Just last October, Dave Dombrowski was celebrating a World Series championship. Now, less than 11 months later, he's out of a job.
The Red Sox made the stunning decision to fire their president of baseball operations not even a full season after the team he built won 108 games and cruised to a World Series victory over the Dodgers.
This firing serves as the ultimate reminder that, in many ways, professional baseball is nothing more than a business, and a harsh one at that. Red Sox star Mookie Betts made that very point upon hearing the news.
When asked about his pending free-agency following the Dombrowski news, Mookie Betts responded the same way he has all season.— Joon Lee (@joonlee) September 9, 2019
“I love it here, but this is proof that this is a business.”
Still, you would think that winning a World Series might buy at least a couple of years of goodwill. In Boston's case, you'd be wrong.
Sure, the Red Sox are having a disappointing season. After Sunday night's loss to the Yankees, Boston fell to 76-67, a full eight full games behind the A's for the second AL wild-card spot.
But can that be blamed entirely on Dombrowski? After all, this is essentially the same squad from last year.
If nothing else, this type of bombshell firing makes you understand why executives like Billy Beane and David Forst, both highly sought-after, have chosen to remain with the A's rather than chase higher-profile jobs. When Beane and Forst agreed to extensions with Oakland last offseason, they spoke about loyalty and appreciation for the organization and their colleagues.
"There are some things we don't have, which are obvious, and there are some things we do have," Beane said at the time. "We have stability and we have loyalty. It goes back a long way here."
Forst echoed a similar sentiment, crediting the franchise's loyalty for his decision to stay.
"Ownership has always been very loyal to me and the people we have here make this a great place to work," he said.
So while the A's will likely never have the same financial resources as a franchise like Boston, they do have loyalty. For better or worse, the same cannot be said of the Red Sox.