It's Official: Trammell Out as Manager

After three rollercoaster seasons, including the worst in American League history in 2003, reports have surfaced that the Tigers have decided to part ways with Alan Trammell, ending his reign as the skipper of his former team.

General manager Dave Dombrowski didn't mix words with the public announcement of the decision. "You will not find a more dedicated, hard-working and respected individual who cares more about the Tigers and his coaching staff," Dombrowski said in a statement. "However, for the Tigers to reach the next level, I feel it is appropriate to make a change at this time."

Through his first two seasons, manager Alan Trammell had pretty much managed up to expectations. He couldn't be faulted for being handed a minor league ball club and expected to get them to compete against major leaguers.

And in 2004, when he improved the club by 29 wins, there's little room to claim fault. Of course, there were issues, questionable in-game decisions were always up for debate, but through only two seasons as a manager, it was expected this was still something he could learn from.

But then 2005 happened, and everything seemed to go downhill. After another talent infusion into a roster still desperate for it, the team actually regressed from its performance in 2004, proving incapable of making it back to the 72 wins the Tigers achieved in '04.

At the center of the team's problems was Trammell, whose questionable in-game decisions became magnified and scrutinized even more, as more fans and media members expected more from the team.

But the struggles on when to pull a pitcher isn't likely what did him in. What did do him in was the lack of faith the clubhouse had in him, as many players reportedly simply no longer spoke with Trammell, and some players refused to continue to play for him.

Trammell can't be blamed entirely for the pathetic 2005 season the Tigers endured; injuries and trades undercut some of the things the Tigers were trying to accomplish, things that for the most part were out of Trammell's control.

But when a manager can no longer control his team, it's obvious a mix that is no longer working out. And with contracts as they work today, it's easier to dump the manager than the majority of the 25 man roster.

No announcement has been made concerning the rest of the staff. It's possible that the Tigers won't address that until a new manager is hired. Ken Macha and Jim Leyland are potential suitors for the new role, though there are certainly many more candidates.

The Tigers have offered Trammell a position as a special assistant to Dombrowski, but Trammell has yet to be reached for comment on that. Prior to the announcement, he had stated a preference to remain on the field, if not as a manager, in some other role.

And so, a once hopeful story of a former Tiger great returning the team to glory ends with nothing more than three losing seasons and just as many problems still around as were there when he arrived.


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