Dave Dombrowski’s superpower, and the probable end of Armando.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

It’s not his ability to wear the heck out of a striped polo, although you may be forgiven for thinking that’s it. No, Dave Dombrowski’s superpower is his ability to


Dave Dombrowski has been in charge of the Tigers since 2002, and in that time he has not ONCE gone to arbitration with a player. Guys, it’s 2011. Think about that. It’s obviously a superpower. What else could it possibly be, at this point?

The arb-eligible Tigers this time around were Ryan Raburn, Joel Zumaya, and Armando Galarraga. Obviously they signed the Rhino. They also signed Zoom to a one-year, $1.4 million contract, hoping that he will actually be able to stay healthy for the bulk of the 2011 season (I won’t say the whole season… can’t get crazy, now).

Then there was Armando.

The Tigers signed him to a one-year, $2.3 million contract, avoiding arbitration. The rotation at this point consisted of (in no particular order) Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Brad Penny, Phil Coke, and Armando. Obviously that’s too many cats, but that was a good thing. FredFred had some roughness last year that may or may not be firmly and finally resolved, Brad Penny could oh-so-easily get sore again, I’m still waiting for Justin’s arm to fall off, and Phil Coke might end up pitching like a reliever. Having Armando around meant that if any of those scenarios came to pass, the Tigers wouldn’t have to immediately dip into the Toledo kittens (the Andy Olivers and Jacob Turners of the world) to stabilize the rotation. All seemed well.

BUT NO IT’S A LIE ALL IS LIES. Almost immediately after they had signed him, the Tigers turned right back around and designated Armando for assignment. That was… odd. What say you, Mr. Dombrowski?

In this situation, we thought long and hard. It was one that after Penny went through his physical and passed his physical, we were in a spot where for Armando, right now, we thought he goes in as a sixth starter. We don’t really look at him as a reliever. This is probably a better time to try to move his contract somewhere he can find a spot in a rotation, rather than come into Spring Training.
Jason Beck/DetroitTigers.com

Okaaaaaaay. Like nobody was aware that they were going to suddenly need a roster spot when Penny’s deal was finalized? Or… what. It’s just weird timing all ’round and no matter how much they try to make it seem premeditated, it is hard to imagine this playing out like it did without some sort of last-minute ‘ruh roh we missed that one, quick, this is the only way we can fix it’ stuff happening. They DFA’d him six hours after they agreed to a deal with him. RUDE.

Now the Tigers have 10 days to try to trade Armando to someone who will use him as a starter. If there are no takers, they’ll probably try to outright him to the minors (they could also straight-up release him, but that seems unlikely) (then again, I would have thought this sort of rudeness was also unlikely) (so who knows) (aside from Paws, who knows all). But he would have to get through waivers first and with a one-year, sub-ridiculous contract, I find it kind of difficult to believe that he would make it through waivers unclaimed.

So it seems like this is goodbye.

Fare thee well, Armando! We will miss rolling all the Rs in your name, and your amazing sonic powers, and hoping for more perfection, and 2008, and your dog.


19 responses to “Dave Dombrowski’s superpower, and the probable end of Armando.

  1. I will miss Armando, both for the incredible grace he displayed after the perfect game debacle, and because he represented decent starting pitching insurance for the coming season. I also very much like his dog.

  2. Never Forget.

  3. I started writing a brief riff on the Book of Job but the thing stretched to 12 pages (my goodness! I had forgotten how Job went on and on and on…) and I thought I would spare everyone. But I highly recommend attempting this at home; it is amazing how little adaptation is necessary. Substitute Dombrowski for Almighty, Paws for Lord, a few other words here and there (I found basepaths for paths to be a frequent solution) and you have a work of…well either great comedy or heresy.

  4. I think the logical conclusion here is that the Tigers avoided arb with Armando because Mr. D can’t just prevent his superpower from working. It’s not like he can say, ok, shut yourself off cause we’re gonna dfa this guy. He had to avoid arb, it’s what he does.

    That makes the rest of it make sense, right?

  5. Check your FB – I need your help on something that you were born for.

  6. I… did not remember Armando as the otter. Who’s he holding hands with??

    Also, Mr. Dombrowski’s filling out that striped shirt a little differently from his usual, wouldn’t you say? :P

  7. What happens if Coke is not it?

    No, no, no. I do not like this at all. Armando’s now going to turn around a pitch a perfect game for someone else.

    • all kidding aside, it’s possible that a change in scenery/pitching coach will suddenly make super-Armando the norm rather than the exception, and he might make us regret this move.

      • To be fair, though, if it’s a change of scenery/new pitching coach that bumps Armando up into ConsistentLand, it might not be something that ever would have happened in Detroit anyways. The world may never know…

  8. Traitor-Twins alert! Damon AND Manny just signed with the Rays…fun times ahead at Fenway…

  9. Does this make them the Tampa Bay Ray Sox? I’m just asking…

  10. Or perhaps, if you prefer, the Traitor Bay Ray Sox.

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