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Detroit Tigers Renew Contracts of Leyland, Dombrowski

leyland, dombrowski and illitch
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Detroit Tigers team owner Mike Illitch has rewarded his team’s management with contract extensions. Tiger manager Jim Leyland got a 1-year deal that keeps him at the helm of the team through the 2012 season. General Manager Dave Dombrowski got a 4-year deal.

Dombrowski, vice presidents Al Avila, David Chadd, Scott Reid and John Westhoff all were given extensions. The group oversaw a rebuilding process after back-to-back 100 loss seasons in 2002 and 2003 (a record 119 losses that year). The Tigers have drawn more than 2.4 million fans in each of the last six seasons, and have been in contention in nearly every year in that span. The Tigers lost to the Cardinals in the 2006 World Series. Detroit hasn’t won a Division Title since 1987 and have probably their best chance to do so this season. The Tigers lead the American League Central by 4 games over second-place Cleveland at the time of this writing. Detroit opens a three game series tomorrow night in Cleveland against the Indians. An opportunity to blow the race wide open or for Cleveland to put some pressure on the Tigers. The Tigers have 12 games left with Cleveland on the 2011 schedule, including the last three of the season at Comerica Park. Let’s hope the Tigers have taken care of business by then and are preparing for a playoff run.

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