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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Fire Jim Bowden: Anatomy of a train wreck (Pt. 1)

“Experience the thrill and ease of riding a Segway PT today and see for yourself why we call it the Segway smile!”...fall off and end up choking yourself with a mock garrett.

Bowden’s defenders almost always include some variation of: “The guy inherited a mess from Montreal, operated with a salary cap and a shoestring scouting budget and no owner for two years. What was he supposed to do?”

This post, the first in what will be a 2-part series, attempts to answer this question. Were we in fact doomed to what looks like 5-6 years of terrible baseball from the get-go, or was it possible that with good roster management, good drafting, and a commitment to rebuilding that Bowden could have built a winning team by now?

...This brings us to the end of Jim Bowden’s disastrous first year as GM of the Washington Nationals. It’s really remarkable if you scroll through all the moves Bowden made that first year, that almost without exception, we got older, more expensive, and less talented. We inherited a mess, but what assets we did have Bowden squandered a bunch of them, most unforgivably those high draft picks (we didn’t even have to suffer through the 2004 season as Expos fans to get them!).

And now the sins of the father are being visited on the son. If you want to know why we’re so bad now, why after 4 years of “patience” there’s very little hope on the near horizon, look at the way Bowden in 2005 mortgaged our future to squeeze a handful of wins out of a bad team.

Repoz Posted: June 24, 2008 at 01:45 PM | 99 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Cowboy Popup Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:24 PM (#2830706)
Geeze, Bowden did make some bad moves to start, but I think the draft critique, like most draft critiques rang a little hollow, a little to full of hindsight. For example, he gets on Bowden for not drafting Joba Chamberlin. That was a huge risk that took a lot of cash, which is why the Yanks did it. I don't think it's fair to criticize Bowden for that.
   2. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:36 PM (#2830719)
Well, if Bowden had spent more money developing the time machine instead of wasting it on Segways...
   3. jmurph Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:37 PM (#2830721)
I know this probably goes without saying, but good god the Expos were a development machine for a while.
   4. Belfry Bob Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:38 PM (#2830722)
If you want to know why we’re so bad now, why after 4 years of “patience” there’s very little hope on the near horizon, look at the way Bowden in 2005 mortgaged our future to squeeze a handful of wins out of a bad team.

Sounds ironically like the Oriole model of the previous decade. For those who switched their allegience to the Nats from the O's, it was just more of the same.

The draft critique in and of itself may not be all that valid, but the loss of the draft picks were. To Jim's credit, Lastings, Dukes, and Wily Mo panning out (or even one of them) would make him look a lot better.
   5. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:41 PM (#2830726)
I'm not a Bowden fan by any stretch (is there anyone out there who is really a Bowden fan?), but I'm not sure how coherently one can really run down his moves with the Nats.

For his first year in the GM's chair, Bowden was essentially making moves for his own aggrandizement. The team was still MLB-owned, and it looked (at the time) that a new ownership group would be selected fairly soon. So he acquired some second-tier name players (perhaps at the suggestion of Tony Tavares, as a way of giving the local fans some players they'd heard of). It worked well enough in the first half of '05, and Bowden's name shot to prominence again. It worked quite a bit less well in the second half (Preston Wilson???), but the .500 finish gave him enough credibility to be seen as viable by other organizations. He interviewed with the Red Sox during the Theo Thing, though who knows if he was really a serious candidate.

By mid-season of the following season, the Lernastens were finally in place as owners. It was expected that Stan Kasten would install someone from the Atlanta pipeline, but to many people's surprise, Bowden stayed on; during the run-up of the Ownership Derby, he had befriended Mark Lerner. And since then, he's been generally a different Bodes: somewhat patient, part of a team, hands-off for the scouting & development guys (Brown and Rizzo), and given the somewhat limited task of finding a little bit of cheap talent ready to contribute. Bowden hasn't been particularly successful at that, but he hasn't been an abject failure in the sense that it's not expected for this team to win now.

I think there's a case to be made that Bowden needs to go -- maybe a rebuttable case, but a case nonetheless -- but tracking back to '05 isn't really the way to do it, IMO, because we're essentially talking about a different Bowden regime then.
   6. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:45 PM (#2830727)
(is there anyone out there who is really a Bowden fan?)

Jim Bowden is a big Bowden fan.

How many mirrors do you think he has in his condo? How many are on the ceiling?
   7. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:49 PM (#2830732)
Jim Bowden is a big Bowden fan.


Good point.

According to league sources, the entire interior of his condo is a mirror, and the roof emits a Batman beacon in the shape of a Segway.
   8. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 02:56 PM (#2830739)
"I think the draft critique, like most draft critiques rang a little hollow, a little to full of hindsight. For example, he gets on Bowden for not drafting Joba Chamberlin. That was a huge risk that took a lot of cash, which is why the Yanks did it. I don't think it's fair to criticize Bowden for that."

Bingo. He's going to assume that in both the second and the third, the Nats get one of the five or six quality players who went in each of those rounds? Optimistic much?

Caveat: I have a little more patience for that kind of analysis when you have a record of saying pre-draft that you want the team to take a certain guy with a certain pick.
   9. Jimmy P Posted: June 24, 2008 at 03:10 PM (#2830752)
For example, he gets on Bowden for not drafting Joba Chamberlin. That was a huge risk that took a lot of cash, which is why the Yanks did it. I don't think it's fair to criticize Bowden for that.

Totally agree. I think every team in baseball passed on Joba, and if I remember correctly, he was good in college but not dominant, and he had injury problems his last year there (arm problems, to be more specific).

My goal isn't to nitpick every possible move with 20/20 hindsight or blame him for bad luck.


but then he says

Don't sign Esteban Loiaza for 1 year and $2.9 million


and

Don't trade Tomo Ohka for Junior Spivey


and

Don't release Scott Downs


Now, I'm not going to say that any of these deals are great, but I'm also not going to say that giving Esteban Loiaza a 1 year contract in 2005 has screwed the Nationals over forever, either. 1 year, $3 million, that's nothing. He had a 108 ERA+, it's not great, but it's not terrible either, and the guy gave you 217 innings for $3 million! Really, if you say you're not going to nitpick, and then ##### about something pointless like picking up a guy for 1 year that throws 217 innings, what are you doing?

The same thing goes with Scott Downs. He's a LOOGY. There's 8,000 of them floating around baseball. Again, nitpick.

And Tomo Ohka for Junior Spivey? Really? Spivey isn't good, but last time I checked, Ohka's not good either. And, he didn't have as good a year as Loiaza in 2005. So, we want to keep Ohka, but not the guy who's going to outperform him.
   10. Gainsay Posted: June 24, 2008 at 03:32 PM (#2830766)
Ever since Kasten decided to keep Bowden around, I've felt that he was destined to be fired before the Nats became respectable. The combination of the terrible state of the organization and the pressure to win in a new stadium was really an almost impossible set of circumstances.
   11. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 03:38 PM (#2830775)
Ever since Kasten decided to keep Bowden around, I've felt that he was destined to be fired before the Nats became respectable.

There's been an assumption -- without any true reporting on the specifics -- that Bowden isn't really a Kasten guy. Bowden did an amazing job of ingratiating himself with Mark Lerner, the team's owner, throughout the entire bidding process, and the two speak glowingly of each other. If that assumption is correct, then that makes sense as to why Kasten has kept him on; it's what his boss wanted.

Now, if that's the case, maybe the other point of your post is 100% correct. The complete stinkaroo on the field could be enough to be able to let Stan convince the Lerners that Jimbo's a hack.

But all that's predicated on that first assumption, which nobody truly knows.
   12. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 03:52 PM (#2830792)
And Tomo Ohka for Junior Spivey? Really?


He has something of a short-term point there. Bowden got rid of several pitchers during the course of the 2005 season: Ohka for Spivey, Vargas for nothing, Zach Day for Preston Wilson, and Sunny Kim for nothing. These guys had ranged from decent to passable to not all that good in the recent past, so it's not like he let go of tremendous talent with this gang. But understand that by September, with the club still on the fringes of the playoff hunt, the Nats were reduced to a kitchen-sink approach for the last two spots in the rotation -- Halama, Darrell Rasner (whom Frank did not trust), and turning Hector Carrasco into a starter (which sort of worked somehow). This was a very frustrating thing, and yes, Oh, why can't we have Tomo Ohka back? was a natural question, especially since Spivey lasted for about two weeks before injuring himself.

OTOH, Ohka and Frank had their blow-up shortly before the trade, so dealing him pretty much had to happen by that point.

But again, this kind of mess doesn't necessarily have much bearing on how Bowden should be evaluated now. There was no rhyme or reason to what they were doing back then, and there's an organizational plan now. It's not quite so evident that Bowden's been a failure within that plan -- although things look really ugly right now!
   13. Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:00 PM (#2830801)
Not that this is very important, but Scott Downs isn't a LOOGY. He was a starter until the Natspos dropped him.

His career OPS against for LHB is .651, and for RHB is .809. Last year it was .548 for LHB (126 PA) and .639 for RHB (113 PA). He just threw two innings in their last game against the Pirates.

There aren't many actual LOOGYs in the world.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:07 PM (#2830805)
Interesting discussion. I'd actually like to read a series like this, where each GM is dissected in this manner.
   15. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:17 PM (#2830810)
The problem with the approach is that neither the micro look nor the macro really give the full picture.

As Mr. DeShields sorta says, even some of the individual deals look ok in isolation, but you have to consider the context and the larger picture.

Also, under this system, the Soriano trade would be considered a bust. Given the return in picks (and the specific players they picked up), I don't think most Nats fans would agree.
   16. Danny Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:32 PM (#2830830)
Now, I'm not going to say that any of these deals are great, but I'm also not going to say that giving Esteban Loiaza a 1 year contract in 2005 has screwed the Nationals over forever, either. 1 year, $3 million, that's nothing. He had a 108 ERA+, it's not great, but it's not terrible either, and the guy gave you 217 innings for $3 million! Really, if you say you're not going to nitpick, and then ##### about something pointless like picking up a guy for 1 year that throws 217 innings, what are you doing?


The Loaiza deal absolutely turned out great. Loaiza finished 16th in the NL in VORP in 2005, at 39.6. Not only is that a great deal for $3 million, but the Nats also picked up the 22nd pick in the 2006 draft when the A's signed Loaiza as a free agent.
   17. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:40 PM (#2830838)
In Part Two, the author chronicles how Bowden could've drafted Tim Lincecum, signed Rick Ankiel, cured the common cold, and stopped the Kennedy assassination (both of them) had he not signed Castilla/Guzman, or acquired Soriano, or held back on the MajewskiGate trade, or something.

EDIT: Looks like the blogger took it down. But it was a hoot.
   18. The District Attorney Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:43 PM (#2830840)
I don't think Bowden is a good GM, but I can't get on a guy too much when he acquires Lastings Milledge, Elijah Dukes, Wily Mo Pena, Austin Kearns and Felipe Lopez in exchange for Ryan Church and spare parts, and it still doesn't work.

But, he should have traded Dmitri, never mind actually re-signing him. And at some point in his life, you would think it would occur to him that a team needs, not only right-handed outfielders, but pitchers and other players as well.
   19. Esoteric Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:48 PM (#2830848)
This is a silly article, and it reflects poorly on the writer's analytical abilities. I don't really think Bowden is the answer long term, but he's done very little that makes me think him incompetent right now. He's gambler, but his gambles were all low-risk/high-reward ones on a team without any budget. This season everything is mysteriously failing on him, but only because he's inexplicably rolled snake-eyes, not because they were bad moves to make.

Anyway, I'm deeply unimpressed with this blog and this argument. The blogger comes off as the classic "stupid fan" who uses pixels by the bucketful and misuses facts egregiously, with no knowledge or understanding of nuance or counterarguments. He's got his thesis, by god, and he's gonna make sure that he argues it as loudly and dumbly as possible, facts be damned.
   20. MM1f Posted: June 24, 2008 at 04:53 PM (#2830853)
There are enough fair point to criticize Bowden for that you don't need to water down your argument by throwing every non-amazing move ever made in there. I guess he is just trying to make seem as if there is a mountain of mistakes Bowden made but if you are trying to appeal to anyone who follows baseball you are just leaving the substance of your post empty by doing that.
A waste of my read.
Not only is it unfair to blast moves that were needed at the time but maybe look different in hindsight (dumping Scott Downs) but then you blast GOOD moves.. like getting Loaiza!
The ONLY damn reason to do this is because you are trying to pile on.
Crap.
   21. knucklehead7 Posted: June 24, 2008 at 05:22 PM (#2830882)
This blog just highlights how good Capitol Punishment was. I understand why Chris stepped aside, but we were lucky to have such a good place to turn to each day for Nats' analysis/humor.
   22. Brian Oliver Posted: June 24, 2008 at 05:38 PM (#2830900)
Bowden is what he is. A marginal MLB GM who likes attention. He makes grand pronouncements of what a player is going to be (Ryan Zimmerman is a magical combination of Brooks Robinson and Mike Schmidt & recent draft pick Destin Hood is Torrii Hunter and Vlad Guerrero wrapped up in a pretty little package). He preens for the camera. In general he acts like someone deserving of a status he has yet to earn.

That being said, the laundry listing of deals without considering the context of the moves is a huge problem in the analysis.

As has been previously mentioned by Chris, the Loaiza deal is what the Nationals should be doing more of, not criticized for. Take advantage of the compensation system when you can. The Padres have fine-tuned this practice, adding multiple sandwich picks to their draft classes.
   23. PerroX Posted: June 24, 2008 at 05:58 PM (#2830932)
Should be against the law to start a new blog beginning with 'fire'.
   24. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:03 PM (#2830941)
Unless it's firelennyharris.blogspot.com
   25. Brian Oliver Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:17 PM (#2830955)
How about a compromise ... immolatelennyharris.blogspot.com?
   26. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:22 PM (#2830960)
I don't wish long-term harm to the guy. Just immediate banishment to some place where he's completely isolated and out of sight -- like the OF seats at the stadium.
   27. Walt Davis Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:29 PM (#2830966)
I'll cut the author a little more slack than you guys.

He states his premise fairly clearly -- the Nats should have been in "rebuilding" mode from day one not "drive for 75 mode". If you take that premise, deals where you give up youth are bad ... even when they work out in the short term or were inconsequential in the short and long-term. He does nitpick and overstate but listing all the deals might also be an attempt to show a pattern of moves.

Most GM moves, in isolation, are no worse than "not a good idea but could work out in the short/long term" (especially in baseball terms, the big mistakes tend to be related to money and length of contract). The only legit way to criticize a GM is to look at the totality of their moves and see if there is a pattern of regular "not a good idea" and "blah" moves where the same mistake is made repeatedly ... or alternatively a series of "good idea" moves where the same strategy is employed.

So if he goes through this and shows that Bowden continued to let potential (even limited) walk out the door in exchange for vet crappiness, he'll have a case. Now, that seems it would be a hard one for him to make given most of Bowden's more recent moves have been about bringing in guys with huge amounts of unrealized potential. The argument the guy has set up in part 1 suggests he should love the moves to get Milledge, Dukes, Pena, Lopez and Kearns at the very least. And if you love those moves, it's hard to give Bowden an overall negative rating these last 3 seasons.

However, I suspect that if you look at Bowden's career back to the Reds, you'll find a regular pattern that the man simply has no idea how to build a pitching staff.
   28. Chris Needham Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:48 PM (#2831008)
That's fair, Walt. The raises the question, then, of what changed with Bowden's strategy. And then whether he's capable of working within that new strategy.
   29. Moloka'i Three-Finger Brown (Declino DeShields) Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:52 PM (#2831014)
He states his premise fairly clearly -- the Nats should have been in "rebuilding" mode from day one not "drive for 75 mode". If you take that premise,


But that's the thing; is it fair to take that premise?

Bowden was somewhere between the third and sixth choice for the job, he was essentially a temp (as was his boss, Tavares), and there was absolutely no presumption at the time that the successor ownership group would retain his services much less consider him a serious candidate at all. Bowden might kick himself now for not trying to stockpile young talent during that first season, but he can be excused somewhat if at the time he was concerned with making some headlines and putting a semi-decent team together for that season only.
   30. Greg Pope Posted: June 24, 2008 at 06:54 PM (#2831019)
the Nats should have been in "rebuilding" mode from day one not "drive for 75 mode".

The problem is that if Bowden does that, then he probably isn't around for the results. And there was no way around that because of the ownership situation. If the Nats had an owner from day 1, Bowden could have gone to the owner and laid out a plan of rebuilding from the start. But he couldn't do that until a new owner came in. And he had to show the new owner some sort of results.
   31. Cabbage Posted: June 24, 2008 at 08:56 PM (#2831163)
And if you love those moves, it's hard to give Bowden an overall negative rating these last 3 seasons.

exactly. Many of his decisions have been poor, but Milidge/Dukes/Pena is exactly the outfield I would have assembled.
   32. flournoy Posted: June 24, 2008 at 09:09 PM (#2831171)
Is there a pitcher who Bowden could have signed who would have been better than Loaiza for a youth movement? Sure, Loaiza is 32 and had no place in the Nationals' future, but that's only relevant if they could have replaced him with a pitcher who did have a place in the Nationals' future. I certainly can't think of anyone like that. It's not as though they had plenty of pitching prospects to try out, to separate the wheat from the chaff. All they had was chaff. You can't convince me that signing a 24 year old scrub (apologies to Ryan Raburn) better facilitates the team than signing a 32 year old Loaiza, who netted the team a compensation draft pick the following season.
   33. Honkie Kong Posted: June 24, 2008 at 09:23 PM (#2831182)
Well, the Nats have let go off arms Rasner, Galaragga. They are not world beaters, but they give you solid enough back of the rotation stuff.
Didn't trade Cordero when he could have gotten some value for him. Still not sure what people were offering for Soriano so will hold off on that.

But that said, he has somehow won gambles on Odalis Perez and Tim Redding. And gotten Dukes, Pena, Milledge, Flores pretty much for free. and I rather have Guzman than Felipe Lopez.
The Nats have a core in place. If 2 of the outfielders take off, and with their pitching coming up, they can be competitive soon.
   34. flournoy Posted: June 24, 2008 at 09:32 PM (#2831186)
I'm not sure if Rasner/Galarraga is a response to me or not, but in case it is...

Rasner and Galarraga were both with the Nationals' organization in 2005 and let go or traded the following offseason. (The Nationals did pretty well in the Soriano trade, too, of which Galarraga was a part.) Neither one of them could have filled in for Loaiza that year, either. Somebody still had to pitch those innings.
   35. Walt Davis Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:19 AM (#2831526)
#32 ... I don't think anybody (well, except for the author) is arguing that the Loaiza move didn't work out. But of a series of "crafy veteran" acquisitions to field a "decent" team, it's the only one that worked out. And of course it could have blown up in his face (see Loaiza and Oakland). Unless there was a series of such successful signings, you could just write it off to "luck".

I don't have a problem with that signing. If you can get a guy likely to give you 180-200 IP of non-sucky pitching for $3 M, that's pretty much always a good move no matter where you are on the success curve. But if Bowden's mindset was to move younger players in an effort to compete (which that signing would be consistent with) then that's an issue.

The problem is that if Bowden does that, then he probably isn't around for the results.

Or the problem is when a manager puts his or her own interests ahead of those of the organization. If Bowden's motivation was to save his own job at the expense of the long-term health of the organization, I'd certainly blame him for it. (Which isn't to deny that's pretty much human nature.) But I have no way to know if that's true -- he might have "legitimately" thought these were the best moves (establishing the team in the market immediately for example) or he might have been under orders from the "owners."

Milidge/Dukes/Pena is exactly the outfield I would have assembled

Personally I wouldn't have touched Pena with a 10-foot pole (my predictions of Pena's demise are hopefully well-known :-). I mean I might be happy to have him around as a 4th OF (would depend on how bad his defense really is). Milledge yes. Dukes I really have no particular opinion on but I know folks generally rave about his talent so that's probably a good gamble. Alas, these moves are consistent with Bowden's long-running love of toolsy, underperforming OFs which haven't paid off for him to any great extent over the years.
   36. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 03:49 AM (#2831858)
Wow look my blog got a whole discussion.

Some points in response:

--Like a bunch of the comments on the blog, a bunch of folks are misunderstanding the whole point of the exercise. It is not to say, "here's the exact perfect set of moves that an omniscent GM would make." The point was to say, "OK, people say that because of the payroll, it would have been impossible for Bowden to succeed. I said, no, if you have a smart strategy and execute it well, you can do better. So let's assume that on day 1 Bowden looked at the Nat-spos and decided we needed to rebuild. Like, desperately needed to stock with young talent. The team is a barren desert of talent. In that case you don't make any moves that make you older, more expensive, or that give away even marginal prospects. No one-year rentals. None of that. Then, following that, where would we be?

--I said in the original post and several times in the comments that in retrospect Loaiza was a good move. I just can't intellectually honestly say that if we adopted the strategy of going for youth that this is a move that would have been made. If I said, "hey, no aging FAs, we're rebuilding, oh except for Loiaza, cuz in retrospect that clearly worked out..." that would be the kind of mindless cherry-picking I was trying to avoid. Jimmy P and Danny either didn't read the post very carefully or are just trying to knock down a straw man.

--I mentioned Joba Chamberlain in the context of acknowledging that in retrospect the Loiaza move was a net positive. I didn't say we should have drafted Joba. Again, you're not reading very carefully.

--Walt basically hits the nail on the head in his first post.

--Chris's response to Walt is further right on with my thinking: "That's fair, Walt. The raises the question, then, of what changed with Bowden's strategy. And then whether he's capable of working within that new strategy." What changed is that Stan forced the Plan on him. Why keeping a guy with no history of being or wanting to build through the draft is beyond me.

--I have no gripe with the Milledge and Dukes moves, which I say in part 2. If we'd been doing things like that from the start, or if Bowden had a track record of being able to do that in a sustained, disciplined way, then we wouldn't be where we are.

--"The problem is that if Bowden does that, then he probably isn't around for the results." If that's true, if Bowden had done a good job restocking the farm system and in 2005 and 06, and then got fired for it, well that'd be on Stan and I'd be blogging about him.

--RE: the Lincecum, Ankiel theoretical moves. Well, sure those are best case scenarios. Again, I'm not saying Bowden should be fired because it was so obvious these guys should have been acquired. I'm responding to the statement, made constantly by Nats fans, Barry Svurluga, and others, that Bowden NEVER HAD A CHANCE. So I say, no, you draft well, don't spend stupid money, commit to rebuilding, you can do well for a lot less in fact. Now, if you assume we have a low payroll AND all our draft picks are wasted, then yes, I concede, we will be terrible forever. So I said for the sake of argument that, like the D'Backs from 03-05 (Carlos Quentin, Conor Jackson, Stephen Drew, Mark Reynolds, Micah Owings and Justin Upton), or the Brewers from 2002 to 2005 (Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun, Rickie Weeks, and Yovani Gallardo), or the Sox from 03-05 (Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, Jonathan Papelbon, Dustin Pedroia) that we do really really well in the draft. Just to establish the high end of what's possible. I didn't say, "hey, let's get Mike Piazza in the 62nd!" I just said, let's take the best outcome

But if you think it's unfair to think through it that way, then fine, let's assume we completely waste the pick that could have been Lincecum--we pick Joe Horgan. Instead of Buchholz, take someone useful, not ideal, but, say, Micah Owings. If you follow my strategy and play 06 without Soriano and Zimmerman and trade Cordero, etc., I think it's safe to say that the 06 team is historically awful and we get the top pick in the next draft. So David Price is ours. You're still a rising team with a TON of money that you didn't blow on pointless/bad/old players on teams going nowhere, so you can shop in 08 and 09 with the same overall payroll and you end up with a team like this:
C: Flores
1B: Nick
2B: Izturis
SS: Furcal
3B: Zimm
LF: Dukes/Rivera
CF: use the Hudson money for Rowand, since now you don't have Ankiel
RF: Milledge
SPs: Owings, Price, Lannan, Hill, Galarraga
Bullpen: Rauch (closer), Downs, Rivera, Ayala, Bray, and Bergmann, Majewski, or Colome
   37. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:51 AM (#2831897)
what is the difference between Rowand and Loazia relatively speaking? I mean seriously, Rowand had one good year in the previous three seasons, why would anyone consder pursuing him is a good thing for a team 'trying' to go young?
   38. cardsfanboy Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:59 AM (#2831899)
and that list is disengious as hell, you have dukes, you have miledge etc. guys that Bowden acquired in what is widely consider great rip offs of a trade even when they happened. Considering that 28 other gms in baseball didn't make those moves, why in the heck would any thinking person think someone other than Bowden would have acquired those guys?
   39. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 08:37 AM (#2831951)
What part of "Loaiza was a good move" do you people not understand?

That said, (hang with me here, you'll need to actually READ THIS SENTENCE, every word of it, to understand what I'm saying) the difference between going young to rebuild in 05 and spending in 08 is that IF YOU HAD gone young in 05 (we didn't) and built a core of youth (we didn't), a Rowand signing would be putting helping you get from 85 wins to 90 wins instead of from 76 wins to 81.

I think some of you people are just skimming the words without actually reading sentences. Like if you see the words "fire Bowden" and "Loiaza" on in roughly the same paragraph you go, "I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS IDIOT WANTS TO FIRE BOWDEN CUZ OF SIGNING LOAIZA!!!" Even if the actual sentence is "I think there are lots of good reasons to fire Bowden, but Loaiza isn't one of them."

I think this is how the people in the White House review intelligence reports. They just kinda skim along, catching a word here or there.... The document might say, "Israel's nuclear weapons have the capacity to reach Iraq." And they go "OMG! Iraq! Nuclear weapons! ####!!!! We gotta stop them before it's too late!!!"
   40. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:56 AM (#2831977)
Are people really going to criticize Bowden for Loaiza? They go a good year at low cost and then, and this is the best part, had the sense to NOT resign him and take the pick. (Thanks Billy!) That was a freakin coup for Bowden.
   41. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 12:37 PM (#2831988)
I think this is how the people in the White House review intelligence reports. They just kinda skim along, catching a word here or there

I think the intelligence reports are more concise, better written and more clear. I'll leave it to others to make the comment about the accuracy of their content.

But, yeah. We're too stupid to figure out what we're saying. And isolating a few of the more outlandish things you're saying isn't fair even though that's basically exactly what you're doing with his moves: freeing them from their context.
   42. Shooty would run in but these bone spurs hurt! Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:04 PM (#2832007)
I think the intelligence reports are more concise, better written and more clear. I'll leave it to others to make the comment about the accuracy of their content.

My understanding isn't that the content is bad, it's that the politicos want the intelligence to bolster their policy decisions and there's a lot of pressure for higher ups to adjust the content to match the policy. I'd love to single out Bush for this--it's the current White House's stock and trade--but this kind of thing goes back decades. It must be very frustrating to work in intelligence.
   43. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:07 PM (#2832012)
OK, so maybe that parallel works even better: shoehorning scant facts into a pre-chosen decision.

Yeah, if they had not signed Loaiza, drafte Price, signed Ankiel, drafter Joba, drafted Papelbon, invented a perpetual motion machine and traded it to the Yankees for ARod, River and Jeter, we'd be TEH BEST TEEM EVAR!!11!!
   44. Kyle S at work Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:12 PM (#2832016)
sbiel, here are your words:
--Don't sign Esteban Loiaza for 1 year and $2.9 million. Wow. We're serious. We're rebuilding. But, you say, "Loiaza was good in 2005." I don't care. We're rebuilding. No 33-year-olds need apply here. (Actually, Loiaza turned into a compensatory pick, which became Colten Willems, and could have been, oh, let's say Joba Chamberlain if Bowden had drafted better, but I can't argue that I'd have signed Loiaza following my strategy.)

In one sense, you're absolutely right that it's unfair to criticize this move by pointing out that Loiaza did well, since the point is to try to analyze whether it was a good move at the time. However, I still think there's room for that case to be made for signing him in the first place. Even a rebuilding team needs SOMEBODY to start games, and generally it's not a good idea to much with prospects' development by having them "learn on the job" in MLB.

Therefore, you're left with picking up some AAA lifer like Damian Moss and hoping they can keep their ERA under 7, signing an expensive free agent, or trying some retread like Loazia. At the time, Loazia was only one season removed from a Cy Young caliber performance with the White Sox, so it's not inconceivable that he could have pitched as he did. For $3 million, why not take the chance that he can re-gain his 2003 form and either give you a draft pick or a prospect at the trade deadline? Oh by the way, if he's decent, the fans do like to see the home team win every once and a while.
   45. knucklehead7 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:34 PM (#2832025)
That said, (hang with me here, you'll need to actually READ THIS SENTENCE, every word of it, to understand what I'm saying) the difference between going young to rebuild in 05 and spending in 08 is that IF YOU HAD gone young in 05 (we didn't) and built a core of youth (we didn't), a Rowand signing would be putting helping you get from 85 wins to 90 wins instead of from 76 wins to 81.


I get that you're trying to maintain consistency with your Loaiza comments in the original blog, but the problem for me when I'm trying to understand you is that I don't think the Loaiza transaction is the same as the Guzman/Castilla one(judging it in 2005 not in 2008). The Nats didn't give up a draft pick to obtain Loaiza did they? If not, then Bowden took a chance on a guy one season removed from an excellent season with a decent chance of at least getting a draft pick out of it. As Brian Oliver and many others have stated, this is a viable strategy that many teams use. We also have no idea what kind of edict Bowden was under from MLB when he took over. Would they even have allowed the Nats to tank at that point? Is it even a good idea for a team to tank in their first year(or ever) of moving to a new market with the goal of being moving up in the draft?

What changed is that Stan forced the Plan on him. Why keeping a guy with no history of being or wanting to build through the draft is beyond me.


One possibility is that Bowden doesn't have a lot of say over the drafts, but Kasten believes he is good at finding guys off the scrap heap to tide the team over until the farm system is ready to produce players. I'm not saying it's the right move, just that it could be an explanation for it.
   46. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:37 PM (#2832028)
Guilty as charged on the lack of brevity. And I'm sure I could have used an editor.

I posted a Spark Notes version this morning that makes the point way briefer, and hopefully clearer: http://firejimbowden.blogspot.com/2008/06/anatomy-of-train-wreck-sparknotes.html

Chris--all I'm talking about here is context. Saying I'm not looking at context is bizarre. My whole post could have been called "context is everything."

Like I said re: Loiaza, I was just trying to do the thought experiment in an intellectually honest way without cherry-picking. Where would we be if we had embraced youth and rebuilding, which I presume means not spending on FAs, would we be better off now. Loiaza was good in the short and long term, but I didn't think it was intellectually honest not to admit that if you follow the strategy I was proposing that this deal doesn't happen. But if, as Kyle S. argues, it's intellectually honest to say everything I did and STILL do the Loiaza signing, then fine, that only strengthens my argument still more that it was NOT impossible for Bowden to do any better than he has, as the Bowden homers say.
   47. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:40 PM (#2832031)
an intellectually honest way without cherry-picking

That's the problem. It's neither of those.

You can say it's intellectually consistent. But that doesn't mean it's honest nor not picking cherries.
   48. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:44 PM (#2832035)
@Chris--fine, I'm intellectually consistent vs. intellectually honest. I guess there's some distinction you're drawing there, but I don't know what it is.

I think, from remembering back to previous posts of yours, that your position is just that you can never really go back and rethink what might have been if you'd have done X,Y,Z differently, cuz it's always subject to unknowables. I guess that's technically true, but it makes it really boring to talk about sports if you won't consider questions like "what if the Blazers had drafted MJ not Sam Bowie?" or "what if the Packers had drafted Barry Sanders and not Tony Mandarich?"
   49. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 01:49 PM (#2832041)
Well, poopooing the Loaiza thing might be consistent with your argument, but it's not intellectually honest in terms of assessing whether Jim Bowden is a good GM.

Like I said in your comments, regardless of the larger point you're making, things like that are going to make it really difficult for people to take the rest of your arguments seriously.

There ARE arguments to made for Bowden to be fired. I want him gone! But this is not a very strong case, and you end up getting your allies in the argument arguing against you, defending the very man they want fired!
   50. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:01 PM (#2832052)
Well, I could keep saying over and over that I wasn't poo-pooing, criticizing, or in any way opposing the Loaiza signing, but I'm getting tired of typing that name, what with all those confusing vowels in a row.

The important thing is to be persuasive, and especially with the people other people listen to, so I appreciate the feedback. And I respect a lot of the points made here, even if cardsfanboy got under my skin for a moment there. I was serious in my original post when I said I wanted feedback on how well I pull off the thought experiment, and I've gotten way way way more thoughtful feedback than I ever thought I would.

Also, keep in mind, this is just one post attempting to answer the Bowden homer mantra that "It was impossible to improve on JimBo's record because of the salary." Hopefully the abbreviated version makes the case without getting into details that I intended to be compelling and fun but apparently turned out more to be just distracting.

And the core of my case for firing Bowden is on the right hand panel of the blog. Really I could just sum it up with: 100 losses in your 4th season doesn't cut it. Period.
   51. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:05 PM (#2832053)
See. That's shorter, more intellectually honest, and accurate. Works for me!
   52. TerpNats Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:12 PM (#2832057)
At BallparkGuys' Nationals message board site, there's a poll with six straight-up, "approve or disapprove" questions regarding the Lerners, Stan Kasten, Jim Bowden, Manny Acta, pitching coach Randy St. Claire and hitting coach Lenny Harris. As of last check:

Lerners: 47% approve
Kasten: 50% approve
Bowden: 3% approve
Acta: 61% approve
St. Claire: 92% approve
Harris: 3% approve

I think Harris is getting a raw deal to some extent -- he may not be Walt Hriniak, but consider the Quadruple-A talent he has to work with. Then consider the person who brought most of them there.

Either way, the bloom is off this rose.
   53. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:13 PM (#2832058)
@Chris--Whew! Thank goodness.
   54. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:17 PM (#2832064)
I think Harris is getting a raw deal to some extent -- he may not be Walt Hriniak, but consider the Quadruple-A talent he has to work with. Then consider the person who brought most of them there.

sure, but show me one of the Quad-A players who's improved or even maintained their level under his watch. When 90% of the team regresses offensively, isn't questioning the hitting coach something valid?

The only player who's hitting above or to expectations is Guzman, and he's got new eyes and a new shoulder which are mitigating factors.
   55. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:17 PM (#2832065)
by which I mean, "whew--if Chris decides I'm an idiot, I'm doomed in the Nats blogosphere!"

I live to fight another day. :)
   56. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 02:22 PM (#2832074)
I can't find the poll on the ballpark guys page. Can you post a link?
   57. knucklehead7 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 03:46 PM (#2832155)
Here's the poll:

http://www.ballparkguys.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php?ubb=get_topic;f=41;t=017780
   58. Jimmy P Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:01 PM (#2832166)
Like I said re: Loiaza, I was just trying to do the thought experiment in an intellectually honest way without cherry-picking. Where would we be if we had embraced youth and rebuilding, which I presume means not spending on FAs, would we be better off now.

I don't think I was cherry picking, I think you were wishy-washy and hard to read. The first sentence is "Don't Sign Loiaza", and then you follow it up with reasons on why it was a good move. I don't know, maybe following the premise of the argument would be good, even if it is a shitty argument to begin with.

One of the big myths around these parts is that a rebuilding team can't have any veterans at all. I just don't buy it. My first question is always, "Well, who's going to play there instead?" If you can't name someone that's either got talent to grow into, or going to equal the production, then what's the point? In 2005, it wasn't like Loiaza was blocking anyone. Yes, it'd be great if rebuilding teams could have entire rosters under 27, but let's face it, most teams are rebuilding because they weren't able to develop talent in the first place. Chances are that they're going to have holes all around the diamond for older guys to come in on one to three year contracts.
   59. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:12 PM (#2832169)
His counter to that (not to put words in his mouth) will be that if Bowden had just played crappy kids or whatever stiffs were in the farm team, they'd have lost a bunch of games and then been able to draft the top talent year after year after losing year.

It works much better when you know the names to draft after the fact!

Here's where he counters with "David Price!1!1"

Sigh.

Sure, if that plan had been executed exactly as he'd written, it might've worked. But for that to happen, we'd have to have a number of bankshots go exactly right, like in the old Bird/Jordan HORSE commercial for McDonald's.

Meanwhile, the legitimate arguments for firing Bowden are lost under the weight of all this rosterbation.
   60. Jimmy P Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:25 PM (#2832181)
His counter to that (not to put words in his mouth) will be that if Bowden had just played crappy kids or whatever stiffs were in the farm team, they'd have lost a bunch of games and then been able to draft the top talent year after year after losing year.

I can see that to an extent, but the Nationals drafted 15th. It's not like signing Loiaza gave them enough wins to take them out of the top 5. They went .500, and there was no way they were dropping into the high 60's in wins without him. Even a crappy starter is going to win some games. And, yes, if they drafted 10th they could've had Lincecum or Scherzer, or they could've picked the same guy they did because they were scared of Lincecum's delivery and Scherzer's lack of anything but a fastball.

Meanwhile, the legitimate arguments for firing Bowden are lost under the weight of all this rosterbation.

Totally agree. I don't think Bowden's very good, but I don't think this blog post was very good either.
   61. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:28 PM (#2832183)
I can see that to an extent, but the Nationals drafted 15th....

Further, I'm thinking of some of the draft studies that BPro (was it them?) did that said there's really not a ton of difference in expected value once you get past the top pick or two in the first round.

You're drafting 15th or 10th, it doesn't much matter -- unless you know the picks after the fact!
   62. Jimmy P Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:37 PM (#2832191)
Further, I'm thinking of some of the draft studies that BPro (was it them?) did that said there's really not a ton of difference in expected value once you get past the top pick or two in the first round.

Yeah, Rany did like a 12 part series on the draft. The first thing he found was that the difference between the #1 and #2 pick is about 10 WARP. It slowly slides down after that, but the difference between #7 and #15 is only ~3 WARP, and most of that is due to random fluctuation in the data (he only used 15 years worth). So, unless you're getting up to #1, it doesn't really matter too much in the grand scheme.
   63. base ball chick Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:42 PM (#2832193)
jimmy,

you are right about how some people talk about rebuilding a team - and having basically no veterans on it.

- some of the astros fans are insisting we trade every single guy with over 3 years experience for prospects (and, i guess drayton mclane eat zillions) but fact is that prospects are minor leaguers. a team HAS to put guys on the field. if you put a team on the field that in basically hunter pence + wandy rodriguez + wesley wright and a bunch of minor leaguers, that team is gonna lose more games than the 62 mets and are all those people who SKREEEEEEEMED about how the team has to get rid of all the vets - are they gonna pack the ballpark?

don't THINK so

and the astros have a much huger fan base than the nats.

would all the locals have been happy if bowden had just gone out and put a team of cheap non-arb eligible guys plus a bunch of prospects/minor leaguers on the field? would THAT have built even the littlest bit of fan interest? especially in a town where the media does not like to talk about any sports team except the football team?
   64. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 04:49 PM (#2832198)
And that's ignoring the fact that the players they'd have to have played were stiffs like Josh Labendeira, Matt Cepicky and Kevin Orie. Here's their AAA Roster.

More Dee Brown, please!
   65. Esoteric Posted: June 25, 2008 at 05:01 PM (#2832204)
Nothing has changed: the author of this original blog article is one of the stupider semi-articulate Nationals fans on the internet. Chris Needham, we need you back.

The rosterbation behind this guy's "fire Bowden!" argument is, to coin a phrase, vomitrocious.
   66. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 05:17 PM (#2832215)
I'm still waiting for the checks to clear...
   67. base ball chick Posted: June 25, 2008 at 05:35 PM (#2832230)
cmon guys he ain't THAT bad
   68. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 07:51 PM (#2832320)
@Piano--Geez... harsh much?? It was just a fun little thought experiment to play out a hypothetical. If we had adopted the PLAN now, would we be further ahead. OF COURSE all the specific moves I throw out are just so much theoretical hooey. I never said otherwise. It's just a fun parlor game. Trailblazers fans like to say "if only we'd drafted MJ," and Packers fans talk about "what if we'd taken Barry..." But fine, I'll stop having fun. NEVERMIND!!!

@Baseball chick--One reason that I didn't get around to arguing for taking a strategy of bottoming out fast and rebuilding right away is that there was a total honeymoon for DC baseball. This team was going to be a fan draw in 05 no matter what. The BIGGER risk, IMHO, is what they have actually done, which is to squander 2 years delaying the rebuilding process, locking us into what looks like 6 years of medocrity to awfulness. DC fans were totally ready to be patient for 2 years. But patient for 6? This is what's killing the fan interest.
   69. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 08:05 PM (#2832331)
@Chris--oh now you're playing the retrospective nonsense rosterbation game! :) HA! (I'm smiling and teasing here, take this all in fun...)

Since you INSIST on raising this bogus cherry-picking scenario of Josh Labendeira, Matt Cepicky and Kevin Orie, here's the youth we ACTUALLY would have played with in 05, under my, oh wait, no now this is YOUR bogus, intellectually dishonest hypothetical...

C-Schneider
1B-Nick (Wilky when he's hurt)
2B-Vidro (Jamey when he's hurt)
SS-Izturis
3B-Brandon Harris
LF-Rivera
CF-Church
RF-Wilky/Byrd
SP: Livo, Patterson, Downs, Ohka, Armas (with Day, Kim, maybe even Rauch filling in)
RP: no change--we just inherited the best pen in MLB from the Expos

Where are we not basically the same or better in 2005? Izturis CAN'T be worse than Guzzy was that year. Just not possible. Would Harris have been worse than Vinny? At all? Really? Ohka and Downs give you the innings we got from Loaiza at .5 more.
   70. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 08:08 PM (#2832336)
And if Harris or Izturis failed... RICK SHORT!!!! WoOOOOO!!
   71. Chris Needham Posted: June 25, 2008 at 08:21 PM (#2832344)
Yay! We saved MLB money! Woohoo!

The problem that Bowden made that offseason was NOT in signing Guzman or Castilla, but in NOT waiting til after the non-tender deadline. Guzman was probably NOT going to be tendered. The only problem I have with what he did at that time was giving up those picks. That's inexcusable.

But you're lamenting the loss of Scott Downs? seriously? Give the man some credit for non-tendering Rocky Biddle!

Also, as has been pointed out numerous times, you can't divorce the context of the time/pressure on Jim. Tony Tavares was running that side of the shop for the first part of the offseason. He's the one who was making some of those decisions, and it was his choice (i think?) to dump Tony Batista. I remember TT's name coming up in connection with Castilla, so it's entirely possible that Bowden's bosses -- who he needed to please above all else -- were pushing for ol' hamburger knees.
   72. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 08:43 PM (#2832360)
1. "It's entirely possible that Bowden's bosses -- who he needed to please above all else -- were pushing for ol' hamburger knees." OK now you're just making ridiculous arguments I know you don't believe. Don't make me quote you to yourself. If JimBo did things to hurt the team long-term to help himself personally in the short-term, then he shouldn't be fired, he should be bon-fired!

3. Well, since you bring it up, Scott Downs is not why Bowden should be fired, it's total 20/20 hindsight cherry-picking to bring it up now, but since YOU brought it up, just as a point of fact he did outright release a guy who's been one of the best relief pitchers in baseball the last 2 years, a guy with a 1.31 ERA right now, which I think is a little better than Luis Ayala or Saul Rivera or Charlie Manning. I'm not lamenting or drawing any conclusions or saying anything about it, I'm just saying its a fact. If some people decide to hold that against him, that's none of my concern.
   73. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 08:51 PM (#2832366)
OK I'll quote you to yourself:


I was wrong, Bowden DOES stink.

I don't even know where to begin. Guzman would've been acceptable as a 1 or 2 year signing, but four years? I hope the last two are option years. Castilla? I don't even want to get into it. He's turning 38 and you sign him to a 2-year deal? At least Batista was young. Sometimes you get what you wish for, but you wish you had the old wish back.

I'll have more later when my veins stop throbbing.
   74. DCA Posted: June 25, 2008 at 09:13 PM (#2832374)
They're my local team, but I can't say I'm a Nats fan yet -- been rooting for the A's since I was 5, that's not changing -- but I can't see how Bowden is anything other than an averagish GM, and if anything slightly above. His first year was awful, but he's been decent ever since. Sure, I wouldn't mind replacing him with Dan Evans, but I think his replacement is more likely to be worse than better.
   75. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 09:16 PM (#2832375)
DCA--right on. I don't see how he can be ranked any higher than 5th worst.

Don't forget to sign the petition!

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/my/dashboard/563236765
   76. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 09:56 PM (#2832397)
"I can see that to an extent, but the Nationals drafted 15th. It's not like signing Loiaza gave them enough wins to take them out of the top 5. They went .500, and there was no way they were dropping into the high 60's in wins without him."

OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PEEEEEEEEEEOPLE!!!!!!!!! THE LOAIZA MOVE WAS GOOD!!! I NEVER SAID IT WASN'T GOOD!!!!!!!! GET OFF THIS!

If you don't cut it out, I'm going to start a new thread talking about how dumb Chris was for liking Mike Bascik.

My position is that small-budget teams have the best chance to win it all by committing to youth, letting their team get bad for a year or 3, get a bunch of top 5 picks, then when your core of talent is 26-27 and still under team control, you spend to get a couple FAs to put you over the top. Then when they get too expensive, you flip them for more prospects. This is what all the good small market teams have done. It has nothing to do with knowing the David Price would be the #1 pick that year. He could break his arm tomorrow and never pitch in the bigs. It's how you rebuild and win in small markets. I haven't read the article you are referencing showing that it doesn't matter where you draft, #5 or #30, but just on the face of it that seems ridiculous.
   77. Esoteric Posted: June 25, 2008 at 10:04 PM (#2832402)
#76 - sbiel2:

It's your godd*mn fault for titling one of the prongs of your argument "Don't sign Esteban Loaiza." You argue like an idiot, you're going to be treated like an idiot.
   78. Kyle S at work Posted: June 25, 2008 at 10:10 PM (#2832407)
Who is the worst GM now? Sabean? Jon Daniels has got to be in the mix as well.
   79. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 10:27 PM (#2832418)
Esoteric--when you skim, you miss the point. That wasn't a prong in an argument. That was a step in a thought experiment.

New topic: why did Chris love Mike Bascik so much? That guy sucked.
   80. Jimmy P Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:02 PM (#2832430)
It's your godd*mn fault for titling one of the prongs of your argument "Don't sign Esteban Loaiza." You argue like an idiot, you're going to be treated like an idiot.

Totally agree. That the first sentence of your argument is then countered by the rest of your argument (and half these posts), it shows that you couldn't get your point across.

At first, I was against the premise that Loiaza was a sign that Bowden should be fired. Now, I'm just saying that your whole writing on this topic is just as bad as Bowden's job as a GM.
   81. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:27 PM (#2832467)
this is probably the stupidest blog ever. Have you guys read some of the other posts. wow. The guy is trying really too hard to be funny. I predict this blog doesn't last longer than 6 months. There is nothing here other than some non funny persons vendetta with Bowden.
   82. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:30 PM (#2832476)
*sniff*
   83. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:34 PM (#2832488)
I gotta say, I've never been on this site, but you guys are MEAN! I'm just a guy trying to have fun as a fan of a crappy team.

Is this what BBTF is? Find amateur blogs, start a chat, and call the person names? Geez!
   84. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:52 PM (#2832533)
@gambling--I'll put you out of your suspense. There's no chance I last 6 months. I got a kid and a job. I have maybe one more week's worth of ideas, and then you'll have to find some other stranger to call names on the Internet. I had an outside thought that *maybe* if this was really fun, I'd stay with it longer, make it a more general baseball blog that me and a few friends would read. First it was kinda cool that lots of people I didn't know were coming to comment on my little unedited brain dumps, but this isn't fun.
   85. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:54 PM (#2832539)
I never called you any names.
   86. sbiel2 Posted: June 25, 2008 at 11:58 PM (#2832553)
no, you're right, but you were mean.
   87. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 26, 2008 at 12:06 AM (#2832574)
no, you're right, but you were mean.

If you want mean, these guys can do mean - you've only received the internet equivalent of a singed eyebrow. My advice is to lick your wounds and enjoy the increased traffic!
   88. sbiel2 Posted: June 26, 2008 at 12:13 AM (#2832589)
@Dan--thanks for the kind words.
   89. base ball chick Posted: June 26, 2008 at 12:20 AM (#2832600)
GR

you are being a total dick. this guy is definitely NOT writing the stupidest blog evah. needs improvement, but hey, you ain't exactly one to be throwing stones.

it ain't helping this guy

you know there is ways and ways of saying things. if your woman asks you do i look fat in this - you tell her she is the fattest ugliest pig you EVER seen?

well that is what you doing to this guy.

whats that old song - try a little tenderness...
   90. PerroX Posted: June 26, 2008 at 01:09 AM (#2832713)
whats that old song - try a little tenderness...


I don't think Rent's trying to get laid, but I could be mistaken.

Sbiel, I'll give you some credit -- you've hung in there without running away like that dip from The Starting Five, but you got to be able to take it as well as dish it out.

And please... no more 'fire' blogs unless you actually work with fire.
   91. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 26, 2008 at 01:36 AM (#2832751)
And please... no more 'fire' blogs unless you actually work with fire.

I think actually setting someone on fire is worse than terminating their employment.
   92. Esoteric Posted: June 26, 2008 at 01:49 AM (#2832779)
I think actually setting someone on fire is worse than terminating their employment.
So much for Chris Needham's "Immolate Lenny Harris!" campaign.

There was a time when I thought "immolate" meant "to be doused in molasses." It sounded kinda fun to me, like something that you'd do on Double Dare.
   93. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 26, 2008 at 01:53 AM (#2832788)

There was a time when I thought "immolate" meant "to be doused in molasses." It sounded kinda fun to me, like something that you'd do on Double Dare


And then you get surprised as Marc Summers melts your flesh, thus resulting in Double Dare being taken off the air.
   94. Chris Needham Posted: June 26, 2008 at 02:02 AM (#2832800)
flaylennyherris.blogspot.com seems to be available. hmmm....

locklennyharrisinatrunkandleavehimefordead.blogspot.com works too.

holyhelldidthenatsjustwinagamedespitelennyharrisstillbeingontheteam.blogspot.com

Nahhh.
   95. Esoteric Posted: June 26, 2008 at 02:04 AM (#2832803)
thankyoujesusfloresforseeminglyignoringtheadviceoflennyharris.blogspot.com
   96. Chris Needham Posted: June 26, 2008 at 02:05 AM (#2832804)
Well, he did go to the opposite field the way Lenny likes. I bet Lenny's going to give him a talking to for showing off by hitting it hard though.
   97. Esoteric Posted: June 26, 2008 at 02:19 AM (#2832830)
Whatever else you want to knock Jim Bowden for (and I like him a good deal more than many around here, I think he's average to above-average during his tenure as Nats GM), you have to give him massive amounts of credit for stealing Jesus Flores from the Mets. Jeebus, he really looks like he's going to be the real deal. He can call games, he can hit the ball surprisingly well, he has good plate discipline, and he looks to be a pretty healthy guy. I haven't kept track of his throwing arm (what are his CS% so far?), but other than that he's looking very well-rounded at a very young age.

Sure, half of that transaction is down to the Mets' incompetence - there's a rumor floating around that Minaya & Co. simply didn't realize that Flores was available under Rule 5 - but still, it's looking like one of Tipsy McLeatherpants' crown jewel acquisitions.

Elijah Dukes is starting to show some real promise too. Let's just hope he doesn't text message a picture of a gun to Manny Acta before season's end.

I have no idea what's wrong with Lastings. You look at his numbers and want to groan, but then you watch the video of his home run today (he got jammed on the inside of the bat, but still muscled it out of the park to DEAD CENTER...damn, that's some power & batspeed right there) and can't help but be wowed by his raw talent.
   98. JPWF13 Posted: June 26, 2008 at 02:25 AM (#2832836)
Is this what BBTF is? Find amateur blogs, start a chat, and call the person names? Geez!


Not the site in general- but that is Repoz' schtick it seems...
   99. Gambling Rent Czar Posted: June 26, 2008 at 06:28 AM (#2833082)
BBC, I was thinking about that as I was driving tonight.

The guy seems like a nice enough guy, maybe just a little misguided. But he is also apparently very thin skinned. He freaked out when he simply saw Bowden in a lobby somewhere, and seems to not take to minor criticisms very well at all.

Maybe somebody so thin skinned shouldn't be starting a blog demanding some one else lose their job.
but hey, you ain't exactly one to be throwing stones.
ain't that the truth

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