Dombrowski, Tigers have tough decision on their hands

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BOSTON -- It wouldn't be accurate to call the gathering of Detroit's front office today in Florida a summit, or even a formal meeting. As Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski explained it, it's a natural part of the process for the best minds in the organization to get together in the days leading up to the trade deadline (which is Friday), to discuss the business at hand.

But all the brainpower might be needed to solve the Tigers' current conundrum, which is like a befuddling math problem that might stump the whole class -- because in the end, there simply might not be a right answer here.

Shane Greene couldn't keep the ball down in his third turn through the Boston lineup and the Tigers were blown out by David Ortiz and the Red Sox on Sunday night, at a time when the Yankees and other teams are waiting to hear whether the Tigers intend to place David Price on the trade market.

Dombrowkski reiterated before Sunday's game that Detroit's focus is on trying to win this season, and Tigers manager Brad Ausmus adamantly insisted Detroit is in the race. From Chris McCosky's story:

"I don't feel like it's running out of time," Ausmus said. "We are four games out of a wild-card spot. We've got what, two teams ahead of us? I really think because the Tigers have won the division and been in contention the past four years, people think it feels like we're out of it.

"But we're not. Four games is nothing. We play Minnesota two more series. We play Kansas City four more. We play Baltimore four more, we play Tampa (seven), Toronto (three) and Houston (three). We're not out of it." …

"I don't worry about it," Ausmus said. "I wish we were in a position where we could say we definitely should go get someone. But I don't think we're in a position where we definitely need to sell.

"I mean, let's not jump off the cliff here."

But the equation before them is complex.