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Detroit Tigers Owner Mike Ilitch Votes Yes On Dombrowski And Leyland

Earlier Today following the introduction of Mike Modano to the Red Wings, Mike Ilitch confirmed that both Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland will be back in 2011.

This might come as a disappointment to some but, at least in Dombrowski’s case I support the decision.

Without a doubt Dave Dombrowski has made his share of blunder, but do I need to remind you where this team was before he was brought on as Team President?

In case you have forgotten the Tigers, led by General Manager Randy Smith, were pitiful. 

On any given night you couldn’t find more than a few thousand fans at Comerica Park.

It seemed like the only moves Smith was willing to make were to either trade with the San Diego Padres or do something involving Catcher Brad Ausmus.

As the major league team struggled, the farm system was in even worse condition.

Part of this was bad luck as many pitchers that were drafted in the early rounds suffered major injuries.

Still injuries could not be blamed for all the failed draft picks. Some were simply players that did not develop.

The Tigers bottomed out one year into Dombrowski’s tenure, 2003; as they went on to lose 119 games. The fact that three years later they were in the World Series speaks volumes of the job Dombrowski did.

Many expected 2010 to be a year of transition, but expectations were raised by the early success the team had.

The collapse after the all star break has been brought on by a combination of injuries and the struggles of Brennan Bosch. This is what has led many fans to ask for someone’s head to roll.

The mistakes Dombrowski has made with the Tigers were that he overvalued his own players, and at times traded for a name player that was no longer the star he was.

This has led to some ridiculous contracts that have handcuffed the Tigers. As has been frequently mentioned, many of those contracts will expire this year.

I think Dombrowski has learned from those mistakes.

The fact that he didn’t throw ridiculous money at Placido Polanco is proof of that.

I know Polanco is once again batting over 300 but he has missed some games this year due to injury.

Could the Tigers have used,Polanco this year, of course but let’s see how his body is holding up in the last year of the three year contract Philadelphia signed him to.

Jim Leyland on the other hand has botched many things this year. While I am sill inclined to say he deserves another year, I believe he needs to make some changes, especially in how he handles his pitching staff.

There a couple of things that have stood out to me lately as questionable moves by Leyland.

Why he repeatedly pulls Phil Coke after only one inning but insists on leaving Jose Valverde for two is something I just don’t understand.

It was working really well when he was doing the opposite early in the year so I really don’t know why he has gone to this setup.

The other thing, and I have written about this before, is his handling of Brennan Bosch and his insistence on leaving him in the fifth spot in the batting order when it was obvious that he was having trouble handling it.

The repercussions of this could be long lasting and really affect Bosch’s career.

At the end of the day only one vote matters and that is the vote cast by Tigers’ owner Mike Ilitch.

Today Mr.Ilitch voted yes on Dombrowski and Leyland and fans of the Tigers are going to have to hope he made the right call.

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Analysis: Jim Leyland Needs To Handle Brennan Boesch Better

Jim Leyland owes Brennan Boesch an apology.

I know it’s not popular to suggest that a manager apologize to one of his players, but Leyland has butchered this so badly that he must make amends.

By now, Boesch’s struggles have been well documented and I will not bore you with his stats. In the Detroit Tigers’ last three games against the Tampa Bay Rays, the Rays’ manager Joe Maddon decided to intentionally walk Miguel Cabrera and pitch to Boesch.

What made this unusual is that when Cabrera walked, first base was occupied. Boesch failed to deliver all three times and the Tigers were swept.

Leyland should have protected Boesch from ever being in that situation.

The first time Cabrera was walked without an open base should have been the last time Boesch batted behind him. Boesch would have been better off batting third in the lineup. This would have forced the pitcher to give him better pitches to hit in order to avoid walking him with Cabrera on deck. It also might have led to Cabrera seeing a few more hittable pitches because it became apparent that the Rays felt that Boesch was a sure out.

Now Leyland has compounded his mistake by benching Boesch for tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox.

What is difficult to understand is why Leyland will not handle Boesch the way a struggling player must be handled. If a relief pitcher is struggling, you don’t pitch him in a tight ball game; you wait until the team is up or down by a few runs and allow him to pitch in a relaxed atmosphere.

This is why Boesch should be batting seventh in the lineup tonight. Let him work out his issues in a less stressful spot in the batting order.

His swing will not get fixed on the bench.

UPDATE: Johnny Damon is out with back spasms and will be replaced by Brennan Boesch for tonight’s game.

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