Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski held a press conference this afternoon. No real news or anything, just an end-of-season wrap. One question was about last winter’s trade of starter Doug Fister to the Nationals. His response:
I suppose it’s possible that Fister is a big jerk no one likes and thus trading him away for scrap and watching him put up a 16-6 record with a 2.41 ERA with the Nationals is no big thing. That trading away one of the guys you got for him — Steve Lombardozzi — for Alex Gonzalez in March (who was subsequently cut) while another, Ian Kroll put up an ERA of nearly 5.00 out of your bullpen and the third, Robbie Ray, was beat up pretty good in the majors and the minors is not particularly bothersome.
But I sort of feel like maybe, just maybe, Dombrowski would take a do-over on that one.
Guy was just announced as the Dodgers president of baseball operations an hour ago, but a lot of people have already started wondering if Andrew Friedman would stick with Don Mattingly as manager. Some have speculated about prying Joe Maddon away from the Rays — though he is under contract and would require compensation.
Initial reports, however, suggest that Mattingly will keep his job:
I imagine part of this is contingent on having a conversation with Mattingly about, you know, playing your best players in playoff elimination games, which Mattingly did not do in the deciding game of the NLDS.
We’ve known for a long time that Major League Baseball purchased stolen documents in its effort to build its case against Alex Rodriguez. We have also heard allegations that MLB’s purchase of those documents hindered a Florida Department of Health investigation into Biogenesis specifically and anti-aging clinics at large. For the first time, however, we now have heard from the lead investigator from that Department of Health investigation and, boy, is he pissed.
His name is Jerome Hill, and he is on public record for the first time via this story at the Miami New Times, the same publication which broke the Biogenesis story. And, to be clear, he is not himself any sort of saint. He’s a rather difficult character, actually — isn’t everyone in this story? — who had a sketchy, violent past as a police officer and who, according to Major League Baseball’s spokesman, has an axe to grind against the league.
Hill, however, insists that not only did MLB buy stolen documents, but that they knew the documents were stolen, contrary to Rob Manfred’s denial during the A-Rod hearing. He says they disregarded his warnings and says flat-out that “Major League Baseball hindered my investigation.”
To be further clear, it’s possible that Hill’s investigation would’ve been hindered one way or another anyway, inasmuch as there is serious resistance on the part of state government to go after shady clinics in Florida, both for business reasons (i.e. the state really likes old people to think they can come there and find the fountain of youth) and because the current state administration’s biggest claim to fame is running against medical regulation of any kind. If you’re a DoH investigator in Florida, you likely have a built-in siege mentality.
Which doesn’t make any of this less interesting reading, of course. It does make one wonder how someone like Rob Manfred could not have been aware of what his underlings pretty clearly were. Indeed, it makes you wonder if he and Roger Goodell went to the same “Not learning the damning things your underlings know” seminar at the Radisson last year.
The Dodgers have a new President of Baseball Operations:
Ken Rosenthal reports that Ned Colletti has not been fired but, rather, will stay with the Dodgers as a senior advisor.
UPDATE: The Dodgers have made it official:
This is a major move for the Dodgers and a big, big move for Friedman himself. Long considered one of the game’s better general managers for his ability to do so much with such a low payroll with Tampa Bay, he now goes to the team with the highest payroll in baseball. He will presumably serve the same role for the Dodgers that Theo Epstein serves in Chicago, and will thus hire a general manager beneath him to be Jed Hoyer-west.
Also of note, at least potentially: Friedman’s background is not as a baseball lifer. Rather, he was an analyst for Bear Stearns before joining the Rays and is known for having a sharp analytical perspective. The last time the Dodgers had a young head of baseball ops with an analytical bent it was Paul DePodesta, who the local press decided they hated almost immediately, criticizing him in the dumbest, most stereotypical ways possible. It’ll be interesting to see if they take that tack once again. Or if, alternatively, the combination of the passage of time and the fact that Colletti staying around will cause them to actually give Friedman a chance.