by: Holly Horning
With Al Avila having assumed the GM post 5 months ago, it will be interesting to see how he differs from his predecessor.
One of the issues to judge is his communication style. Will he do a better job getting on the same page as Mr. I? Time will tell.
Enjoy this post from early November and keep it in mind as we go through the coming season.
Everyone knows that successful organizations reach their goals because they identify what they want, create a strategy for achieving it, define the steps and work towards meeting the necessary goals. Understood in this entire process is that it only works when there is good, clear and constant communication between all parties.
We all know the ultimate goal of the Tigers. But did ownership and the Front Office follow the other two rules as listed above? It’s appeared less likely over the past couple of years.
Of greater concern is the increasing number of what is perceived to be communication gaffes seen between Mr. I and his Front Office going back to 2013 – and even beyond.
Are the Tiger decision-makers no longer on the same page? Are they getting in each other’s way? Are they making assumptions about each other’s priorities?
Let’s identify some of the major conflicts characterized by questionable communication breakdowns as reported by multiple media outlets.
Keep in mind that some of these reports will be true and some false, but the issue at large is that they all contradict each other. As fans, and even including from within the Tiger organization, we are no longer sure about the team’s real intent or goals given what we’ve seen and heard.
– Brad Ausmus is hired despite Mr. I’s reported objections over someone who has never managed in baseball.
– Dave Dombrowski continues to ignore the bullpen despite overwhelming evidence that it wins playoff games.
– Mr. I “releases” a surprised Dave from his contract in a year when the two never initiated contract extension talks.
– Reports indicated DD’s departure was due to July’s trades of Price, Cespedes and Soria, despite prior approval by Mr. I.
– Other reports mentioned that Mr. I was angry that Dave was secretly exploring other job opportunities despite the absence of contract talks.
– Other media reported that Dave was let go because of his hiring and support for Brad Ausmus even though Mr. I. was opposed to it. Did Dave not see this coming?
– Despite reports that Mr. I did not support the hiring of Ausmus, Al Avila retains him as manager despite a last place finish.
Pure and simple, this is communication chaos. How can the Tigers organization reach their elusive goal if both sides aren’t on the same page?
Has Mr. I clearly stated his goals and preferences to his new GM? Does Al Avila understand Mr. I’s priorities? Does he understand the risks involved? Is his move of retaining Ausmus based upon support for him or was it done as part of a different strategy?
Let’s hope the two sides are clear with each other about the goals and actions needed. It’s not just the communication in the clubhouse that counts.