By:  Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning

Well, we are approaching the end of the All Star break having watched, first of all, a much more entertaining Home Run Derby per the changes the league made to the format. Putting a clock on the competition really made things quite interesting.

The All Star Game, once again won by the American League, earned the AL home field advantage in the World Series.

Hopefully next season, the game will revert back to strictly a showcase of stars with no continued impact on the most important event in the sport; the Fall Classic.

Locally, Price and Iglesias especially, represented us well in the game, with Price doing his thing and Iggy showing the nation what we get to see every night; brilliance.

But let’s get down to business. Today, we address Part 2 of our 3 Part series: Dave Dombrowski. Hey, when you have a hot topic, you roll with it, right?

If you missed Part 1, be sure to catch it, so you can keep up with all the issues discussed in this series.

Let’s dive in to our next juicy topic.


1. What have been Dave’s best and worst signings as the Tigers’ GM?

Kurt – Dave’s best signing was Jim Leyland, who moved this franchise out of the abyss and gave them a seasoned manager who created an environment of discipline and clubhouse harmony, arming the Tigers with a fighting chance to contend almost every year he was here. The worst signing was the guy they have sitting in the chair today.

Holly – For the best, I will go all the way back to Pudge who was the first star to sign, reverse the trend of players avoiding Detroit and make the Tigers desirable again. As for the worst, it has to be JV’s contract extension that makes him the third highest-paid pitcher in all of MLB with 5 – 6 more years at #28M/year and taking him to age 37.

2. What have been Dave’s best and worst trades as the Tigers’ GM?

Kurt – The best trade may be the greatest in the franchise’s history with the deal that brought Miguel Cabrera to the Tigers. The worst comes down to the Doug Fister trade, but Dave missed it by only a season as Fister has begun his downturn in 2015.

Holly – The best trade was for Miggy – no explanation necessary. For the worst, it all seems to revolve around pitchers like Redman and Jurrjens, but I think Fister wins by a length.

3. Why is it that the bullpen is always an issue for Dave?

Kurt – Ironically, it has become a panic at recent trade deadlines to add bullpen pieces in exchange for pitchers from the farm that were not given half a chance all season. Starting pitching (Simon & Greene aside) has always been a drug for Dave, while the bullpen has been a season long, research project worked on by a procrastinating student, waiting until the deadline to finish it and see how it grades out.

Holly – A mystery for all the ages but I think he was too much in love with power starting pitchers that he couldn’t see that BP arms were just as important. But the bigger factor is that most bullpens tend to be home-grown and the Tigers had a bare farm system and were dependent upon other teams’ leftovers.

4. On a scale of 1 – 10, how would you rank Dave as the Tigers’ GM so far?

Kurt – I think Dave is a solid 8 and one of baseball’s best, with only his struggles to consistently build a solid bullpen keeping him from a higher rating. He’s had the luxury of time and money to get this town at least one champion, but bad luck and bullpen weakness have probably kept him up many nights.

Holly – Until the winter of 2013, I would have ranked him much higher. But I’d give him an 8.5 on trades, a 10 on making the Tigers relevant again, 7.5 on titles and post-seasons and a 1 on hiring Brad – an average of 6.75 overall.

5. Do you think Dave deserves to return next year?

Kurt – No, I don’t think he deserves it at all. The failure to address a clear bullpen need especially the last 2 seasons makes you wonder why he hasn’t adjusted. But by no means are there many, if any, of his pedigree out there to justify making a change.

Holly – Sadly no, because Dave has topped out – and actually regressing – failing to meet the raised bar which is a World Series ring. Just short of the third highest payroll in baseball, the Tigers are the only team out of the top 5 payroll teams to not have won a World Series.


  1. Great analysis you two. I especially liked Holly’s grading components for Dave – particularly how Brad Ausmus’s hiring affected his overall score. Not known however, is how much Mr. Illich influenced that hiring. My concern is about whether or not Dave deserves to return next year. Other than Al Avila Sr., who has the pedigree to assume the role of GM/Vice President?


  2. Thanks, Ray! I do remember reading Dave’s comments about Brad’s hiring process. It was Dave’s decision. He mentioned taking Ausmus to Mr. I’s house to introduce him and Mr. I signed off on Dave’s selection. As for other GMs, personally I think the job has already gone to AA, Sr. given his increased visibility and tv/radio interviews. But I’m hearing that a GM is about to be fired with others on the ledge. Time will tell. Thanks for your comments! – Holly


  3. Kurt and Holly – thanks for taking care of my “no baseball fix” this week. Interesting slants. MY opinion..DD is a ventriloquist – witnessed him first hand day prior to Prince deal at Tiger Winter luncheon. Im DD backer though – I score him 8.5. Fiester turned ugly, Aumus-HUGE error!


  4. One more area on which I think you have to fault Dave is building a farm system. I don’t know if it is mostly bad drafts or a lack of good instruction down there, but even allowing for all the prospects the Tigers have traded off, it is remarkable how little first-rate talent has emerged from the system.


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