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View Full Version : Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....



paulrichjr
06-14-2006, 12:02 AM
This just cracked me up. I wonder who gave Gammons this little rumor...:laugh:
You think JimBo takes any blame for the shambles that he left in Cincy's farm?

http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?name=gammons_peter#20060612

Jim Bowden was never allowed to be big into the draft when he was in Cincinnati because he had owners who didn't believe in it, or its costs. But Bowden has been empowered to begin the reconstruction of the Washington Nationals, and threw himself into the draft. Bowden and the Nationals took the long-term route, with high-profile high school players like 3B Chris Marrero, Florida H.S. RHP Colton Willems, hard-throwing New Jersey RHP Sean Black and Orlando H.S. SS Stephen King. That is an indication that the new ownership is allowing Bowden to eventually trade for as much young talent as he can get, so the market for Alfonso Soriano, Jose Guillen, Livan Hernandez, Tony Armas, et al will be very interesting next month. Next to the draft, what Bowden enjoys most is making trades, so stay tuned.

captainmorgan07
06-14-2006, 12:14 AM
we know about how jimbo does deals see ryan dempster brian moehler projects who those worked out

Reds4Life
06-14-2006, 12:15 AM
Bowden is still a very bitter man when it comes to the Reds. He needs to move on and focus that energy on keeping his job in Washington.

Unassisted
06-14-2006, 12:20 AM
I must admit that's a decent smokescreen to cover up or justify the choices that were made in the draft while he was in Cincinnati.

KronoRed
06-14-2006, 12:28 AM
So no credit for Dunn and Kearns then ;)

Johnny Footstool
06-14-2006, 12:38 AM
Jimbo was neither as bad as fans make him out to be nor as good as he believes he was.

However, he was forced to pass up on a few high-level picks due to "signability" issues.

reds44
06-14-2006, 12:42 AM
So no credit for Dunn and Kearns then ;)
Edwin

Tornon
06-14-2006, 01:53 AM
Edwin wasn't drafted by us

reds44
06-14-2006, 02:45 AM
Edwin wasn't drafted by us
Yes, but Bowden traded for him.

KronoRed
06-14-2006, 03:23 AM
He traded for Mateo, Edwin was a throw in :D

GAC
06-14-2006, 06:41 AM
Jimbo was neither as bad as fans make him out to be nor as good as he believes he was.

However, he was forced to pass up on a few high-level picks due to "signability" issues.

That's exactly right. And Marge really downplayed the significance of the farm system and scouting. She refused to spend the money on what she thought was frivalous ventures.

MrCinatit
06-14-2006, 07:12 AM
Wasn't it scouting supervisors Marge went through like George Steinbrenner went through managers? That foundation still hurts the Reds, IMO, and Dan0's reign did nothing to help.
But, of course, Bowden was a pretty bad GM...so he and Narge were a perfect match.

REDREAD
06-14-2006, 08:49 AM
Jimbo was neither as bad as fans make him out to be nor as good as he believes he was.

However, he was forced to pass up on a few high-level picks due to "signability" issues.


Great summary.

I will add to Bowden's defense that not many GM's have had two first round picks totally unfunded (Sowers + Esponisa). Then were forced to make signablity picks like Snamek, etc.

Bottom line is that after Allen said in the press that Howington was a "waste of money", the draft money dried up.

However, Bowden did make quite a few big gaffes, like passing over Berkman (because he was an "AL" player). Another one was to pick CJ Nitcowski #1 in hopes of him being a lefty out of the pen that fall to face Atlanta. Passing over Jeter and Garciparra was also an obvious mistake.

But Bowden had quite a few successes in the pre-Howington era. Dunn, Kearns, Williamson, maybe LaRue. He also had an eye for picking young talent in trades (although it was mainly position players).

Yachtzee
06-14-2006, 09:10 AM
Jimbo was neither as bad as fans make him out to be nor as good as he believes he was.

However, he was forced to pass up on a few high-level picks due to "signability" issues.

I think the first statement if a fair assessment. However, lots of teams have to pass up draft picks because of signability issues. It doesn't always have to do with whether a team can afford the player or not. Smart teams are going to be very careful about players asking for the big money because no one wants to end up with another Brien Taylor.

I don't know him personally, so my impressions are based on what I've seen in the papers and on TV. My feeling on Jim Bowden is that he is a bright guy, but he lacks self-control. He lacks it when he speaks and he seems to lack it when he does business. My theory is that working with a small budget actually helped reign him in. I feel that if they had opened the pocketbooks, he would have just spent it poorly. The other big issue I saw was that he seems to have this desire to have to "win" trades. With the Griffey trade in particular, there were a few times when he seemed to be gloating about how he got the best of the deal. Not exactly a good way to do business in an industry where you have a limited number of organization with whom you can deal.

All in all, Bowden made some brilliant moves and some real stinkers.

westofyou
06-14-2006, 09:49 AM
But Bowden had quite a few successes in the pre-Howington era. Dunn, Kearns, Williamson, maybe LaRue.Horrible 1st rounders too. and gave the 1995 pick away for Berryhill.


1993 Pat Watkins OF SECOND ROUND 32
1994 C.J. Nitkowski LHP St. John's U 9
1995 Brett Tomko RHP SECOND ROUND 54
1996 John Oliver OF Lehman, PA 25
1997 Brandon Larson SS Louisiana State U 14
1998 Austin Kearns RF Lexington, KY 7
1999 Ty Howington LHP Vancouver, WA 14
2000 David Espinosa SS Miami, FL 23
2001 *Jeremy Sowers LHP Ballard HS, KY 20
2002 Chris Gruler RHP Brentwood, CA 3
2003 Ryan Wagner RH1P Un of Houston 14

IslandRed
06-14-2006, 12:37 PM
My take is that a team has a certain amount of money it's going to spend on baseball players. A GM that believes in the farm system will fight for the money to do it right, even if it means taking a few million off the big club's payroll. I never heard that Bowden did that; he wanted every dollar he could get for the big club and more besides. That doesn't make him a bad GM, necessarily, it was just one more indicator of an organization-wide lack of understanding of how to win as a lower-revenue team.

dfs
06-14-2006, 04:24 PM
1993 Pat Watkins OF SECOND ROUND 32
1994 C.J. Nitkowski LHP St. John's U 9
1995 Brett Tomko RHP SECOND ROUND 54
1996 John Oliver OF Lehman, PA 25
1997 Brandon Larson SS Louisiana State U 14
1998 Austin Kearns RF Lexington, KY 7
1999 Ty Howington LHP Vancouver, WA 14
2000 David Espinosa SS Miami, FL 23
2001 *Jeremy Sowers LHP Ballard HS, KY 20
2002 Chris Gruler RHP Brentwood, CA 3
2003 Ryan Wagner RH1P Un of Houston 14

Is that really all that terrible a pre-Howington record of first round draft picks? Looking over history from the 70's and 80's it looks like there is about a 1/3 chance that a player drafter in the first round will be a "recognizable" major league player and about a 50/50 chance that a first rounder will wach out before having a major league appearance. Those odds very much skewe such that a pick in the top 10 will be much more likely to get there.

Pat Watkins got to the major leagues, showed some promise and then got run over by Willie Greene. Watkins power vanished after that. He was dealt to the Yankees and vanished. You can call that a failure if you want, but Watkins certainly reached the majors.

Nitkowski reached the majors and had a career. Such that it was.
Tomko reached the majors and had a career. Such that it was.
John Oliver vanished.
Brandon Larson reached the majors as a marginal player.
Austin Kearns became Austin Kearns.

Ty Howington was a HSpitcher that got hurt.
Espinosa signed a major league deal that pretty much killed his career. He's topped out as a AAA player.
Sowers certainly has the talent to be get to the majors.
Gruler...see Howington.
Wagner...special case. They were drafting for today and given that restraint, they did a decent enough job.

In the pre-Howington category that's six players, five of whom reached the majors. Two of those have gone on to have real careers.

If Willie Greene didn't do a tap dance on Pat Watkins head, you're probably looking at a 50/50 split that half of Bowden's pre-Howington picks had real major league careers most of the others actually made it to the majors.That's NOT a terrible record. Compare and contrast with any other organization you want.

GriffeyFan
06-14-2006, 06:55 PM
If ownership would have given Jimbo the $$$, he could have done a LOT more with this team. He made deals for the Dempsters and Moehlers of the world because when he made deals for the Rolens (and he did have a deal done for Rolen only to be turned down by Reds' ownership) the Reds hierarchy turned the bigger deals down.

PTI (pti)
06-14-2006, 07:24 PM
Personally I thought that Bowden's biggest flaw was that he never fully embraced the fact that the Reds needed to rebuild - to get worse before they got better. Honestly, considering the nature of professional sports today, I can't really blame him. The Estes-Dempster-Moehler debacle was laughable, but he was being held back (and that's being nice) by ownership that year (and every other).

He made some good trades for veterans (Vaughn and Guzman in '99), some very bad trades for veterans, but off the top of my head I can't remember a single time he traded a veteran for a *quality* farmhand in order to build for the future.

redsfanmia
06-14-2006, 07:39 PM
[QUOTE=MrCinatit]Dan0's reign did nothing to help.

Im not so sure about this, it seems that DanO acutally drafted pretty well so we cant really judge this for a few years.

Heath
06-14-2006, 08:18 PM
Bowden got fooled on Larson's GW-Walk-off HR to give LSU the baseball title. Larson had a decent College career and then had a hot CWS to propel him from a middle-rounder to the top 15.

Wherever there's a Bowden thread, there is TeamClark. Pull up the chair.

bottom_feeder
06-14-2006, 08:30 PM
I think both Marge and Lindner didn't really care about the farm system. Both were a lot more interested in selling tickets today. I'd say that all in all, Bowden was a success. He did a lot with with the cards he was dealt.

You can say that Bowden should've lobbied the owners for a long term approach, but we know Margie wouldn't have listened. I doubt Lindner would've listened either, since he was just in as a short term investor.

paulrichjr
06-14-2006, 10:42 PM
Personally I thought that Bowden's biggest flaw was that he never fully embraced the fact that the Reds needed to rebuild - to get worse before they got better. Honestly, considering the nature of professional sports today, I can't really blame him. The Estes-Dempster-Moehler debacle was laughable, but he was being held back (and that's being nice) by ownership that year (and every other).

He made some good trades for veterans (Vaughn and Guzman in '99), some very bad trades for veterans, but off the top of my head I can't remember a single time he traded a veteran for a *quality* farmhand in order to build for the future.


I agree with this and this is why I find the Gammons stuff so funny. Bowden could have done an Indians thing at least 2 or 3 times but he made dumb moves to try to put a band-aid over a serious hole. The Estes deal was laughable. He needed to strip down and build but he never could pull the trigger.

Chip R
06-14-2006, 11:04 PM
That's exactly right. And Marge really downplayed the significance of the farm system and scouting. She refused to spend the money on what she thought was frivalous ventures.

Perhaps some of you who are more familiar with minor league operations can explain this to me: Why don't teams like the Reds who don't have high payrolls invest more in the minor leagues? Wouldn't that be a drop in the bucket compared to paying free agents tons of money? People like Marge and John Allen have ran this franchise over the past 20 years and they were people that liked to run things cheaply. Couldn't someone like JimBo or whoever gone up to them and appealed to their thriftiness and told them that, yeah, you may have to pay this draft pick an extra $50K but it is a drop in the bucket compared to what you have to pay major league players. What about hiring better coaches, scouts and instructors? Maybe you would have to pay them more to come to your organization but it's not like they are making huge money anyway. You don't have to even scrimp on the big club to do this. That may mean shipping higher priced veterans out and taking a chance on youth but it may pay dividends in the future. Look at the difference between paying Lizard and Dave Williams. The money that went, and is still going, to Williams could have gone to the Lizard and still had enough left over to pay salaries for, I don't know, five scouts? Or paying your 1st or 2nd round pick an extra $500K to get him in the minors ASAP rather than letting him hold out for a few months to prove a point? Now I'm not saying they should buy private planes for every affiliate in the minors. I think a little hardship helps these guys out. You don't want them getting too comfortable but treat them fairly. I believe a few more dollars soent in the right pace could have been the solution to some of out currect probems.

dfs
06-15-2006, 10:23 AM
Why don't teams like the Reds who don't have high payrolls invest more in the minor leagues? Wouldn't that be a drop in the bucket compared to paying free agents tons of money?

In my post earlier I stated that a first round draft pick has a 1/3 chance to become a recognizable player and that those odds are very much skewed so that a pick in the top 10 will be much more likely to get there.

Another way to look at it, is that in each draft there are 10 literally can't miss prospects. Now a couple of those guys ...will end up missing. They will either get hurt or end up with lifestyle issues or the scouts were just wrong..that happens, but the other 8 will end up being really good.

Here...take a look at the 1985 draft at
http://www.baseball-almanac.com/feats/1985draft.shtml

In the first 10 picks you have Surhoff, Will Clark, Bobby Witt, Barry Larkin, Barry Bonds, Pete Incavaglia, and Chris Gwynn.
At 11 you have Walt Weiss.
At 17 you have Brian McRae.
At 18 there is Joe Magraine.
Greg Jeffries fell to 20 because he wanted money.
Rafael Palmero went at 22.
Joey Cora was at 23.

The other 13 guys drafted were guys whose names I don't recognize at all.

Now...if you're a "low budget" team and you have a chance at one of those first 10 pick then you have a choice. You can draft a "sure thing" we'll call him Drew Stubbs and invest 2 million dollars in him and...well maybe you get Barry Bonds and maybe you get Chris Gwyn. Either way your 2 million is gone. OR you can turn around and do what the Giants regularly do and "invest" that 2 million dollars in mid level free agents who will contribute to your major league team and NOT invest that two million in a sure thing, but take a "signability" pick instead. Somebody with a chance to make the big leagues, but not one of those "best in the draft" type players.

During the end of the Bowden years, the reds did exactly that.

That number on Stubbs by the way is real. That's what the reds paid this years #8 selection in the draft. Stubbs may be the reds center fielder in 2009 and he may not be. In order to sign him, they paid him essentially a bit more than the signed Hatteberg and Aurilia off the current free agent market.

redsfanfalcon
06-15-2006, 10:34 AM
He made some good trades for veterans (Vaughn and Guzman in '99), some very bad trades for veterans, but off the top of my head I can't remember a single time he traded a veteran for a *quality* farmhand in order to build for the future.

Who did we give for Guzman? A guy named BJ Ryan. I know Guzman helped us in 99, but we certainly could have used Ryan up through last year. I think Ryan was a wee bit better than a guy named Graves.:bang:

Sea Ray
06-15-2006, 10:38 AM
Bowden's worst moves were made with pitching. He essentially gave away some very good relief pitchers:

John Wetteland
Trevor Hoffman
BJ Ryan
Felix Rodriguez

dabvu2498
06-15-2006, 10:43 AM
Bowden got fooled on Larson's GW-Walk-off HR to give LSU the baseball title. Larson had a decent College career and then had a hot CWS to propel him from a middle-rounder to the top 15.


Two issues:
1.Warren Morris hit the walk-off HR in 96 to win it for LSU.

2. Brandon Larson had arguably the single-best offensive season in the history of the NCAA that year.

westofyou
06-15-2006, 10:46 AM
Bowden's worst moves were made with pitching. He essentially gave away some very good relief pitchers:

John Wetteland
Trevor Hoffman
BJ Ryan
Felix Rodriguez
The first 2 IIRC were pre Bowden.

Sea Ray
06-15-2006, 10:53 AM
The first 2 IIRC were pre Bowden.

I beg to differ. Re-check your sources.

I believe Bowden was hired right after the 1992 season and was the GM during the expansion draft where FL drafted Hoffman

Later it was Wetteland who was traded for Willie Greene and CF Martinez from the Expos, also on Bowden's watch.

Any problems with those facts???

westofyou
06-15-2006, 11:14 AM
I beg to differ. Re-check your sources.

I believe Bowden was hired right after the 1992 season and was the GM during the expansion draft where FL drafted Hoffman

Later it was Wetteland who was traded for Willie Greene and CF Martinez from the Expos, also on Bowden's watch.

Any problems with those facts???

John Wettland:

Traded by Los Angeles Dodgers with Tim Belcher to Cincinnati Reds in exchange for Eric Davis and Kip Gross (November 27, 1991).

Traded by Cincinnati Reds with Bill Risley to Montreal Expos in exchange for Dave Martinez, Scott Ruskin and Willie Greene (December 11, 1991).

Bowden was hired in October of 1992

The expansion Draft was 11-17-1992

So yes Hoffman was drafted in Bowdens 1st 50 days, but he didn't trade John Wettland.

REDREAD
06-15-2006, 11:32 AM
told them that, yeah, you may have to pay this draft pick an extra $50K but it is a drop in the bucket compared to what you have to pay major league players. .

John Allen was initially on board with that line of thinking, until Howington and that Dominican OF from Japan imploded. Then Allen started saying in the press that Howington was a waste of money.. The draft money dried up big time after that. Look at the pre Howington drafts. The Reds paid pretty big money for Kearns, Larson, and paid a premium for Dunn as a second rounder.
Obviously Howington and the Dominican OF are other examples of the Reds pumping money into the farm.. Then it all dried up.

John Allen was extremely conservative. He didn't like any risks. He couldn't accept that even the best teams typically have maybe 30-50% of their first round picks pan out. It also appears that Allen was staunchly against paying anyone even $1 above slot money (perhaps this was Bud's influence). Therefore, the Reds missed several opportunities to sign guys that slid, or good draft and follows like Markalis.

REDREAD
06-15-2006, 11:37 AM
Who did we give for Guzman? A guy named BJ Ryan. I know Guzman helped us in 99, but we certainly could have used Ryan up through last year. I think Ryan was a wee bit better than a guy named Graves.:bang:

Nice point, but I make the Guzman trade every time. It almost got us to the playoffs. Having BJ on our team from 2000-2006 would made the team more entertaining, but would not have gotten us to the playoffs.

When you have a legit chance of making the playoffs, like 1999, you do it, even if it means pillaging the farm system. A team like Cincy might have to wait another 10 or 20 years to get a chance like 1999 again.

dfs
06-15-2006, 11:47 AM
with respect to both of the Ryan and the Wetteland deals....

Given the reds bullpen situation at the time, they made sense.

That seems silly if your point of view is an unstable bullpen that regularly squanders leads, but the 92 reds still had Dibble and Charlton in the pen and they had closer relief pitchers out the wazoo in the system. Before his hand injury Willie Greene was a prize.

About the Guzman/Ryan deal...again the reds had pre-starter Danny Graves, Sullivan, Williamson and Gabe White and during the offseaon he has picked up nominal "closers" Hudek and Belinda for nothing. Ryan was percieved as excess and dealt to try and get to the playoffs. You can't blame Bowden for not thinking the team was going to go into fire sale mode and deal every pitcher with an arm over the next few years.

Sea Ray
06-15-2006, 11:54 AM
Bowden was hired in October of 1992

The expansion Draft was 11-17-1992

So yes Hoffman was drafted in Bowdens 1st 50 days, but he didn't trade John Wettland.

Makes sense. Thanks for checking!

Sea Ray
06-15-2006, 12:01 PM
with respect to both of the Ryan and the Wettland deals....

Given the reds bullpen situation at the time, they made sense.

That seems silly if your point of view is an unstable bullpen that regularly squanders leads, but the 92 reds still had Dibble and Charlton in the pen and they had closer relief pitchers out the wazoo in the system. Before his hand injury Willie Greene was a prize.

About the Guzman/Ryan deal...again the reds had pre-starter Danny Graves, Sullivan, Williamson and Gabe White and during the offseaon he has picked up nominal "closers" Hudek and Belinda for nothing. Ryan was percieved as excess and dealt to try and get to the playoffs. You can't blame Bowden for not thinking the team was going to go into fire sale mode and deal every pitcher with an arm over the next few years.

It's a matter of value. Sure, you can trade a Ryan or a Hoffman but did you get value in return? The Guzman trade is arguable. Hoffman was not. In fact the Hoffman decision came down to Trevor or 1B Tim Costa. If it comes down to a 1B or a pitcher, you err on the side of squandering pitching. You keep the pitcher. Bowden unvalued pitching.

I'll add another, the Sean Casey deal. As we've found out this year with Hatteberg, guys who can do the things Sean Casey can are a dime a dozen. That sort of player is not worth trading your ace pitcher in his prime. No way Dave Burba, an ace in our rotation, a #3 starter on a division winning Indians team, was worth a 1B when others such as Dimitri Young and Konerko could have filled the bill at 1B.

Steve4192
06-15-2006, 12:38 PM
The Guzman trade is arguable. Hoffman was not.

Hoffman was not considered a 'top prospect' at the time. He was a 25 year old who had already failed as an infield prospect and only had about 150 IP in the minors. He was short, had a mediocre fastball, and struggled badly when he was converted to the bullpen in AAA.

Hoffman was a middling prospect at best. That he blossomed into an All-Star is a testament to the capricious nature of 'prospect prognostication' rather than an indictment of JimBo's eye for talent.

MartyFan
06-15-2006, 12:39 PM
Brandon Larson reached the majors as a marginal player.

:D :help: :scared: :bowrofl: :bowrofl: :bowrofl:

Sea Ray
06-15-2006, 02:26 PM
Hoffman was not considered a 'top prospect' at the time. He was a 25 year old who had already failed as an infield prospect and only had about 150 IP in the minors. He was short, had a mediocre fastball, and struggled badly when he was converted to the bullpen in AAA.

Hoffman was a middling prospect at best. That he blossomed into an All-Star is a testament to the capricious nature of 'prospect prognostication' rather than an indictment of JimBo's eye for talent.

I disagree with your scouting report and so did the Florida Marlins. That's why they snatched him up when they could. He was a failed infield prospect but he was regarded as having a "very good" arm, yet green as a pitcher. The Marlins saw this and Bowden missed it. That's what separates Bowden from the better talent evaluators in the league.