By: Jeff Riger
Just two days after getting swept by the Giants in the World Series, Detroit Tigers President and General Manager Dave Dombrowski stood at a podium at the Tiger Club at Comerica Park to announce that manager Jim Leyland would be back for his for his eighth season.
Did he know all along Leyland would be back?
“Well, my thought process had been that way, yes,” Dombrowski said.
Dombrowski then went on a five minute explanation as to why Leyland is the best skipper in the game and how fans’ perceptions of baseball and managers have changed over the years.
Below are some of the more interesting comments from Dombrowski.
On everybody second guessing-
“He’s a tremendous manager. It’s a tough one because the game is meant to be second guessed. That is how the game is meant to be played. One of my sisters has two kids, well, when she was younger she had no interest in baseball and sports and all that and now her kids play little league so she gives me advice all the time. That’s the beauty of the game but it can also frustrate.”
On the letters he gets on a daily basis ripping his skipper-
“Some of them are very sound but some of them are so outlandish you would just kind of say where does this even come from? And, it’s not like why did he pinch hit here or there? And that is the beauty of it because my sister thinks she knows more than me and she does in other things, but not necessarily in baseball.”
On the great skippers never agreeing with each other-
“If you had up here Jim Leyland, Tony Larussa, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and pick out some other senior manager that you wanted. You said here is the scenario, it’s a 2-2 game, 8th inning, there is nobody out, guys on first base, this is the pitcher, and you got this guy up. One of them might bunt, one might hit and run, one might steal and one might do nothing and none of them are wrong and everybody would have their reasons behind it. They would not be flying by the seat of their pants and that is what is so great about the game. And, you know who’s right? The one in which it works on that particular day in the fans minds. That’s how it is.”
On controversial sports radio-(is he talking about us?)
“I don’t listen — and no offense to some of the people here — but I don’t listen to the controversial talk radio show. I like to listen to sports, but I don’t listen to that. Somebody says ‘Well, why don’t you listen to that?’ Well, I say well they are trying to create controversy right? All of a sudden, someone will send me an email that is a friend of mine that says; ‘Do you know this guy said that about you?’ I say’no,’ and I don’t really want to know. Why should I let that bother me because the reality is when you start worrying about that too much you are in a lot of trouble? I think in Jim’s case … man, he works hard!”
Listen to entire segment below from Dombrowski — I promise it’s worth the five minutes.