Dombrowski on the Big Show

Dave Dombrowski was interviewed today on WXYT 1270. There were definitely more insights than you typically hear in a team executive interview. The 12 minute interview can be found here, but I’ll break out some of the highlights.

Zumaya is staying in the pen

Dombrowski stated very clearly that Joel Zumaya is not moving to the rotation. Prior to the season I would have been highly against this. I was all for trying Joel Zumaya as a reliever to get him some big league experience and take it easy on his arm at the same time. But I still thought at some point he should be given an opportunity to start. I’ve come around on this completely. Zumaya’s dominance combined with the continued strides forward of Nate Robertson and Jeremy Bonderman, the drafting of Andrew Miller, and the emergence of Zach Miner, Wil Ledezma, and Jair Jurrjens make me think this is the right move.

Zumaya likes video games

You remember that wrist injury that limited Zumaya late in the season? Apparently he’s a big fan of Guitar Hero 1 Bundle (with Guitar) and played it all the time. At least this is a correctable problem.

Inge isn’t moving to catcher

When Pudge Rodriguez is no longer catching for the Tigers, they aren’t going to turn to Brandon Inge. He doesn’t want to catch, and the Tigers don’t want him to catch, save for an emergency situation. He won’t be reporting to spring training early with the other catchers this year.

Extending Bonderman

Dombrowski said he’d like to keep Bonderman in the organization long term, but doesn’t feel a pressing need to get it done this season. I agree with this to a certain extent. That said, I’d love to be writing this winter about locking up Bonderman with a new 4 year/44 million contract with a 16 milliion club option for a 5th year with a $4 million buyout.


  1. Tim D

    December 14, 2006 at 1:34 am

    I’d still like to see Zumaya get a shot at starting somewhere down the line but he is so young I agree this is the right move. As a starter he would be up around 90-100 pitches by the 5th inning most nights. I don’t think he would be near as nt. While he will certainly make a good closer if they go that way I would still like to see, in a couple of years, what he could do with 200 IP.

    Inge has become a much better player than I ever thought he could and his step forward coincided with losing the catcher’s gear. A year ago I was all for making him a super sub. Now I think you leave him at third and forget about it. He can te a game defensively and has bigtime power for a #9 hitter. They have a lot more pressing needs. A young catcher is a priority. Jarod Saltalamacchia? Jeff Mathis? Who else?

    I’d love to see Bonderman signed as well, but if I am his agent I’m telling him there’s no hurry. He’s two years from free agency, and he is likely going to be worth top dollar when he gets there. By 2009 he could be looking at 20 mil. It’s going to cost the Tigers a lot of dough to keep him, Verlander and Zumaya long term. They need to do it.

    I saw Bavasi threw away Chris Snelling today, as predicted. Too bad we weren’t in on it. Good move by Jim Bowden. Maybe DD can get Seattle to give us Jeff Clement for Jason Grilli or Marcus Thames. It is so nice to have confidence in the GM. If the worst he can do re-up Casey or pull a headscratcher on Jose Mesa we are in great shape.

    The “plexiglass principle” would suggest Detroit will come back to the pack a little in 2007, as will the Twins, while Chicago and Cleveland will be better. Whether they win again or not the Tigers are fortunate to have DD.

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    December 14, 2006 at 2:08 am

    Guitar Hero. I still can’t believe it.

  3. Eric Jackson

    December 14, 2006 at 7:55 am

    I’d be afraid of Zumaya and 200 innings. It was rough for him and his wrist this past year with 83.3 innings.

  4. Steve

    December 14, 2006 at 8:10 am

    We have come a long way in a year, in terms of our thinking. The last few years its been can we “get” to 500 or can we have a winning season. I love the fact that we are in the hunt with a solid club. We have exceptional pitching, good hitting and decent fielding. I am sure the park will be filled most nights. This is what we have been waiting so long for, a team that is winning, playing in a full or near full park. Thanks and hats off to Double D for putting together a winner and solid team.

    The only thing I want for Christmas is an email from Dave telling me why he traded for Perez and why he is still on the team. I just can not figure this out on really any level. (Sorry Pete)

    To Bill and all you guys have a very Merry Christmas.

  5. Sam

    December 14, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    I saw Dumbo speak to the Troy Chamber of Commerce today, it was a great speech about building winning organizations, etc.. Here are some of the baseball highlights:

    – He said that Cameron Maybin is the BEST prospect he has ever in an organziation, better than Harold Baines in Chicago and Marguis Grissom in Montreal. He said that Maybin will start in Lakeland next year then probably move upto Erie when the weather warms up.

    – When he came to Detroit, he said his scouts raved about the talent in the Minor Leagues. He then went on to evaluate with the scouts which players in the Minor Leagues had the potential to be one of the top 5 at their position in the American League. There were only 2 players they identified this way. (They were Brandon Inge at C and Omar Infante at SS)

    – When asked about the imbalance of the team being right handed hitting, he said ideally it would be nice if Thames was lefthanded. He did say that he wouldn’t give away Thames’ 26 HRs to get a LH OF who hit 2 HRs and batted .222.

    – He mentioned Joel Zumaya and the Video game.

    – He mentioned that Jeremy Bonderman was going to be very rich in the next couple of years, and he is hoping it will be the Tigers who are writing the checks.

    – When asked about Andrew Miller being a LH reliever next year, he said no-way. Miller will ore than likely start at Lakeland next year. He projects Miller to be a LH Verlander.

    – When asked if he knew William Clay Ford, and whether he could give him some advice on the Lions, his response was “I am not touching that one with a 10-foot pole.”


  6. Mike R

    December 14, 2006 at 5:44 pm

    With the trades the Mariners have been making, I hope Dombrowski’s on the phone talking about Jeff Clement. Maybe we can get him for Neifi Perez.

    And I don’t want to see what Zumaya could do with 200 innings. To me, his value comes as a closer considering the rotation is relatively young and stocked for a while.

  7. Chris J

    December 15, 2006 at 3:31 pm

    The Guitar Hero thing is such a scapegoat. Shades of the Cubbies blaming Zambrano’s arm problems on emailing.

    Trust me, I play the game A LOT and have 0 problems whatsoever.

  8. DCD

    December 16, 2006 at 11:02 am

    to Chris J:

    That has fallalcy written all over it. Just because you play guitar hero and don’t have problems with your arm doesn’t mean it’s a scapegoat. So maybe you have more flexible fingers than him. I don’t know. But ur not i Joel Zumaya’s body, so you have no grounds to talk. Therefore, this is obviously a fallacy of logic and your argument can be completly ignored….

    so ironic

  9. Chris J

    December 16, 2006 at 3:16 pm

    I was not saying the reason that their argument was a scapegoat was BECAUSE I have no injury, I was merely adding anecdotal evidence to the discussion because I doubt anyone else here has any idea what physical strain goes into playing the game. Sorry if this was unclear.

    The movement made by the arm is very minute. In the same way someone could get carpel tunnel syndrome from repetitive motion I could understand injury. HOWEVER, the amount of time he would have to play the game would have to be extreme. Furthermore, which is more likely:

    1. Tigers star young pitcher injures arm through small repetitive movements of said arm.

    2. Tigers allow star young pitcher to injure himself through repetitive violent motion of pitching and overuse or freak accident making said violent motion- THEN blame it on something that completely absolves the organization.

    I just choose to believe the more simple explanation.

    Pitching is a violent and unnatural motion. Injuries WILL happen, through the fault of the player, the organization, or just freak chance.

    Is it too much to attribute the cause of injury to something that has proven to injure hundreds of pitchers a year rather than something which has no known injury history for anyone?

    I say no.

    I guess you disagree.

    “so ironic”

  10. the drizzle

    December 16, 2006 at 8:48 pm

    chris j:

    i look at the facts this way:

    1. almost zero pitchers have had this particular injury.

    2. this injury is common among guitar players.

    3. joel zumaya plays guitar hero obsessively.

    4. duh.

  11. Doug

    December 17, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    I believe it. I got the same injury from playing too much Guitar Hero. It really impacted my performance in the Madden Challenge this year.

  12. Eric Jackson

    December 17, 2006 at 9:51 pm

    I’m skeptical that the injury is from Guitar Hero, though do believe their premise that it is not baseball related, which is the biggest point of what Dave said.

    As for whether it was that particular game or not is irrelevant.