Tell me you’re joking, Derek. You know how you know Jim Bowden is lying? Either his lips are moving, or he calls a press conference, whichever comes first.
There’s something to be said for Bowden’s willingness to watch the waiver wire for freely available talent. Unfortunately, that is such a small part of being a general manager that it didn’t come close to outweighing his negatives.
As much as I don’t like Pat Gillick’s talent evaluation methods, there’s no question that he’s one of the best managers of people in the game. There’s a reason the position is named General Manager and not Talent Acquisition Guru. The organization that Jim Bowden built was one of the cheapest, least-respected, and worst run in baseball. They low-balled draft picks to the point where college players were threatening to play in Japan as leverage.
I had a lot more points to make about why Jim Bowden is the last guy I want running the Mariners (okay, second to last, but thankfully Dan Duquette is busy with theatre now), but the library is closing. Thanks to everyone who sent in computing suggestions, even if you all disagreed with each other.
Couple items — feedback’s coming in on the new Safeco Field batter’s eye. Said Box Melvin: “The front office really went the extra yard to try and make the hitters feel better.”
I hate to be a killjoy — no, wait, that’s not true at all — but the front office didn’t go an extra yard, they ran in circles for years until they bonked their head on a wall. They tried all kinds of random solutions, never stopping to think them all through, or test different solutions on (say) similar situations they could have constructed in mock sets or something. This is a billion-dollar team, and they spent their time since opening Safeco painting and re-painting the walls, planting trees and cutting them down, and generally twiddling their thumbs. They don’t deserve any praise for finally finding what might be an acceptable solution, they deserve heaping portions of scorn for their inability to come up with a better solution before this.
Also, the Reds fired Jim Bowden and Bob Boone. Bowden’s taking the fall for a lot of Carl Linder’s mistakes, like the giant Barry Larkin signing (and subsequent press conference where they also announced that they’d be raising ticket prices). Bowden’s not a perfect GM by any means, but stuck with the Reds he did a lot of sign-and-flips where he’d gamble on rehab projects, made the most of freely available talent, working the waiver wires and minor league free agents. As of today, he’s my favorite not-me-or-my-friends candidate to replace Gillick.