By: Bob Elliott
David Dombrowski is a respected front-office name in baseball.
As respected as Troy Tulowitzi and David Price are on the field.
Among candidates to fill the president’s office at 1 Blue Jays Way, which becomes vacant on Oct. 1, the former Detroit Tigers executive vice president of baseball operations and general manager, is the best qualified name available.
So, it also follows he’s the best to take over as president and general manager of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Or maybe replace Larry Lucchino as CEO/president of the Boston Red Sox
If Rogers Communications and Edward Rogers were knocked for their awkward, high school-like ‘would-you-run-our-lemon-aid-stand?’ handling of their search a year ago, they should be praised for a smooth transition -- if and they are successful hiring Dombrowski.
The deputy chairman of Rogers Communications and leading share holder, Edward Rogers, called Jerry Reinsdorf of the Chicago White Sox Nov. 4 to ask for permission to interview executive vice-president Kenny Williams for the job Paul Beeston still had. Then, the stumble-search led to the Baltimore Orioles and GM Dan Duquette.
Reinsdorf and Beeston are best friends.
And Reinsdorf is the man who gave Dombrowski his first job in the game under legendary Roland Hemond in 1978.
Yet, on the west coast serving as interim general manager since GM after Jerry Dipoto departed is Bill Stoneman, former architect of the Angels 2002 World Series championship team. Stoneman hired Dombrowski to run Charles Bronfman’s Montreal Expos in 1988 at age 31.
After three-plus years running the Expos, Dombrowski headed to the Florida Marlins for 10 years for owner Wayne Huizenga, winning the 1997 World Series. And now after almost 14 seasons with five post-season appearances and two World Series trips running the Tigers for Mile Illitch he has a chance to work for one man (Angels’ Arte Moreno on the coast) or a corporation (Rogers in Toronto).
Last summer Dombrowski wanted to succeed Bud Selig as the next commissioner. That movement never gathered much traction and now he is looking for work.
It should not be a long search after the season concludes for he would be an excellent choice, a top-of-the-line, best-available, Mike Babcock-style hire.
Doug Melvin, of Chatham, Ont., GM of the Milwaukee Brewers would have been an great choice as well. Paul Godfrey and Herb Solway hired J.P. Ricciardi in the fall of 2001 over Dombrowski, who received a bigger title with the Tigers, not to mention a higher payroll and passed on Melvin, who has been a success in Milwaukee making the 2011 post-season, as he made post-season play three times with the Texas Rangers.
The final days of Dombrowski saw him sent ace Price to the Blue Jays Daniel Norris, who won his first start Sunday in Baltimore, Matt Boyd, who started Wednesday for Detroit and Jairo Labourt; outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to the New York Mets for Michael Fulmer and Luis Cessa; and reliever Joakim Soria to the Pittsburgh Pirates for shortstop JaCoby Jones.
Four days after the trade deadline he’s a prime free agent with prime suitors.