Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY
Published 12:37 a.m. ET Sept. 9, 2019 | Updated 1:40 a.m. ET Sept. 9, 2019CLOSE
What I’m Hearing: USA TODAY Sports’ Bob Nightengale tells us what he’s hearing regarding which MLB players will take home some hardware at the end of the season.
USA TODAYThe Boston Red Sox, in a stunning move Sunday night, fired David Dombrowski, their president of baseball operations, less than a year after winning the World Series, Dombrowski confirmed to USA TODAY Sports.Dombrowski, who joined the Red Sox in August 2015 and led the Red Sox to three consecutive AL East titles, took the fall for the Red Sox’s struggles this year. They are 76-67 and all but mathematically eliminated from the playoff chase, sitting eight games out of the second wild-card spot and 17½ games back of the New York Yankees.Dombrowski was fired minutes after the Red Sox’s 10-5 loss to the Yankees in the ESPN Sunday night game. The Red Sox will make a formal announcement Monday, but no permanent replacement is expected until after the season. The Red Sox will be hiring their fourth president of baseball operations in the last 10 years.Dombrowski knew his job was in jeopardy the past month, but still didn’t understand it. He was criticized for giving Chris Sale a five-year, $145 million contract extension this spring and re-signing pitcher Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year, $68 million contract.“I don’t want to say too much about it,’’ Dombrowski, 63, told USA TODAY Sports last month, “but I am surprised. At least a little bit. I mean, we did win three divisions and a World Series. “But I get it. This is a tough market. It’s been known as that. Growing up in this game, I was always told there are three markets that are different than everywhere else: Boston, New York and Philadelphia. And I’d have to say it’s probably lived up to be true.“If you don’t have thick skin, you’re not going to survive in this game. You won’t survive in this market for sure.’’The Red Sox have won four AL East titles and two World Series championships since the Yankees last won a division title in 2012, but it wasn’t enough to save Dombrowski.“I know people wanted us to win, and we wanted to win, the expectations were there,’’ Dombrowski said. “It’s just a situation where you look back, somebody seems to get blamed for whatever happened. The fans have been great. And so has ownership. It’s just a [media] theme that always seems to take place.“We haven’t played as well as we hoped, and people have problems with the decisions we made. I understand that. I guess that’s just the way it is.’’Word spread quickly in the clubhouse about Dombrowski’s firing, with reigning MVP Mookie Betts saying it won’t affect his contract negotiations for a long-term deal before being eligible for free agency after the 2020 season. “I love it here,’’ Betts told reporters, “but this is proof that it’s still a business.’’ Follow Nightengale on Twitter @Bnightengale and on Facebook.AutoplayShow ThumbnailsShow CaptionsLast SlideNext Slide
Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY