Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Saturday, October 20, 2018

For Dave Dombrowski, Another World Series on the Path to the Hall of Fame - The New York Times

All about Dombrowski.

Jim Furtado Posted: October 20, 2018 at 07:37 AM | 17 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dave dombrowski, red sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. asinwreck Posted: October 20, 2018 at 11:09 AM (#5771686)
I recall enjoying watching the Montreal front office assemble all that great talent in the late 80s while seething that Jerry Reinsdorf elected to replace Roland Hemond and Dave Dombrowski with Ken Harrelson. Larry Himes's great run of drafts made that loss easier to stomach, but Dombrowski has had a memorable career.
   2. Oscar Geronimo Posted: October 21, 2018 at 06:34 AM (#5772000)
I would support Dombrowski for the HoF. He's been an above-average to good GM for 20 years, with an especially strong record in trade deadline deals, even while the analytical community would always deride his trades when they took place. He moves quick, he appreciates windows of opportunity, and there's never a scandal when he's around.
   3. Der-K: at 10% emotional investment Posted: October 21, 2018 at 07:43 AM (#5772001)
Was it Reinsdorf who dumped DD or Hawk himself?
They also lost LaRussa in this purge, right?
   4. asinwreck Posted: October 21, 2018 at 02:13 PM (#5772078)
Reinsdorf gave Harrelson the reins at the end of the 1985 season and allowed Harrelson to clean house. Harrelson canned Dombrowski and LaRussa about halfway through the following season.

ETA: The firings were two weeks apart in June. Dombrowski went first.
"Roland Hemond is a good baseball man, and Dave Dombrowski is a good baseball man who grew up under Roland," said Harrelson. "This is not to say that I'm right or that Roland or David is wrong. We're just different."

Dombrowski said that his overall baseball philosophy and Harrelson's differed "at the major-league level, the minor-league level, and our ideas about handling young players. We differed and grew apart."


   5. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 21, 2018 at 05:39 PM (#5772133)
The Bill James Baseball Abstract 1987, p. 218:

Let us start our account of the Ken Harrelson command where he started it, by moving the fences back at Comiskey Park. Moving further away from the fences, Harrelson felt, would be more accommodating to the kind of team that he wanted to have, a fast, aggressive team with outstanding pitching. It might have occurred to a more timid director of operations that he didn't actually have any of these things; he merely thought that it would be neat to acquire them. What he actually had was a slow team whose pitchers had control problems, and whose biggest assets were a few players like Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk, Greg Walker, and Ron Kittle, who didn't run well but did have power.

So anyway, the ChiSox now had an outfield of Baines, Kittle, and Law, none of whom could play center field in any park, and whose defensive abilities were stretched to the limit to cover the field in Comiskey as it was, although Rudy Law does run well. In order to get the maximum benefit out of this shrewd maneuver, Harrelson a) released the fastest player on the team, Rudy Law, over the vigorous objections of his manager, who thought Law was ready to have an outstanding season; and b) shifted his catcher to the outfield.

[Discussion of the whole Fisk-to-LF fiasco] In any case, before making this move the White Sox had:
1) One of the league's best offensive and defensive catchers in Carlton Fisk, who had hit 37 homers and driven in 107 runs in 1985; and
2) A slow, slugging right-handed hitting left fielder/DH named Ron Kittle.

After making this move, the White Sox had:
1) No proven catcher;
2) Two slow, slugging right-handed hitting left fielder/DHs, and as a special bonus:
3) One very unhappy veteran player, who just coincidentally had been the team MVP in two of the previous three years.

Any time you can make a trade like that, it's got to help you accomplish your mission.

As curious as these utilization-of-resources decisions were, what was most damaging about Harrelson's stewardship was his utter inability to evaluate talent. With the exception of the Britt Burns deal, which worked to the White Sox advantage because Burns wasn't able to pitch, every deal that Harrelson made, and he made a bunch of them, hurt the team. The fences can be moved back and Fisk can be returned to his position, but the White Sox can't get Scott Fletcher or Joel Skinner or Ron Kittle or Rudy Law or Edwin Correa back. The legacy of Ken Harrelson in Chicago is an emaciated talent base that may take several years to rebuild.
   6. GregD Posted: October 21, 2018 at 07:04 PM (#5772146)
but the White Sox can't get Scott Fletcher or Joel Skinner or Ron Kittle or Rudy Law or Edwin Correa back
they actually did get Kittle back twice, Rudy Law was released by the Royals in spring 1987 and signed by no one (so the Sox could have had him back for nothing), Correa was injured in 1987 and never played again, Joel Skinner had a 58 OPS+ after 1987 and was done by 1991. And Fletcher was a valuable player whom the White Sox did get back in 1989 with Sammy Sosa in the Baines to Rangers trade. So of the five players James said couldn't be got back, two did come back, 2 were literally valueless after 1987, and one was a bleh backup catcher.

None of which is to take anything away from the stink of Harrelson, who is a five-tool tool, the worst in every possible dimension
   7. McCoy Posted: October 21, 2018 at 07:54 PM (#5772152)
The Sox would win 94 games in 1990 and be a dominant team throughout the 90’s albeit one that came up short. The Sox would use their draft spot that Harrelson helped get them to draft Jack McDowell.

After Harrelson they would draft McDowell then Ventura then Thomas then Fernandez. That is how you rebuild quickly.
   8. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: October 21, 2018 at 08:02 PM (#5772155)
If the white Sox had not been so lousy under Harrelson they wouldn’t have landed frank Thomas.

It also helped that the Rangers passed on Thomas, preferring instead to select with their first pick an all-Southwest Conference defensive back who hit like it.
   9. Dennis Eclairskey, closer Posted: October 21, 2018 at 11:24 PM (#5772207)
Discussion of the whole Fisk-to-LF fiasco] In any case, before making this move the White Sox had:
1) One of the league's best offensive and defensive catchers in Carlton Fisk, who had hit 37 homers and driven in 107 runs in 1985; and
2) A slow, slugging right-handed hitting left fielder/DH named Ron Kittle.


The Fisk move from C to LF really seemed to make no sense whatsoever
   10. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 07:03 AM (#5772221)
Clearly Joel Skinner and Ron karkovice were the future.
   11. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 12:14 PM (#5772423)
I would love a book to be written about the whole Harrelson as GM saga. I feel like it should get the Michael Lewis treatment.

Anyway, I've mentioned it before but one of my regular customers back when I lived in Wisconsin was a guy who worked in media and marketing back in the 70's through the 90's. At one time he worked for WGN and then took a job with the White Sox under Reinsdorf ownership. He said his office was next door to Harrelson's when Harrelson was the GM and that after they let Hawk go and he had moved on to the Yankees as a broadcaster ownership came to the front office and asked them if it was okay to bring Hawk back as an announcer. My regular customer said that almost to a man they all said no we don't want him back and of course Reinsdorf brought him back.

At the time I had no idea Hawk had been a GM or much about Hawk other than he was an announcer for the other team in Chicago so I never really asked for more information. I have regretted that decision ever since I moved away because I should have picked his brain about inside baseball during that era when I had the chance.

Another little tidbit he shared with me was about Charlie Finley. Finley was an insurance guy from Chicago so he had a lot of Chicago connections and so my regular customer had known Finley and his family for years. Finley would be happy to give you tickets to the owners box if you asked but he always charged you for the tickets and he always charged a 50 cent service charge as well. The other little tidbit he shared with me about Charlie is that he would scout players by going through The Sporting News and other periodicals and look at players batting average. Somehow that worked for him in building up the A's.
   12. Batman Posted: October 22, 2018 at 01:40 PM (#5772484)
Hawk also traded Bobby Bonilla for Jose DeLeon. Himes later traded DeLeon for Lance Johnson, so it kind of worked out.
   13. Rally Posted: October 22, 2018 at 01:55 PM (#5772503)
The Sox would win 94 games in 1990 and be a dominant team throughout the 90’s albeit one that came up short. The Sox would use their draft spot that Harrelson helped get them to draft Jack McDowell.


I had to look up "dominant team throughout the 90's". Struck me as weird, but my memory is not what it used to be.

Half right though. From 1990-94 they won: 94-87-86-94-96*

*strike-on pace. One division title, leading the division when the strike happened, and 2 2nd place finishes. A very good team. From 1995-99, not so much. One 85 win season and 4 losing seasons.
   14. McCoy Posted: October 22, 2018 at 02:39 PM (#5772542)
That would be the ninfamous white flag trade.
   15. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: October 22, 2018 at 03:15 PM (#5772571)

Hawk also traded Bobby Bonilla for Jose DeLeon. Himes later traded DeLeon for Lance Johnson, so it kind of worked out.


Bonilla was a rule 5 draftee that year, so maybe Hawk figured he needed to get something for him before he went back to Pitt anyways.
   16. Man o' Schwar Posted: October 22, 2018 at 03:22 PM (#5772577)
I would love a book to be written about the whole Harrelson as GM saga. I feel like it should get the Michael Lewis treatment.

Dummyball?
   17. Walt Davis Posted: October 22, 2018 at 05:05 PM (#5772660)
Weird that we seem to have more to say about Hawk's one year than DD's 30 years -- I guess everybody loves a disaster.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

News

All News | Prime News

Old-School Newsstand


BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
The Ghost of Sox Fans Past
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogOT - November* 2018 College Football thread
(215 - 12:57pm, Nov 17)
Last: Lance Reddick! Lance him!

NewsblogCarson Cistulli From Fangraphs Joins the Blue Jays
(4 - 12:53pm, Nov 17)
Last: DJS Holiday-Related Pun

NewsblogOT - NBA Thread (2018-19 season kickoff edition)
(2479 - 12:38pm, Nov 17)
Last: spivey

NewsblogSale of Baseball Prospectus
(329 - 12:09pm, Nov 17)
Last: Ray (CTL)

NewsblogMichael Wilbon Weighs In On Jacob deGrom With Worst Baseball Take Of Year | MLB | NESN.com
(10 - 11:48am, Nov 17)
Last: eric

NewsblogThe View is Always Better When You're the Lead Dog
(3 - 11:13am, Nov 17)
Last: Mefisto

NewsblogBen Zobrist, start designing your customized cleats. MLB grants players more shoe freedom.
(1 - 10:57am, Nov 17)
Last: Man o' Schwar

NewsblogIndians' Trevor Bauer pleads his own Cy Young case using a spreadsheet on Twitter
(25 - 10:51am, Nov 17)
Last: Leroy Kincaid

NewsblogOT - Catch-All Pop Culture Extravaganza (November 2018)
(435 - 10:00am, Nov 17)
Last: PreservedFish

Sox TherapyLet’s Get Off-Seasoning!
(6 - 12:26am, Nov 17)
Last: The Run Fairy

NewsblogMarlins get rid of orange, cite South Florida cultures with new look
(28 - 8:57pm, Nov 16)
Last: You Know Nothing JT Snow (YR)

NewsblogHow Kevin Brown Became Baseball's First $100 Million Man
(9 - 8:46pm, Nov 16)
Last: TVerik, who wonders what the hell is "Ansky"

NewsblogPrimer Dugout (and link of the day) 11-16-2018
(10 - 8:30pm, Nov 16)
Last: crict

NewsblogFox Sports inks multi-year rights agreement with Major League Baseball
(30 - 8:00pm, Nov 16)
Last: QLE

NewsblogJoe Mauer Retires After 15 Seasons
(84 - 6:44pm, Nov 16)
Last: Never Give an Inge (Dave)

Page rendered in 0.2965 seconds
46 querie(s) executed