Much has been written about what happened to result in the Dave Dombrowksi dismissal from the Red Sox on Sunday September 8th. In particular, Sean McAdam has a great column ($) about the whys and hows. But what was it exactly that prompted Dave Dombrowski to ask for clarification on his contract that night?
On Field Celebration
Many of the accounts talk about the on field ceremony that Dombrowski was seen at before the game. But the details of that ceremony are paramount to why he made his demand when he did.
It was a celebration of Red Sox employees that have accrued between 10 and 40 years working for the team.
A quick aside here. There is an employee working for the Red Sox who's actual name is Sam Adams. According to the Sox, he works for the Mobility Assistance Team, and is the longest termed employee in that department. He was among those being honored on the field. I was seated in such a way as to observe the perfectly named Red Sox employee rushing to help my fellow fans when he could've been chilling in a suit provided by the Sox for the honorees. His co-workers intimated that this was just Sam being Sam. I raise my Sam Adams to you Sam Adams. The Red Sox are lucky to have you!
State Of Mind
Dave Dombrowski, according to McAdams, was reportedly not just asking for an extension, but a raise. And why not? Three straight AL East Division titles, an all time record for wins in 2018 and a World Series Championship. Why shouldn't he want a raise?
Think about that record for just a moment. Think back to before 2004. Why do so many fans hold a candle for Theo Epstein? He was the GM when we broke through. Imagine if that had been Dombrowski. Could he have plucked David Ortiz and Kevin Millar and convinced Curt Schilling to come to Boston? Could he have traded Nomar Garciaparra mid season? I don't think it's unreasonable to answer yes to all of those. It's debatable at the very least.
Now imagine standing there on the field celebrating the 10, 20, 30, and 40 year anniversaries (among others) of people underneath him in the organization. It's extremely human and understandable to have questions answered about your own employment at that point. Haven't we all been there? Dave Dombrowski has been certainly underappreciated on the radio airwaves of Boston. His accomplishments speak for themselves. Don't you remember coming off last place finishes in 2014 and 2015? He's dismissal is understandable on some levels, but I can certainly understand his assumed anger at not being extended at the same time. I might walk out right then and there too.
That event, honoring long term employees, was almost certainly the spark that sent Dombrowksi from the field, to a demand for an answer about his own employment, to walking out of Fenway Park as the Red President of Baseball Operations for the last time.
Thank you for all you did for us Dave. You will be missed.
Featured Image via Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports