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Jerry_Manuel
07-23-2002, 10:51 AM
Read this article it's funny as hell.

Tigers' boss regrets remarks about hard-to-trade players

Tigers president Dave Dombrowski apologized Monday for comments he made about his players at a luncheon Friday for season-ticket holders.

"I'm embarrassed," Dombrowski said. "In my career it's the most embarrassed I've been about a situation. . . .

"The whole talk -- I wish I wouldn't have said it."

Dombrowski, in his 25th season in pro baseball, expressed particular regret for what he said about utility player Craig Paquette, who before this season signed a two-year contract as a free agent.

Paquette was the final player Dombrowski mentioned when he listed several Tigers who will be hard to trade because of injuries, high salaries or both. A tape of the comment was played Monday on radio station WDFN-AM.

"Craig Paquette -- if you can trade him, call me tomorrow -- is making $2.75 million next year," Dombrowski told the audience.

After he heard his Paquette remark replayed Monday, Dombrowski said, "I regret what was said and how it was presented. When I heard it, I felt bad.

"Craig Paquette is a fine person and busts his tail every day. What I said came across in a flippant fashion. That's not how I meant it. Here's a guy who works hard every single day. It's the last thing he needs to hear. I extend him a personal apology. That's not right."

Dombrowski, also the general manager, said he apologizes to the others he listed as hard to trade: Dean Palmer, Damion Easley, Matt Anderson, Danny Patterson (who's expected to be out through next season because of elbow surgery), Bobby Higginson and Steve Sparks. While commenting on the players, Dombrowski included their salaries for next season to illustrate why they will be difficult to trade.

"I love Dean Palmer . . . if you can trade him tomorrow, give me a call," Dombrowski said on the WDFN tape. "Damion Easley -- I love him. . . . He's been hot. He's still not hitting .200. . . . Matt Anderson. Pretty good closer when he's healthy. Can you trade Matt Anderson tomorrow? I'd love to see you try. Again, give me a call. . . . Bobby Higginson, who's a solid player. He's going to make $11.85 million next year. You try to trade him."

Dombrowski told Friday's audience that those six players plus Paquette are signed for about $40 million combined for next season. His comments are his most thorough public statements on why it's hard for him to reshape the Tigers with trades.

The seven players he mentioned will account for the bulk of next season's payroll unless owner Mike Ilitch unexpectedly raises the payroll from this season's Opening Day figure of about $55 million.

Immediately after listing the seven players he thinks will be hard to trade, Dombrowski told the audience, "I don't mean to disparage any of them because they are all people who are big league players. They've earned whatever they've received. But it's not that easy to snap your fingers and make deals, because I can't trade one of those guys."

Dombrowski didn't intend for his remarks to become public. Reporters were not invited to what Dombrowski estimated was a 1 1/2-hour session.

WDFN played two excerpts that lasted a combined 4 1/2 minutes. In the first excerpt, Dombrowski said Shane Halter was a good utility player but not an everyday shortstop. WDFN host Mike Stone said an anonymous caller left the Dombrowski tapes on an answering machine at the station.

"When I left the luncheon, people gave me a standing ovation," Dombrowski said. "I wasn't looking for a standing ovation. It was supposed to be a talk that was open and entertaining."

duke of dorwood
07-23-2002, 11:05 AM
How would he feel if he had Clayton, Thomas and Foulke? Probably the same I guess. Who ever thought our situation would ever parallel Detroit's in any way?