The Philadelphia Phillies are the fourth team to head to the World Series under Dave Dombrowski.
Throughout history, there are phases when physical media dominates the marketplace. Tapes were the one that I first started a collection with. One year, on Christmas, I received my first two cassette tapes. They were the Offspring’s “Smash” and Shaquille O’Neal’s first album, “Shaq Diesel.” (Don’t judge, Shaq’s first album is good)
You made mix tapes for friends or girls you were trying to impress. Then came along CDs, which had the ability to skip around tracks easier and had better sound quality. Both could be used for a car to drive around in. But in several houses throughout the world, gathering dust was a record player. It was either a console record player or just a stand alone, hooked up with a pair of speakers.
Your parents or your neighbors would tell you up and down the quality of the record is superior to anything that was out there. You may have believed them or nodded and smiled and went on your way. But as of last year, LP/EP are the number one physical media sold in the United States at one billion dollars. That makes up for 6.9% of the sales for the U.S. Recorded Music Format. 10 years ago, it made up just 1% and in the early 90s, it barely made up less than a percent.
So now you have this lesson in physical media, how does that pertain to Dave Dombrowski, the President of Baseball Operations to World Series bound Phillies? He has survived all the changes in baseball that have taken place since he started with the Chicago White Sox in 1978.
Dave Dombrowski’s “Musical” journey
Detroit Tigers fans are well too familiar with his body of work here. For some, he is still missed for obvious reasons. While I could easily say “all” fans miss him in Detroit, there are a few people who may not, but I digress.
The story of Dave Dombrowski that reminds me of a producer still making number hits, no matter where he goes. He grew up near Chicago, home of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley and Buddy Guy. Montreal, his second stop, is home to a strong indie scene with acts like the Arcade Fire, the world renowned Montreal Jazz Music Festival and depending on the flavor of music you enjoy, Celine Dion. While he was the same GM who traded Randy Johnson for Mark Langston, he still won with the tight-fisted Expos.
When he took over as the Florida Marlins GM, Dombrowski used all his production skills, similar to artists who created great music there. The Miami bass sound of the early 80s into the 90s, the Latin salsa rhythms to a thriving electronica music scene, Dave signed players to assemble a crew that took him to his first World Series title.
Dombrowski produced two World Series appearances in his time in Detroit. He was responsible for one of the greatest periods in Tigers history. Detroit, home of the Motown sound, punk (The Stooges were technically Ann Arbor, MC5, Lincoln Park, but you get the idea) Bob Seger, Jack White, Eminem, the list goes on and on. He produced winning players in drafts like Curtis Granderson and Justin Verlander. Lastly, the trades he pulled off in Detroit are stuff of gold records.
Dombrowski then took his act to Boston, home of Aerosmith, the Cars, the Pixies, J Giles Band and Donna Summer. Then, he joined a group to bring a MLB team to Nashville. Nashville is the home to all things country music, the Grand Ole Opry and is the “Music City”.
Now, he continues his act in Philadelphia, a city known for “Philly Soul”. The sounds of Thom Bell, Kenny Gamble, and Leon Huff are still being heard today. The list of Philly artists: Patti LaBelle, Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, The Roots, those names that influence another new generation of artists.
With all the changes in baseball front offices that have executives who have degrees in economics or math, Dombrowski has continued to stick around like those records I mentioned earlier in stores for now higher prices. You will pay for the quality of sound and how it seems to always delivers. He has been able to adapt to the streaming services that give you give your own custom playlist. That’s how damn good Dave is at running a baseball team.
Follow me on Twitter @rogcastbaseball
Original photo credit:Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY
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