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Dave Dombrowski Q&A

Dave Dombrowski was briefly interviewed on the local sports talk station (WQTX 92.7/92.1) today by local jock/author Rich Kincaid (“Gods of Olympia Stadium”, a Red Wings book). It occurred at 11:00 A.M. and Dombrowski was very open about several topics. Kincaid started by indicating that he had mixed feelings in regards to this season. He felt that that D.D. had made some nice moves in the offseason to strengthen the team up the middle and if the Tigers were to reach .500 it would be a nice improvement, but Kincaid felt that the elements were there to contend and since the All-Star break they haven’t been playing like contenders. Dombrowski replied “that their had been dramatic improvements” and that he would continue to take steps this winter to make the team a contender. Kincaid mentioned that he thought the starting pitching had performed well and that it was a bit of a surprise. Dombrowski stated that he was happy with their young pitching and that he felt that they had a lot of upside. He also said that the young pitchers would have to continue to improve and get to that 15-17 win level in order for the Tigers to contend. Kincaid then mentioned that he felt Jason Johnson had been a little inconsistent and had had an up & down year. Dombrowski talked about Johnson’s early blister problems and about the recent 10 start stretch where he had been very good and that his last couple had been difficult. They started discussing the pressures on free agents and how Kincaid noticed that the free agents would often struggle in their first year with a new team. Dombrowski replied that free agents were competitive individuals who often place tough expectations on themselves and that they often just need to settle in and return to the standards of performance that made them desirable as free agents in the first place. Kincaid then stated that if they made the 38 game improvement from last season to this season and finished .500 that this season would possibly be the greatest in Tiger history. Dombrowski stated that he felt that they had made dramatic improvements but essentially said that this season could not be a greatest anything unless they had one a World Series. Kincaid then asked some questions that had been submitted by listeners. He first asked Dombrowski about the play of Bobby Higginson and whether or not Nook Logan or Marcus Thames will be playing more in right field? Dombrowski stated that Higginson had struggled recently and would never be the player he had once been. He also said that he felt Higginson had been a steady, everyday type of player but they would like better numbers from the position and that Alan (Trammell) may have to make the decision to play Monroe or Thames in right field down the road. He also said that there could not be a lineup with Nook Logan and Alex Sanchez together. Another caller wanted to know if Inge of Infante would possibly be used as trade bait to acquire some more pitching. Dombrowski said that Inge in particular was very valuable with his offense and his “maneuverability” that he was definitely in their plans. He also stated that they aren’t thinking about next year yet and that they have year-in-review meetings in October and that’s where they begin to address the changes that might occur in the offseason. I asked if it would be possible that the Tigers will feature three lefties in their starting rotation next season. Dombrowski stated that as long as they are pitching well he would have no problems using three lefties. He said that Oakland has used three lefty starters the last couple of years and that one team had even had four (?). Another caller wanted to know when and if the Tigers may recall Matt Anderson? Dombrowski said that Anderson was suffering from some tenderness (?) and had not had a very good year in Toledo and if they did not recall him he would be a free agent at the end of the year. (He all but said he’ll be gone. Another first rounder bites the dust, Matt Wheatland) Another caller asked about the status of Fernando Vina and Dombrowki stated that between the knee and hamstring, he had to make some tough decisions whether or not he wanted a surgery. The surgery provides no guarantees of full recovery.

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