How am I supposed to celebrate the independence of a country that allows Jim Bowden to walk the streets as a free man? Not just "free," but "employed." Not just employed, in fact, but "employed in a position with enough authority and job security that he can utterly ruin something I'm rather fond of." As opposed to before, when he could just ruin it a little bit for a little while.
So after two years, here's where we stand: Yes, we have a team, and that's the main thing. Everything else -- everything -- has gone wrong. I won't exhaust the list of petty stuff (laughable uniforms, lousy broadcasters, PNC Bank ads), because we're beyond. Our new owners are showing dismaying signs of frugality. Stan Kasten just proved himself -- maybe beyond any hope of redemption -- incompetent. And then there's Jim Bowden. Good old Bodes, the kind of guy you're glad is in baseball as long as he's got nothing to do with your team. An embarrassment as a baseball executive and maybe as a person. A symbol, as if another one was needed, of the Nationals' status as a second class franchise. He was the GM no one wanted -- hell, the GM other GMs wouldn't even talk to -- and they plucked him out of a TV studio because MLB didn't care and Bob Watson already turned them down.
And now -- gulp, steel yourself and say it -- Jim Bowden is our GM. Not the interim GM, and not the guy who won't make any moves until the real bosses take over. Jim Bowden is the real boss. It's obvious at this point that the Nationals aren't going to become a premier franchise anytime soon. Before we could hope. Now we just have to hope we're not the Pirates.