The Boston Red Sox have a new green monster on their hands. On Wednesday, Boston announced the hiring of Dave Dombrowski as president of baseball operations.
Between Dombrowski and the Red Sox owner John Henry, there will be no shortage on spending. Look at the pricey payrolls of the Detroit Tigers over the last ten years and you’ll notice Dombrowski’s fingerprints are all over them. The Red Sox haven’t had a MLB payroll below the top five since 2003. What seems to be a match made in splurging heaven is going to leave Boston fans disappointed.
Earlier this month, Tigers owner Mike Illitch, decided to relieve Dombrowski from his duties as President, CEO and general manager of the organization. After burning a hole in Illitch’s pocket with no results, you can’t blame the Tigers for letting Dombrowski go. The end should justify the means, in this case World Series wins. Dombrowski couldn’t get the job done.
Before Dombrowski came to Detroit, the club had a measly two winning seasons in thirteen years. Under his leadership, Detroit had seven winning seasons and four consecutive division titles over the next thirteen seasons. There is no doubt Dombrowski left his stamp on the Tigers organization during his stint.
What is lost in the numbers is the fact the former Detroit shot-caller has been privileged to work for owners who don’t mind spending big money. In 1997, Dombrowski won his only World Series as a general manager with the Florida (now Miami) Marlins. Former Marlins owner Wayne Huizenga, dished out the fifth-highest payroll at the time.
Following the 1997 season, the Marlins had a payroll in the bottom five for the rest of Dombrowski’s time at the helm. With the cutbacks, Florida failed to finish with a winning record the rest of Dombrowski’s tenure.
Dombrowski then jumped ship to Detroit where Illitch was committed to trying to win a championship at all cost. The big money blueprint that worked in 1997, failed the Tigers. They never won the World Series Mr. Illitch desperately emptied out his wallet for.
Fast forward to Boston, a baseball town demanding of world titles for all the money sure to be spent. With having some of the MLB’s highest payrolls the last twelve years, Boston has won three titles. That’s an average of one World Series title every presidential term. Dombrowski has had a top five payroll in the last seven years with zero titles to show for.
Despite the excessive spending, Dombrowski has only had one magical fall classic in over fifteen years. His track record proves he will come with a high price that Boston is willing to spend. But his failure to deliver is something that won’t be tolerated.
To add insult to injury, of the last seven World Series winners, only two of them had a top-five payrolls. Big spending doesn’t always mean big winning, especially in Dombrowski’s case.
When Illitch fired Dombrowski no reasoning was given.
“I was not given any explanation other than a change of direction,” Dombrowski told Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
What’s understood doesn’t need to be explained. Illitch grew weary of putting a World Series victory on layaway so he cut his losses.
The Red Sox better get used to celebrating participation awards. Dombrowski can get you a ticket into the dance but he won’t get you the girl.