August 21, 2016

DETROIT (AP) Dave Dombrowski was back in his old ballpark, exactly one year after being hired by the Boston Red Sox.

He made the trip to Detroit with the Red Sox for a four-game series that began Thursday. It's Boston's first visit to Comerica Park this season.

''I guess mixed emotions. Many great memories, and also looking forward to seeing a lot of friends,'' he said. ''It's just unusual because the last time I was in the ballpark was a little over a year ago, and didn't end on the best of circumstances.''

Dombrowski was let go in early August after nearly 14 seasons as president and general manager of the Tigers. He wasn't on the market for long, taking over as Boston's president of baseball operations on Aug. 18.

Detroit played a three-game series at Boston last month, so this isn't Dombrowski's first time going up against his former team. He said he had a chance to say hello to players and staff at that series.

Although the move to Boston took Dombrowski to a different division, the Tigers and Red Sox are still competing against each other. Boston entered Thursday as the American League's top wild card. Detroit was 4 + games behind the Red Sox.

Dombrowski's tenure in Detroit ended abruptly after the Tigers made several moves before the trade deadline last year. Detroit traded stars David Price and Yoenis Cespedes in some of those deals, receiving pitching prospects Daniel Norris, Matt Boyd and Michael Fulmer in return.

Those young pitchers - particularly Fulmer - have been instrumental in keeping the Tigers in the playoff hunt this season. But Dombrowski wasn't interested in taking too much credit for that Thursday.

''At the time, we focused on trying to do the best job we possibly could and trying to get the best young talent to sort of build on the future, thinking it was important to get young pitching, but there's a lot of people involved in those discussions,'' Dombrowski said. ''I'm happy for those players that they've done well, but it's really not my circumstances to comment.''

The Tigers kept much of their front office intact after Dombrowski's exit, promoting Al Avila to general manger. Now Dombrowski's focus is on the Red Sox and his new challenges with them.

''After a year, I think you start to settle in,'' he said.

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Follow Noah Trister at www.Twitter.com/noahtrister

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