Ilitch got mad at DD. That's what i read between the lines somehow. Well... i could understand if he did.

He opens up the big big wallet and then has to watch his team play like they have the first couple of games. DD definitely had to calm Mike down.

Mike: Suicide DD: BLAH!

Mike: grouch DD: BLAH!

Mike: rant DD: Sorry

Mike: puke DD: Hug

Mike: Suspect DD: Cheers 2

Mike and DD: Drunk Drunk

I like the way you talk....
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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:43 pm

priceless! Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:33 pm

swiss_tiger wrote:
I think Ilitch got mad at DD. That's what i read between the lines somehow. Well... i could understand if he did.

He opens up the big big wallet and then has to watch his team play like they have the first couple of games. DD definitely had to calm Mike down.

Mike: Suicide DD: BLAH!

Mike: grouch DD: BLAH!

Mike: rant DD: Sorry

Mike: puke DD: Hug

Mike: Suspect DD: Cheers 2

Mike and DD: Drunk Drunk

LMAO LMAO
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laprimamirala
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:00 pm

Swiss was priceless on that one! Big Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Thu Apr 17, 2008 7:31 pm

swiss_tiger wrote:
I think Ilitch got mad at DD. That's what i read between the lines somehow. Well... i could understand if he did.

He opens up the big big wallet and then has to watch his team play like they have the first couple of games. DD definitely had to calm Mike down.

Mike: Suicide DD: BLAH!

Mike: grouch DD: BLAH!

Mike: rant DD: Sorry

Mike: puke DD: Hug

Mike: Suspect DD: Cheers 2

Mike and DD: Drunk Drunk

omg LMAO
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tigersaint
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PostSubject: Re: Did Ilitch get mad at DD?   Fri Apr 18, 2008 11:42 am

Saint: lol!
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