On the eve of another World Series trip, Dave Dombrowski expressed his unhappiness about being fired by the Red Sox less than a year after the most dominant season in franchise history.
“I don’t think I was treated right,” Dombrowski told USA Today Sports about his dismissal as the team’s president of baseball operations late in the 2019 season. “It hurt. It didn’t end the way I hoped or was handled.”
Dombrowski was dismissed during a Red Sox-Yankees game at Fenway Park on Sept. 8, at the time expressing relief that the speculation about his future was finished. Chaim Bloom was hired as chief baseball officer about six weeks later.
Red Sox owner John Henry (who also owns Boston Globe Media Partners) said weeks later that after the victory in the 2018 World Series, it became clear “perhaps we weren’t going to be on the same wavelength going forward.” The Sox underachieved in 2019, finishing 84-78 and a dozen games out of the playoffs, sealing Dombrowski’s fate.
Less than a year later, in June 2020, Dombrowski took on an advisory role with a group in Nashville, hoping to receive an MLB expansion franchise. It was from that job he initially rebuffed the Phillies’ efforts for him to replace GM Rob Klentak after that season, but he was won over by multiple factors — MLB not being close to expansion, but also Phillies owner John Middleton telling Dombrowski he was prepared to lose money in pursuit of winning.
Two seasons later, the Phillies are the record fourth franchise Dombrowski has taken to the World Series, along with the Marlins (1997), Tigers (2006, 2012), and Red Sox.
“We aren’t here without him,” Middleton told USA Today Sports. “We are watching a guy that is historically great. One hundred years from now, when they ask, who are the best GMs in the history of the game, Dave Dombrowski may just be the best.
“I still don’t have any idea why John Henry fired him. I really don’t understand it. But I’m grateful he did.”