As a very wise, very wizened man once said, I'm living like a dog and I'm bored (link warning: Iggy Pop is gross). I've been doing this since June, and everything I can bitch about I already have. How many times have I complained about Endy Chavez? According to my genius calculations, many, and the only new twist is that I stole "Inning-Endy" from Chris. How many more times can I say that Bowden sucks, LIVAN! rules, and Nick Johnson is a husky mystery? I no longer feel the need to give my opinion on things on which I have no opinion. Back when this was the only Nats (or pre-Nats, actually) blog, I pored over everything I could find and commented on most of it. But really, the only things I'm interested in are personnel and the occasional vendetta against some dude who doesn't know I exist. I'm just not all that fascinated by radio and TV deals, announcers, stadium issues, steroids, etc. Now that there's a legion of bloggers, I can rest assured that these issues will be covered thoroughly, thoughtfully, and entertainingly (that a word?). That's why my content's been so thin lately, and I don't know that it'll improve for a while. But for old time's sake, here's some Bowden.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson interviewed interim GM Jim Bowden, who has as little to say at this point as I do. Most of it is reasonable, and I suppose I shouldn't nitpick, but I didn't make the Distinguished Senators the #1 Washington Nationals Blog Named After a Team from 30 Years Ago by not nitpicking.
MLB.com: How does this team look to you on paper?
Jim Bowden: I've never been able to judge a team on paper, because it's about human beings on the field. I have to see them play a number of games before I really give a proper assessment. On paper, I've had teams that people didn't think was going to win. In 1999, for example, the Reds won 96 games because the young players came together.
Yeah, just keep hanging your hat on '99, Jim. When Bowden was hired, defenders pointed to his long experience with a low to middle-budget team, the Reds. The Nats are currently a low-budget team, so that makes sense, right? You want a guy who has proven that he can't win with a low-budget team to run your low-budget team. Oh, but he won the coveted Executive of the Year in 1999. Years from now, Cincinnatians will gather around bowls of chili to reminisce about the good old days, when Pokey Reese was the franchise and Bowden was the year's very best executive.
That's a hell of a typo. I guess I can't blame Bowden for it, though. Damn you, Angelos!
MLB.com: You have made a lot of transactions since you have been with the Nationals. What is your biggest accomplishment thus far?Bowden: I think the most important thing is, I didn't want to affect the corps of this team.
That's why the Wilkersons, Jose Vidros, Brian Schneiders, Tony Armases, Livan Hernandezes are still here.It's a pet peeve of mine when people use the plural of guys' names, and it's always in a list like this. "Livan Hernandezes" my ass. There's exactly one LIVAN!, and there will never be another. But seriously, how many Wilkersons are there? You pretty much named the entire "corps" of the team, so what's with the plural? I hate that like how I hate when people say "literally" and mean the exact opposite.
But for the long term for this franchise, I think we added two pieces to this young organization that will be helpful this year and in the future: Right fielder Jose Guillen, who gives the team an immediate RBI hitter.A "young organization" doesn't have all its top propects in their mid-20s. And there's no such thing as an "RBI hitter." RBIs are a product of skill and chance. A good hitter will drive in RBI when he has men on base. A bad hitter might if he's lucky. It's not a skill, like getting on base or crane style.
We have a shortstop who is 26 years old, has won three divisional title with the Twins, who can catch the ball on either side, has speed and a great makeup. That's Cristian Guzman.I love the way Bodes keeps us in suspense until the very end. I really thought he was talking about George Arias, then I was all like "Cristian Guzman! I don't believe it!" and my jaw literally hit the floor. Anyway, the fact that Cristian Guzman was on a team that won three division titles has nothing do with nothing, and I think it would be very difficult for anyone who believes that that was a factor in signing him to defend Bowden. Speed? Dude had four triples and ten stolen bases last year. Great makeup? The closer you get to Guzman, the more people you find who think he's lazy. So I pretty much have to call bullshit on all of this except the part about how he's 26.
What we are really excited about is building this franchise from the bottom up through developing and scouting. The most important move that we make is going to occur in this year's First-Year Player Draft. We have the fourth pick in the draft. I've never had the luxury of having the fourth pick in the draft in my life.I wonder if he's trying to fool us into thinking that he ever won anything with that last comment - the Yankees never had the fourth pick either! I also wonder how giving up two draft picks to sign Guzman and Vinny Castilla figures into building this franchise from the bottom up.
How did Oakland win as a small market team recently? It's simple. Mark Mulder, Barry Zito and Tim Hudson. This year, without Mulder and Hudson, Oakland will not contend in the West for the first time in years.Well, that's not all the A's did. There was also the focus on market inefficiencies, the unorthodox . . . ah, screw it.