DETROIT (AP) -- Tigers manager Alan Trammell was fired Monday after three seasons in which he failed to turn around a franchise without a winning record since 1993.
The Tigers went 71-91 this season and were 186-300 in three seasons under Trammell, a former star shortstop for Detroit. He had one year left on his contract.
Detroit lost an AL-record 119 games in his first season as manager, then improved to 72-90 last year, the biggest turnaround in the AL since Baltimore's 33-game improvement from 1988 to 1989.
With a lineup and bullpen that seemed upgraded, the Tigers thought they had a chance to have a winning season in 2005. The Tigers were 42-44 at the All-Star break and 61-62 in late August before losing 29 of their last 39 games.
``You will not find a more dedicated, hardworking and respected individual that cares more about the Tigers and his coaching staff,'' Tigers president Dave Dombrowski said in a statement. ``However, for the Tigers to reach the next level, I feel it is appropriate to make a change at this time.''
The Tigers were set back by injuries this year, but Trammell refused to point to them as an excuse. Outfielder Magglio Ordonez missed about half of the season with a hernia, and closer Troy Percival appeared in just 26 games before an elbow injury ended his season in July. Both were hailed as prized free-agent signings before the season.
``Really, I'm OK,'' the 47-year-old Trammell said last week. ``I'm a big boy. I've been through enough that I understand how things are.''
Things were much different when Trammell was a player and he helped the Tigers post 11 consecutive winning seasons from 1978-88.
As a 20-year standout in the field and at the plate, he led Detroit to a World Series championship in 1984 and the American League East title in 1987, when he narrowly was beaten out by Toronto's George Bell for AL MVP.
Trammell was a six-time All-Star, four-time Gold Glove and three-time Silver Slugger shortstop.
After he retired in 1996, he was a baseball operations assistant in Detroit for two seasons and was the Tigers' hitting coach in 1999. Then, he moved near his hometown and coached with the San Diego Padres for three seasons.
The Tigers knew Trammell was the popular choice to be their 35th manager on Oct. 9, 2002, and they insisted he was also the right choice. Trammell, Al Kaline and Ty Cobb are the only players to be with the team for at least 20 seasons.
``People don't come to your games to see your manager,'' Dombrowski said when Trammell was hired. ``I can understand why some people will feel that this was based on Alan's popularity here. But really, we could not afford to make this decision based on that, because we need to right this ship.''
Last edited by Dannomyte on Tue Oct 04, 2005 3:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
If the Tigers want to get to "the next level" the key is the minor league system not over-paying big name free agents.
The Tigers have stated they want to win now and the only way to do that is to add big name free agents. When your farm system has been so bad for so long you have to spend the big bucks to win now. Although, the farm system has turned around bigtime under Dave Dombrowski as seen by them having the best win% of all of the big league farm systems. Unfortunately,with the exception of a couple players most of the top prospects are in low A ball. Granderson and Shelton made big splashes at the big league level with thier mid season call-ups. Verlander and Zumaya will be given every chance to make the rotation next year. Beyond that the best of the rest are in low A. With the state of the farm system that DD inherited I'm very impressed with what he has done in the few years he has been here.
You may be right in saying that it wasn't Tram's fault but I didn't see him being part of the solution either. He lost control of this team months ago and was too much of a nice guy to retake control. Everyone knows what they say about nice guys!
I was and still am a Trammell supporter. I don't think this season's dissappointment was his fault, but the firing in my opinion is mutually beneficial.
The hiring of Leyland came so fast, I hope Dombrowski considered other candidates, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt for now since this one is clearly his choice while Trammell was rumored to be an "Ilitch choice". Leyland certainly has the experience that Trammell didn't enter with and he isn't a total whacko like Piniella.
Pogotheostrich wrote:The farm system has gotten a lot better but unless you have the Yankees wallet you can't just say let's try and win now and get some FA. The idea is flawed to start with.
Ilitch has a fair amount of money himself. He's no Steinbrenner, but I expect the payroll to exceed $100 million entering 2006. It still remains to be seen who they get/don't get, but they will be somewhat active. Wisely spending the money, however, is my big concern. The farm system on the other hand is potentially on the verge of breaking out in a big way. Most people know Verlander, Zumaya, and Granderson. While not all of them will flourish, there are also some lesser known big time talents that could explode onto the prospect scene next season. Jordan Tata and Brent Clevlen are already on the verge, while guys like Wilken Ramirez, Juan Tejeda, Jeff Larish, Kevin Whelan, Matt Joyce, and Michael Hollimon just to name a few are more than your average Tiger prospects that we've seen in the past. Compared to the past seasons, there are just too many talented players down there to produce the total dissappointments this organization has seen it's farm system yield in the past.
My biggest concern with him is the way he went out in Colorado. Not because of his pitiful performance there, but because he explicitly stated he would never manage again. Now after all this time, has his passion for managing miraculously returned? I'm not anti-Leyland or anything, but I'm certainly not ready to say this team suddenly has all of it's problems fixed. Leyland is a decent choice and I am very glad they got it done early in the offseason and whacko Piniella's name never even came up. I only hope he can do something with Pudge. I think Pudge is more capable than the line he put up last year. Some feel Pudge is a cancer in the clubhouse, but this team is stuck with him for the time being and he could prove to be Leyland's greatest challenge.
i think the signing of leyland is a great signing,,, but i also liked trammell quite a bit as well.... for trammells sake, i hope the tigers still suck next year, so that ownership will know that a manager does not make a difference when the farm system was basically destroyed for a few years( it is looking much better now).... but i do realize that if anybody can make a difference, jim leyland is the man for the job
mcqfesijiba wrote:My biggest concern with him is the way he went out in Colorado.
My biggest concern is that Dombrowski doesn't seem to put much effort into finding a manager. Look at who he has hired:
Luis Puljos. There was a division in the clubhouse with the Latino players feeling no love from the manager. Bang! Hire a Latino manager. No offense to Luis Puljos, but how hard did he look to find him? Not exactly qualified to do the job, but didn't matter. He was Latino, cheap, and probably as important; he would take the job.
Tram. Knew they were heading into the season with a modern day version of the bad news bears. Fans are going to revolt at this revolting team. Bang! Hire a legend from the glory years and have him bring his cronies with him. Forget that the only one with any experience is Kluck, who's philosophy is a direct opposite of Dombroski's. I don't count Bruce Fields' experience because it has been with one of the most poorly coached minor league systems in MLB. Again though we find a guy who had these qualifications; he would work cheap, a local hero, and would take the job.
Leyland. Third strike. Last manager was shown to lack experience and wasn't respected in the clubhouse. (Do I see a theme here?). Bang! Hire former manager who not only has experience, most of it losing, but has also won a WS for his former and new boss. As a bonus he has a history of handling one of the biggest jerks in the game. He should put Pudge, Maggs, and DY in their place. We'll all just forget the putrid job he did in Colo and that he turned and ran from it. And he has roots to the organization. So he would take the job and has name recongnition. And Dombrowski didn't have to examine other possibilities.
While I do like Leyland, I can't help but wonder. Is he just another band-aide from a GM who seems to be pretty lazy in his hiring practices.