Red Sox fire Dave Dombrowski after last night’s loss to the Yankees
Just months after winning the World Series, the Boston Red Sox have decided to remove Dave Dombrowski from his role as President of Baseball Operations.
Just minutes after the Red Sox put another tally into the loss column thanks to the hated Yankees, it was announced that Boston had fired Dave Dombrowski. The now-former President of Baseball Operations had brought plenty of success to the organization during his time but an awful offseason followed by a massively underwhelming regular season cost him his job.
This may be seen as a dramatic reaction to the trainwreck that has been the 2019 season but I can also see it as a necessity. With how poorly this team has performed this season something needed to be done. Of course, it’s up to the players on the field and Alex Cora to make the right calls during the game, but Cora can only use the pieces he’s given.
During the offseason, much of Red Sox Nation was clamoring for Dombrowski to go out and get some bullpen help as that was the team’s biggest weakness in 2018 despite winning 108 games. Then that weakness grew when Joe Kelly and Craig Kimbrel left through free agency. And yet Dombrowski made zero moves despite a free agent market that was rich with talented relievers.
"“I mean, I just found out,” Cora said. “Surprised. I’m shocked, honestly. Right now, I don’t have too much to say. We’ll talk about it tomorrow. This is a guy that gave me a chance to come here and be a big league manager. It’s one of those that they just told me, so I’m not ready to talk about it.”"
Boston has the highest payroll in the league and that very well may have played a factor in Dombrowski’s actions or lack thereof. The desire to add more pieces for Cora may have been there but if the owners are handcuffing his spending due to the Luxury Tax, then there’s nothing he can do.
We heard plenty of mixed statements during the year from the owners and Dombrowski that covered having permission to spend as well as the club needs to play better due to their wages.
We’ll never get a straight answer on whether or not the Fenway Sports Group did or did not restrict Dealin’ Dave from opening the checkbook. They did green light him to offer extensions to Chris Sale and Xander Bogaerts though, to mixed results.
The Sale deal was unnecessary as he was already locked up until this coming winter. Bogey has more than earned every penny signed for and is proving to be the only good deal from the Red Sox recently.
Nathan Eovaldi and Steve Pearce were also offered hefty contracts after their World Series heroics from last October and neither has been a factor at all. Pearce has spent more days on the IL than on the field this season and Eovaldi hasn’t been much better. This was a season riddled with confusing moves and head-scratching decisions that all but crippled this team from Opening Day.
The playbook for Dave Dombrowski is one that we’ve seen him run with his previous teams and it was no different with the Red Sox. He’ll bring the organization success, which he did in the form of three division titles and a World Series banner, but it’ll come at a steep price. Dombrowski is known for offering big-money deals and pillaging farm systems, he didn’t stray from that style by any means in Boston.
There’s no explanation for how this team could be so poor this season with how well they played last year. The squad is still intact and they’ve even called up some heavily talented young players to bring in an additional spark.
But the lack of urgency this offseason to fill the gaps in the lineup and then the silence at the trade deadline was just inexcusable. With a year left on his existing contract, Dombrowski was on the hot seat the moment the World Series ended.
With Dombrowski removed from his post, he will be replaced by Eddie Romero, Brian O’Halloran, and Zack Scott for the final three weeks of the season. They worked as a team underneath Dombrowski and will be tasked with finishing the year out without him. I’m sure the search to find his full-time replacement began right after the news broke and that person will have a lot of work to do.
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It’s too early to tell if the decision to fire Dombrowski will have any ripple effects with the players that can soon be seeing free agency. J.D. Martinez can opt-out of his contract this winter and test the market and then there’s the impending free agency of Mookie Betts in 2021.
Betts has already said he will try free agency no matter what and spoke on Dombrowski’s firing being another example of baseball being a business at the end of the day.
"“It doesn’t really matter who’s there, it’s going to be the same answer,” Betts said. “Nothing’s gonna change. This is proof that this is a business. Like I said, I love it here, but definitely this is still a business.”"
Whoever gets the call to fill the vacancy will have to get to work right away. This farm system needs some major love and attention and this bullpen needs some concrete arms that can be relied on. They’ll also have to do whatever they can to keep Martinez happy and wanting to stay in Boston, and when the time comes, loosen the purse strings and offer Mookie whatever it takes to re-sign him.
There’s no reason this Red Sox team should be sitting 17.5 games back in the AL East and 8.0 games back in the Wild Card. The talent is there and the money sure as hell isn’t an issue, it just felt like Dombrowski was trying to put square pegs in round holes. Instead of trying to think big picture and solve the puzzle he worked for right now, and it cost him his job.
Dave Dombrowski did a lot for this organization and that can’t go unnoticed. Without the moves he made there wouldn’t be a banner for 2018, but those moves may also keep Boston away from another Commissioner’s Trophy for awhile. It’s unfortunate his time with the Sox had to end this way but it feels like the right decision. I’d like to thank Dave for what he did for the Red Sox and wish him the best in his future endeavors.