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Volume 26 No. 228
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Dave Dombrowski Dishes On Return To Baseball With Nashville Group

Former Red Sox President of Baseball Operations DAVE DOMBROWSKI is making his return to the game, albeit not in the role many would have expected. Dombrowski, who also served as GM for the Expos, Marlins and Tigers throughout his career, has accepted a role as a consultant for Music City Baseball, a group committed to bringing an MLB expansion franchise to Nashville.

TIME OF TRANSITION: After Dombrowski’s surprising dismissal from the Red Sox last September -- 10 months after the club won the ’18 World Series -- he began to plot his next move. Dombrowski credits longtime MLB manager TONY LA RUSSA, who also served as a special assistant during his time with the Red Sox, for connecting him with MCB Managing Dir JOHN LOAR at a charity event in Las Vegas. That led to his first visit to Nashville and the MCB leadership team in December. Once there, Dombrowski got a tour of the city from Loar and dinner with MCB Chair ALBERTO GONZALES. Following a second visit in January, the prospect of joining the Nashville effort started to become a reality -- even if Dombrowksi knew an opportunity with an existing MLB club could open up over the next year.

JUMPING ABOARD: Dombrowski: "They had a plan. They had a focus of how they want to get this done. They’d already accomplished quite a bit behind the scenes in many ways over the last year and a half. ... I asked myself the question -- talked to my wife about it -- and said, 'Okay at the end of the year if an opportunity would come up to be a general manager with a Major League Baseball team again, would I find that that would be something I’d be willing to give up with the opportunity of coming here?' The more I examined my internal thought process, and everything that was involved with trying to get it done, I said yes. It’s intriguing, it’s interesting, it’s fun. I was with an expansion team before at a little bit different stage in Florida in the early '90's and thoroughly enjoyed that experience."

NO SURE THING: Dombrowski, who is in the process of relocating to Nashville from Boston with his wife, knows MCB faces an uphill battle. "When I joined the Marlins, I was the first person hired on the baseball end of the operations," he said. "But they had already been awarded the franchise. They had people in ownership, a club president, business operations ... Of course here we’re starting from the very beginning. But the common thread ends up being that you have an exciting, exhilarating city that is growing. … Nashville is a major league city. Florida felt that way at that point when I went there. ... It’s an exciting opportunity to start a franchise from the very beginning. Now, there’s a lot of work till we get to that point, but ... if we can accomplish it, it will be a very gratifying experience."