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 Dombrowski on Cabrera, Polanco, coaching staff, etc.

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PostSubject: Dombrowski on Cabrera, Polanco, coaching staff, etc.   Thu Oct 08, 2009 6:00 pm

Dombrowski on Cabrera, Polanco, coaching staff, etc.
Jason Beck / MLB.com
Posted on October 8, 2009 at 1:20 PM

As expected, LOTS of stuff coming out of Thursday's year-end media availability (no, it's not a press conference) with GM Dave Dombrowski, first among them the Miguel Cabrera situation, which sounds like it's being taken care of.

"We know he made a mistake. He knows he made a mistake," Dombrowski said. "And I feel he's going to take the steps."

After talking several times with Cabrera and his agent, Diego Bentz, Dombrowski said he's "very satisfied they are dealing with the issue that they need to address."

Asked about his emotions when it happened, Dombrowski pointed to the situation.

"One part of that is obvious," Dombrowski said. "You're at home at 7:30 in the morning and you get a call to come to the police station and pick up one of your players. Of course you're upset."

That said, he later added, "Even though you're upset, you have to give tough love."

As far as why Cabrera played after the incident Saturday, when he went hitless with two strikeouts and an inning-ending double play, Dombrowski said, "The feeling was at the time, he was capable of playing in the game."

Other matters:

* The opinions Dombrowski gave about the final few weeks of the season and the division lead that evaporated was very much a view of a team that didn't necessarily collapse, but a team that wasn't very good in the first place. "I never felt we had a powerhouse club," he said. "I felt we had a good club. We have a club with shortcomings."

* Later, Dombrowski said, "I really didn't think we'd win a lot more than 86 games this year. For a very long time, I thought 86 wins would win the division. Unfortunately, I was wrong, 87 won."

* More Dombrowski: "I don't think our club lacked for urgency whatsoever. But it was a club that was befuddling at times."

* No major changes were announced in the session, which was why they didn't label it a press conference. Dombrowski gave a vote of confidence to Lloyd McClendon, whom he called "a very good hitting coach." However, Dombrowski would not say that all of the coaches would be back, nor would he say there were changes coming. "We're not done with all those conversations," Dombrowski said, referring to his talks with manager Jim Leyland.

* In regards to moves, though Dombrowski hasn't yet talked about a budget with owner Mike Ilitch, he compared this coming offseason to last one, when the Tigers didn't go big into free agency and made more complementary moves. "It's really very similar to the challenge we faced last winter, to me," Dombrowski said. "It's a situation where you have to make wise decisions with some of our acquisitions. ... I would think there would be a lot of similarities at this time, and that's what we would look to do."

* Not a whole lot of insight on free agents, whether they could keep both Fernando Rodney and Brandon Lyon, and what it would take to bring back Placido Polanco. He stated the obvious, that they would not be able to keep all of their free agents. Keep in mind, Jarrod Washburn and Aubrey Huff are also free agents.

* Though he didn't get into the chances of resigning Polanco, he sounded very much like a GM who's prepared to move on and give prospect Scott Sizemore a shot unless they can get a reasonable deal done with Polanco. "We think he's ready to play," Dombrowski said. "He's a good hitter. He has a nice, short stroke. And he has more power than you think."

* By contrast at shortstop, Dombrowski said, "I don't think Cale Iorg is ready to play."

* Expect another rotation in the designated hitter role, rather than a full-time guy. "Most likely, we won't have a full-time DH," he said. "We have candidates, Ordonez and Guillen, who could DH."

* After the trio of Verlander, Porcello and Jackson, Dombrowski sounded like he expects to fill out the rest of the rotation internally. He expects Bonderman to be back in the rotation next season, that the stuff is back. He sees Galarraga and Robertson as candidates for the fifth spot. "I can't even exclude a guy like Eddie Bonine," Dombrowski said.

* Dombrowski supported the decision not to pitch Verlander or Porcello on short rest last Saturday. "We were never close," he said. "They both volunteered."

* He said in his 20 or so years as a Major League GM, he doesn't think he has ever had a young pitcher come back and pitch on three days rest. It isn't something I've had a chance to look up.

* On Porcello: "If he came back and pitched on three days rest, he's in a spot where if anything happened, you'd never forgive yourself."

* He still sees Granderson as a leadoff hitter, but he has to make some adjustments, especially against left-handed pitching. "We debate that all the time," he said. "The Curtis Granderson we saw this year was not an effective leadoff hitter."

* What surprised Dombrowski the most, he said, was that they finished last in the league in doubles.

* Part of the team's upgrade offensively is going to have to come from the players they have. He doesn't see anyone who had a career year at the plate, including Granderson despite his 30 home runs.

* Very telling remarks from Dombrowski on the future of their offense. He plans to have meetings with his staff about discipline at the plate, and how to improve that at all levels, not just in Detroit.

* Dombrowski: "We also have to realize there's been an adjustment in the game the last couple years. I don't think you can live and die with the home run all the time."

* Asked if they have an internal candidate at closer if they can't bring back Rodney or Lyon, he said they might. His remarks later seemed to be referring to Ryan Perry, though they haven't decided that. "Some people in our organization thought Perry was ready," he said.

* On Zumaya, Dombrowski cited doctors' opinions that he should be fine after surgery to get rid of the bone shard in his shoulder in August. "They think he should be able to throw the ball as well as he had this year [before getting hurt again]," Dombrowski said.


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PostSubject: Re: Dombrowski on Cabrera, Polanco, coaching staff, etc.   Fri Oct 09, 2009 9:15 pm



Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski spoke about the Miguel Cabrera situation on Thursday. (AP)

Dombrowski addresses Cabrera, offseason
Tigers GM confident that troubled slugger will resolve issues

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

10/08/09 4:42 PM ET

DETROIT -- Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said Thursday he was confident that Miguel Cabrera "will be dealing with the issues that he needs to address to take care of the problem that he has" after an altercation between Cabrera and his wife prompted a 911 call early Saturday morning.

Though Dombrowski didn't get into the specifics of his discussions with Cabrera and agent Diego Bentz, he said he was satisfied with what he heard. Cabrera, almost inconsolable after Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Twins in the American League Central tiebreaker, told reporters that he was going to get his life in order this offseason.

Police in the Detroit suburb of Birmingham took Cabrera into custody early Saturday, but he was not charged in regard to a fight with his wife that left scratches on both of them. Rosangel Cabrera called 911 around 6 a.m. that morning after her husband had returned home at 5 a.m. intoxicated and loud enough to wake up their four-year-old daughter.

According to the police report, officers couldn't determine whether Cabrera or his wife was the aggressor in the incident, and neither of them would explain their injuries. That, plus the fact that neither side wanted to press charges, meant no arrests could be made. Because Mrs. Cabrera wanted her husband to leave, however, police took him to the station. They wouldn't let him drive home afterward because he registered a .26 blood-alcohol level on a preliminary test, more than three times the legal limit.

Dombrowski picked Cabrera up from the police station later that morning. Asked about his emotions at the time, Dombrowski pointed to the situation.

"You're at home at 7:30 in the morning and you get a call from the police station to come and pick up one of your players," Dombrowski said. "This is not the first time this has happened to me in 20 years as a general manager. Of course, you're upset. You're not happy with that. But you also have to realize at the time, you have step-by-step issues in which you have to deal with things.

"First thing is, the person needs some sleep. Realistically, you're not going to have a logical conversation with somebody at that time of the morning. We have had numerous conversations with him and his representative. Major League Baseball, from when I first started to where I am now, and our organization, is in a situation where you have very good programs to deal with problems that take place, very thorough employee-assistance programs.

"I realize that when people do some things, sometimes they have a problem, and you have to deal with that problem. And sometimes, even though you're upset, you need to give tough love."

Cabrera was in the starting lineup on Saturday night, when the Tigers lost to the White Sox, 5-1. He went 0-for-4 and hit into a bases-loaded double play that thwarted an eighth-inning rally, continuing a slump that had reached 0-for-14 before he doubled and homered in Tuesday's loss to the Twins.

"On Saturday, when he played, the feeling was that at the time, he was capable of playing in the game," Dombrowski said. "That was really the decision that was made."

Dombrowski's remarks were part of his annual end-of-season session with local media at Comerica Park, a session he didn't expect to be having so soon. Detroit became the first team in Major League history to lead its division or league by three games with four games to play and lose it at the end. It also became the first team to lead its division or league from May 10 until the season's final week and lose.

Dombrowski's remarks made it clear he saw this as less of a collapse by the Tigers and more about a good, but flawed, team that lost out when the Twins went 17-4 down the stretch.

"I've said all along, I never thought we had a powerhouse club," Dombrowski said. "I thought we had a good club, but we had a club that had shortcomings attached to it. To me, our biggest shortcoming was the offensive part of the ballclub.

"The majority of the games which we lost, you could almost write the same story. ... Normally we pitched well. Normally we played good defense. We didn't score enough runs."

Given what he expected his club to do with those faults, his club actually performed to expectations.

"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 how the Tigers will address those issues this offseason, Dombrowski suggested his club could have the same approach as last winter, trying to make decisions with finances in mind for a roster that has a lot of money tied up in guaranteed contracts.

"It's really very similar to the challenge we faced last year," Dombrowski said. "We had a lot [of money] tied up last year, too, coming into the wintertime. We knew we were going to have to be wise with our decisions. Now, I haven't had conversations with [owner Mike Ilitch], so I don't know what his direction may be. But it's a situation where you have to make wise decisions.

"And when you look at some of the acquisitions that we made, they worked out well for us. They were not necessarily moves that everybody looked at as being high profile at the time, but they were moves that helped us. And I would think that there would be a lot of similarities at this time, and that's what we would look to do -- although, again, those final decisions haven't been made."

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


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PostSubject: Re: Dombrowski on Cabrera, Polanco, coaching staff, etc.   Sat Oct 10, 2009 2:39 am

Glad to hear McClendon will be back Rolling Eyes


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PostSubject: Re: Dombrowski on Cabrera, Polanco, coaching staff, etc.   Sat Oct 10, 2009 9:14 am

catbox_9 wrote:
Glad to hear McClendon will be back

He is the 1st person I would have canned!


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