The topic of former Boston Red Sox Vice-President of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski‘s tenure in Boston deserves more discussion.
The Boston Red Sox gave Dave Dombrowski a raw deal when they summarily fired him not even one year after winning the ultimate baseball prize, the World Series.
It’s time to take a look at this situation more closely to see if it made any sense whatsoever.
Boston Red Sox fired Dave Dombrowski after doing his job brilliantly
Red Sox fans will remember that Dombrowski was hired in 2015 to replace President Larry Luchino who was stepping down. General Manager Ben Cherington decided not to work for Dombrowski.
Dombrowski took over a listing ship that was on its way to finishing last place in the American League East. It seemed clear his mandate was to the ultimate prize, a World Series.
Dombrowski went to work. He revamped a team lacking key elements and began the rise to the top. After winning 78 games in 2015, the next two years the team finished first in the American League East, yet, lost in the American League Divisional Series each year.
Finally, in 2018, Dombrowski culminated his build-up and the Red Sox not only won 108 games and the American League East for the third straight year but also bested the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series under manager Alex Cora.
Mookie Betts was the star of those three teams and free agent pick-up David Price hurled a 1.98 ERA in the Series-winning two of the four games for Boston.
Before the next season was over, however, Dombrowski was summarily dismissed, kicked to the curb by the Boston Red Sox.
The Red Sox ownership was evidently dissatisfied with the success of the previous three years, winning the American League East all three and winning the World Series the October before.
True, the 2019 version of the team slipped and was heading for a third-place finish in the AL East and an 84 win season. Here’s how one source outlined some reasons for the slippage,
"Some of Dombrowski’s decisions were much blamed for this state of affairs, in particular that of not re-signing closer Craig Kimbrel but also of not signing anyone else to take his place … Among other moves that led to the firing were the large contracts awarded to pitchers Nathan Eovaldi and Chris Sale before the start of the season: both had been injured much of the year, and their performance had been sub-par when they were able to take the mound."
So injured players or no injured players, enough was enough for this group and they gave Mr. Dombrowski, a big winner in three of his three-plus years at the helm, his walking papers on September 9, 2019.
Boston Red Sox baseball operations were not the problem
So to summarize, the man who put together three Division-winning teams in four years, who won a World Series the prior year, is fired because a good part of his starting pitching was injured?
Well, let’s just say this was scapegoating at its best (or worse, depending on how one looks at it). Dombrowski was hired to win. He won three straight AL East crowns.
He was hired to bring home the ultimate prize, the World Series trophy. He did so 11 months before, and then he was out the door? What’s wrong with this picture?
Dombrowski was scapegoated since the losing 2019 season afforded the ownership an excuse to hire someone who could hopefully wring success out of a team with a greatly reduced payroll. That would be Chaim Bloom whose plan for 2022 is hard to discipher.
Mr. Bloom is unquestionably talented, though recent their personnel moves have been questionable. We’ll see how 2022 evolves.
No matter, Dave Dombrowski in Boston did his job and did it really well. The Red Sox haven’t won an AL East title or a World Series since, though they had a great run in 2021 to the ALCS finals.
Was canning Dombrowski a good idea? This space doesn’t think so and feels Dombrowski got a raw deal. What do you think?