DETROIT (CBS Detroit) — The Detroit Tigers introduced their newest addition on Monday, starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann.
Among those in attendance was team owner Mike Ilitch, who made a rare appearance and even spoke with the media during and after the press conference. Ilitch touched on many topics, but what people seemed most interested in was the situations surrounding Max Scherzer and Dave Dombrowski’s departures from the organization over the past year.READ MORE: Hispanic Heritage Month: Mexicantown Through Artist Eyes
Scherzer famously declined a $144 million contract extension offered by the Tigers in 2014. The gamble paid off as the Washington Nationals swept in and signed the Cy Young winner to a whopping seven-year, $210 million deal.
Ilitch said Monday that Scherzer and the Tigers didn’t stop talking about a contract extension even after he refused to accept the initial offer from the team.
“We made him an offer and it looked like he was going to take it, then all of the sudden he wanted a little bit more and it was a great number,” Ilitch told reporters. “It irked me a little bit. I figured, ‘how much do you want? I just asked you what you wanted.’ Then he tells me he wants more.”READ MORE: United Airlines Facing Record $1.9 Million Fine For Extended Delays
As for the former general manager, Ilitch made it abundantly clear that he wanted a new person in charge of his team after Dombrowski failed to get the Tigers a World Series Championship.
“I didn’t win with him,” Ilitch said. “We were close, he’s a great guy, but there’s times that you have to change. [If] you’re not winning, you have to change. So I made up my mind — I have to change. So I called him and I told him like a gentleman.”
Dombrowski even knew he wasn’t going to come back, Ilitch said, but the owner still allowed him to “do his work,” which included trading away David Price, Yoenis Cespedes and Joakim Soria at the trade deadline.MORE NEWS: Ford Recalls Mustang Mach-E For Windshield, Sunroof Issues
“I wanted to win and I figured I needed to try to get somebody else,” Ilitch said.