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View Full Version : Bowden era alive and well in DC



Matt700wlw
05-02-2007, 02:14 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6761858


Thank god this clown is gone.

Chip R
05-02-2007, 02:17 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6761858


Did you e-mail this to Marty?

Matt700wlw
05-02-2007, 02:18 PM
Did you e-mail this to Marty?

No, he'd love it!

I may have to do that, if I can find a direct email for him that he checks on the road.

hebroncougar
05-02-2007, 02:19 PM
Asst. GM Bob Boone is all I have to see. That and letting Soriano walk and getting basically nothing for him.

Chip R
05-02-2007, 02:23 PM
No, he'd love it!

I may have to do that

You'd probably be his boy forever if you did that. Maybe even invite you over to the Brennaman mansion and let you swim in his pool. Maybe even date his daughter. ;)

BuckU
05-02-2007, 02:24 PM
http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/6761858


Thank god this clown is gone.


The next to resign should be Barry Larkin. Then he should come home.

OesterPoster
05-02-2007, 02:24 PM
At least they didn't include a photo of Bowden wearing his leather pants. :D

Ravenlord
05-02-2007, 02:34 PM
Bowden must develop into a strong, effective leader, unifying his organization rather than dividing it.more than 10 years as a GM, it's simply ,not going to happen.

KronoRed
05-02-2007, 02:47 PM
Did you e-mail this to Marty?

Bet you a dollar it gets multiple mentions during tonights game ;)

KronoRed
05-02-2007, 02:48 PM
What the heck was Kasten thinking letting Jimbo stay around? he'll set the franchise back 10 years.

Sea Ray
05-02-2007, 03:30 PM
What the heck was Kasten thinking letting Jimbo stay around? he'll set the franchise back 10 years.

For the life of me, I can't figure out how he's survived this long. You'd think the new owner would have cleared him out with the trash.

I thought this line was particularly telling:


Approximately 50 major and minor-league staffers, front-office personnel, player-development officials and scouts have resigned or been fired since Bowden took over — including a number whom Bowden promoted or hired.

This has been the norm for Bowden wherever he's been. That should be a clue for any owner that wants him to run a team.

Ltlabner
05-02-2007, 04:25 PM
In December, for example, Nationals minor-league officials requested approval to purchase 600 of the team's 2005 caps from New Era for $4 each, former employees say. The caps were to be used for minor-league players in spring training as well as players in the Gulf Coast League, Dominican Summer League and extended spring training.

It took six weeks for the purchase to be approved, according to the former employees. At that point the caps no longer were available, leaving the Nationals to purchase 2007 caps for $11 each — a net loss of $4,200.

This is unrelated to baseball. But this kind of crap drives me wild as I face it pretty regularly being in industrial sales. Companies routinely drive up their own price by dickering around and taking too long to place an order. Or they ask for a price for 1,000,000 units and then place an order for 1,000 units, as if we aren't going to notice. The other thing they'll do is ask for a price for only 100 units when they will actually use 100 units every week of the year.

Some orgizinations spend thousands of dollars because the baffoons in purchasing try to get cute or just plain don't understand how the world works. If your company has a good purchasing manager, go thank them, because they are likely saving the company big bucks by knowing how to do things right.

Strikes Out Looking
05-02-2007, 04:40 PM
Bowden must develop into a strong, effective leader, unifying his organization rather than dividing it.

This is my favorite part of the article. Bowden has only been a GM for what, 15 years? That's like expecting my dog to become a horse.

REDREAD
05-02-2007, 04:48 PM
I thought this line was particularly telling:



This has been the norm for Bowden wherever he's been. That should be a clue for any owner that wants him to run a team.


How many people left the Reds when Cast took over? Plenty, including some hired by DanO. New ownership is always going to cause a lot of turnover.

REDREAD
05-02-2007, 04:49 PM
This was an interesting note about Maj:


The Reds have until July 13, the one-year anniversary of the deal, to file a grievance. They have yet to do so, according to major-league sources.

Doro
05-02-2007, 04:54 PM
about a week ago I remember seeing in the Dayton Daily News that a reader sent into Hal "I long for the Jim Bowden days!" I laughed

Chip R
05-02-2007, 04:55 PM
about a week ago I remember seeing in the Dayton Daily News that a reader sent into Hal "I long for the Jim Bowden days!" I laughed


Shhhhhhh. That was REDREAD. ;)

Ltlabner
05-02-2007, 05:04 PM
How many people left the Reds when Cast took over? Plenty, including some hired by DanO. New ownership is always going to cause a lot of turnover.

Funny, it wasn't couched in those terms when folks left the Reds when Cast and Kriv took over. In fact, I remember some total freakouts when Johnny Almeraz (sp?) left. In that case it was all about how Kriv sucks and 2 people (forget the other guy) leaving was proof positive.

I'm not talking about you specifically, Redread, because I can't remember your stance and don't feal like looking it up. But in general, there was a great upheaval on RZ when folks left when Kriv took over, not the common sense approach aspoused above.

Matt700wlw
05-02-2007, 05:08 PM
How many people left the Reds when Cast took over? Plenty, including some hired by DanO. New ownership is always going to cause a lot of turnover.

But the Reds were awful under previous ownership, they needed to get rid of people....the Expos/Nationals have gotten WORSE under Bowden....and that's all on him. They weren't great in their final few years in Montreal, but they weren't awful....Jimbo's flushed that franchise down the toilet....

Wheelhouse
05-02-2007, 05:29 PM
Bowden may be being kept on because he's known as a flashy steward of cheap ownership, and the Nats owners are about to engage in a money grab with the new stadium. Jimbo is good at keeping a team in the public eye with no budget. The leather pants are actually a plus for him right now. But IMO, when the Nats actually decide they want to win, Bowden will go. Unfortunately for their fans, it takes years to shake Bowden's toxic influence out of a baseball culture.

MrCinatit
05-02-2007, 06:48 PM
The next to resign should be Barry Larkin. Then he should come home.

Him, and Jose Rijo. I would love to see both of them back.

jmcclain19
05-02-2007, 09:09 PM
It's been somewhat under the radar, but Kasten has probably the top GM prospect in the game that he hired away from Arizona to be the Nats Asst GM - Mike Rizzo.

Wouldn't doubt if he is quietly being groomed to be the next GM while Bowden plays the roll of "fall guy"

rotnoid
05-02-2007, 09:14 PM
It's been somewhat under the radar, but Kasten has probably the top GM prospect in the game that he hired away from Arizona to be the Nats Asst GM - Mike Rizzo.

Wouldn't doubt if he is quietly being groomed to be the next GM while Bowden plays the roll of "fall guy"


I can almost see the resemblence...

http://www.dailyping.com/images/dynamite.jpg

http://graphics.boston.com/bonzai-fba/Globe_Photo/2005/11/01/1130860624_7279.jpg

Chip R
05-02-2007, 11:33 PM
It's been somewhat under the radar, but Kasten has probably the top GM prospect in the game that he hired away from Arizona to be the Nats Asst GM - Mike Rizzo.

Wouldn't doubt if he is quietly being groomed to be the next GM while Bowden plays the roll of "fall guy"


Then Rizzo better watch his back. It seemed like all the potential GM candidates quit or were fired when JimBo was here.

Cedric
05-02-2007, 11:49 PM
Then Rizzo better watch his back. It seemed like all the potential GM candidates quit or were fired when JimBo was here.

Exactly. Jimbo will find a way to tarnish his image. It's politics.

I'm just thrilled that we don't have the circus in Cincinnati anymore.

REDREAD
05-03-2007, 09:51 AM
Funny, it wasn't couched in those terms when folks left the Reds when Cast and Kriv took over. In fact, I remember some total freakouts when Johnny Almeraz (sp?) left. In that case it was all about how Kriv sucks and 2 people (forget the other guy) leaving was proof positive.


My point is that when new ownership comes in, they usually want to put their own people in. I know that if I bought a ML franchise, I'd want a say in who was running it. Turnover is normal. Carl was the exception. He pretty much kept everyone in place, because he really didn't care how the club was ran on the baseball side, as long as the money kept rolling in.

I'm sure some people quit because Bowden rubbed them the wrong way, just as Almaraz left because Wayne's guys rubbed him the wrong way. Things like that happen.

The article mentions a lot of beaucratic penny pinching.. That's hardly the GM's fault. I doubt Bowden is the bean counter micromanaging the purchase of hats and sunflower seeds. The article mentions that when MLB ran the club, things were in chaos. It's normal for an organization to initially overcorrect when they are screwed up like that and a new leader comes in.
I used to work at a place where everything had to be approved. I had to wait 8 weeks for an $18 hub to get approved.

Chip R
05-03-2007, 09:53 AM
My point is that when new ownership comes in, they usually want to put their own people in. I know that if I bought a ML franchise, I'd want a say in who was running it. Turnover is normal. Carl was the exception. He pretty much kept everyone in place, because he really didn't care how the club was ran on the baseball side, as long as the money kept rolling in.





Approximately 50 major and minor-league staffers, front-office personnel, player-development officials and scouts have resigned or been fired since Bowden took over — including a number whom Bowden promoted or hired.

Turnover is normal. But that's not turnover. That's a revolving door.

REDREAD
05-03-2007, 09:56 AM
But the Reds were awful under previous ownership, they needed to get rid of people....the Expos/Nationals have gotten WORSE under Bowden....and that's all on him. They weren't great in their final few years in Montreal, but they weren't awful....Jimbo's flushed that franchise down the toilet....

The Nationals are kind of similiar to the Reds. Wayne stepped into something similiar (although not as bad). The Nationals had aging players like Vidro, Hernandez. They also had chronically injured people like Armas Jr.

The difference is that Washington decided to cut bait with all their non-core people. Cincy decided to keep Milton and backfill with vets like Weathers/Stanton etc. Different approaches.

I guess we will have to wait and see how Washington's strategy works, and see what Kasten and company do. They are going to have a lot of money next year. They might decide to spend 40 million on free agents and get back to respectable. Or they might decide to backfill with mid-level vets like the Reds did this year. My guess is that they don't want to open the new park with a last place team, but we will see.

westofyou
05-03-2007, 10:34 AM
http://dcbb.blogspot.com/


You really owe it to read the whole thing. A quick summary can't do it justice. It's long, but an interesting story, even if you don't believe everything in it.

First the good:
--The team's budget for scouting and Player Devl. is top 5 in the majors.

Then the rest:
--Poor work environment and shoddy treatment causing some employees to leave (I give the least credence to these; it's easy to complain when you've been sacked)
--Squabbles over per diem payments to employees
--Refusal to let an employee use Fed Ex to ship files
--Over 50 employees have been dumped, some of whom were hired by Bowden.
--Letting Rick Eckstein walk as hitting coach because they couldn't tender him a contract on time, then filing a grievance for tampering when he signed elsewhere
--Scouts have a hard time getting travel expenses reimbursed.
--Questioning the sunflower seed budget
--An overly bureaucratic procurement policy which slows down purchases
--Expenses for the cost of baseballs in the minors
--Questioning why Ronnie Belliard wanted another order of bats
--The appearance of a dysfunctional front office with contrasting styles/personalities and the tensions between Lerner, Jr/Bowden versus Kasten and even Mike Rizzo.

Give it a read. It's worth the 10 minutes or so.

I did like this part though:

There have been a lot of changes because, to be honest, our standards are much higher," Bowden says. "We want to be best in the game. And when you want to be the best in the game, unfortunately there has to be turnover.

Such as in your job, Jim?

westofyou
05-03-2007, 12:15 PM
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/05/02/AR2007050202909.html


Nationals Trade Snelling To A's
OF Langerhans Comes to D.C.

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, May 3, 2007;

SAN DIEGO, May 2 -- The Washington Nationals traded outfielder Chris Snelling to Oakland for outfielder Ryan Langerhans on Wednesday night, a move that gives the club a superb defensive outfielder less than a week before center fielder Nook Logan is slated to come back from a foot injury.

The trade was announced in the second inning of the Nationals' game with the San Diego Padres, and Snelling was unavailable for the rest of the night.

Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said the reasoning behind the move was simple -- offense for defense. Snelling has more potential as a hitter. Langerhans could be a key defensive replacement, likely in left field.

"I know late in the game if we're in the ninth inning and [Austin] Kearns is in right and Logan's in center and Langerhans is in left," Bowden said, "there's not a better outfield in this league defensively."

Langerhans, 27, is a .242 career hitter in 297 major league games, including full seasons with the Atlanta Braves in 2005 and '06. After a horrendous start with Atlanta this year, he was traded over this past weekend to the Athletics, where he played in two games. He is just 3 for 48 (.063) this season. Like Snelling, Langerhans is a left-handed hitter, meaning the Nationals will remain without an accomplished right-handed bat on their bench.

Snelling, 25, was acquired along with minor league reliever Emiliano Fruto in the December trade that sent second baseman Jose Vidro to Seattle. He hit .204 with one homer and seven RBI in 49 at-bats. When Logan returns, Ryan Church will move back to left, and Kory Casto and Langerhans will be the backup outfielders.

Bowden said the trade does not increase the likelihood that Church will be dealt.

"Ryan's playing extremely well, and he's an important part of what we're doing with these young guys," Bowden said.

Kinda odd considering they are 39 runs below the league average and their batting line is .229/.308/.326/.634

paulrichjr
05-03-2007, 01:00 PM
I like the quote about his trade deals being unreasonable. Maybe he should call Krivs...Krivs didn't find them unreasonable at all. Just think what he would give up to get Cordero. Seriously the guy cannot make any deals for guys like Cordero and Soriano because he is unreasonable but he was able to make a deal with the Reds. This just proves beyond a doubt what others would have thought if they would have been in WayneK's shoes. (Note: I do like Waynek much better than JimBo though)

RichRed
05-03-2007, 01:18 PM
From mlb.com, the Nats are now hiring. You could be the one to help right the ship. But don't get too comfortable.


Accounts Payable Control Manager - Washington Nationals (Washington, DC)


SUMMARY: The AP Control Manager will report to the Director of Accounting and will oversee the Accounts Payable function for the entire organization. The focus of the position will be to insure that all payments are documented in their entirety per the prescribed procedures and contain all necessary documentation to satisfy Corporate Senior Level Management. You will interact with all departments in the organization and all levels of management to properly document each request for payment. You will direct the Accounts Payable coordinator and assist the Accounting Assistant in their daily functions.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Working with Nationals’ employees to gather the appropriate information to insure that all controls are followed and all necessary documentation is obtained in order to obtain approval for vendor payments.
Reviewing and approving all accounts payable vouchers prior to input by the Accounts Payable Coordinator.
Directing the duties of the Accounts Payable Coordinator and assisting the Accounting Assistant with their daily responsibilities.
Educate and train various Nationals’ employees as to the prescribed controls and documentation to be followed in the Accounts Payable process.
Act as liaison with Corporate office (Lerner Enterprises) for all Accounts Payable matters.
Supervise the year end 1099 process

QUALIFICATIONS: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE: Bachelor's Degree in related field preferred or 4-5 years equivalent related working experience. 3 -6 years of management experience in an automated accounting environment including demonstrated experience in administering proper controls. Accounts payable experience. Detail oriented with solid organizational skills. Excellent customer service skills. The ability to work effectively as part of a Team. The ability to work quickly and accurately. Familiarity with Microsoft Excel and Word.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


WORK ENVIRONMENT: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.


Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:

westofyou
05-03-2007, 01:23 PM
Note: When you apply for this job online, you will be required to answer the following questions:
A. Who is Deion Sanders faster then?

B. What's the best phone voice for firing someone?

C. Why Curtis Goodwin?

D. Name the 4 levels of stain that a St Bernard drool can leave on leather

AmarilloRed
05-03-2007, 01:37 PM
After the job Bowden did running the Nationals into the ground, and the way his reputation was ruined after THE TRADE, I sincerely doubt he will ever get another job as a GM after his present one.:thumbdown

red-in-la
05-03-2007, 01:48 PM
This is unrelated to baseball. But this kind of crap drives me wild as I face it pretty regularly being in industrial sales. Companies routinely drive up their own price by dickering around and taking too long to place an order. Or they ask for a price for 1,000,000 units and then place an order for 1,000 units, as if we aren't going to notice. The other thing they'll do is ask for a price for only 100 units when they will actually use 100 units every week of the year.

Some orgizinations spend thousands of dollars because the baffoons in purchasing try to get cute or just plain don't understand how the world works. If your company has a good purchasing manager, go thank them, because they are likely saving the company big bucks by knowing how to do things right.

Sounds like Bowden is just where he belongs.....Washington that is.

RichRed
05-03-2007, 02:07 PM
A. Who is Deion Sanders faster then?

B. What's the best phone voice for firing someone?

C. Why Curtis Goodwin?

D. Name the 4 levels of stain that a St Bernard drool can leave on leather

Good stuff, woy. :laugh: I'll add one:

E. How much better an investment would it have been to just have a huge bonfire with the money given to Cristian Guzman?

REDREAD
05-03-2007, 03:24 PM
Turnover is normal. But that's not turnover. That's a revolving door.

I bet when Cast took over, at least 50 people left as well, if you count down to the lowest level. Again, you are ignoring that a new owner took over a club that was being ran very poorly by King Bud. I'm sure some of those new employees were financial people that never even met Bowden.

Another funny thing is.. why is this all being blamed on Bowden and not Stan Kasten, who is really the head cheese of baseball operations? Isn't Stan the #1 baseball guy there?

REDREAD
05-03-2007, 03:29 PM
http://dcbb.blogspot.com/

This is truly ironic.. People are attacking Washington for being cheap when they defended the value engineering of the GAB and many other things Lindner did.

I agree, it's absurd to question the ordering of baseball bats or sunflowers seeds. Is that Bowden's department though? I doubt it. The article clearly pointed out that MLB ran the team very poorly, so that when real ownership came in, they wanted some accounting for all the costs, etc.

Again, isn't Kasten Bowden's boss? But I guess that doesn't fit with the predefined agenda of attacking Bowden whenever possible. They could fire Bowden tommorrow and all those problems would still be in place, because Bowden isn't in charge of reimbursing employee expense accounts, ordering sunflower seeds and hats, etc.

I'm not saying Washington is a model franchise by any means, but to blame it all on Bowden is quite funny.

westofyou
05-03-2007, 03:36 PM
Ken Rosenthal didn't like the value engineering of the GAB?

For shame.

Ltlabner
05-03-2007, 03:40 PM
I'm not saying Washington is a model franchise by any means, but to blame it all on Bowden is quite funny.

As is absolving Bowden of any blame.

Doro
05-03-2007, 04:04 PM
I blame Bowden for the performance of the team and nothing else. He'll wine and cry all the time about not having the money but with the money he has he doesnt spend it in the right places.

Chip R
05-03-2007, 04:05 PM
I'm not saying Washington is a model franchise by any means, but to blame it all on Bowden is quite funny.


As is blaming everything bad that happens to the Reds on John Allen.

REDREAD
05-03-2007, 05:11 PM
As is absolving Bowden of any blame.

I don't see Bowden deserving blame for not reimbursing employees, not paying Florida based scouts per-deim, sunflower seeds, hats, etc..

Do you?

It seems like Bowden has less power than he did in Cincy, since he's got Kasten over him. It appears that Bowden has responsiblity for the major league roster, and ownership ordered a payroll reduction this year. I'm not sure how much responsiblity Bowden has for scouting, player development, etc.. He probably has some of that responsiblity, and some of it is Kastens.

But Bowden isn't the one instituting all this Buearacracy which the disgruntled employees are complaining about? Do you see my point?

REDREAD
05-03-2007, 05:15 PM
As is blaming everything bad that happens to the Reds on John Allen.

Well, Allen was actually running the entire club, unlike Bowden.

Allen was making decisions on the GAB, not funding draft picks, etc.

Name one thing I blamed Allen for that he was not responsible.. You may be able to find a few things, as I can't remember everything I said, but Allen was a huge reason for this team slowly dying on the vine since 1999. His penny pinching is one reason why this team is deficient in talent. Sowers and Kazmir sure would look good in the rotation about now.. Cabera sure would look good in the lineup. Too bad the Reds were too cheap to sign them.

I guess since you changed the subject, you are conceding my point that most of the things (if not all) mentioned in that article were not Bowden's fault. The only thing I saw was that he rubbed some people the wrong way.. But obviously, I didn't memorize the article, so maybe there's something I can't recall.

westofyou
05-03-2007, 05:36 PM
Rosenthal appeared on a chat at the Post concerning his article on the Nats.


Washington, D.C.: Mr. Rosenthal,

As a Nationals fan, I was very interested in your piece and reading about some of the problems currently plaguing the club?

However, how about a little context? Not so much for me, but the casual or non-fan. The Lerners haven't even owned the team for a full year yet, correct? And they acquired a franchise that everybody agrees was left to rot on the vine by MLB.

Granted, many things in your article raise legitimate question about administration of the team, but let's give the new owners at least a full year/season at the helm before we start pointing fingers.

Ken Rosenthal: You've got a fair point. However, I wrote the article because I felt that some of the things that were taking place were beyond the norm, even for an ownership inheriting a difficult situation.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Ken,

How would you respond to those that say you're just out to bash the Nationals? Why the focus on them and not some other club? I'm not questioning your motives, per se -- just curious about the "process" behind doing this piece. Thanks.

Ken Rosenthal: I write about all 30 teams, praising them when warranted, bashing them when warranted. Yankee fans say I'm biased against the Yankees. Red Sox fans say I'm biased against the Red Sox. I hear this all the time.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Ken, thanks for participating in this forum, and congrats on a very well written article.

The citizens and businesses of D.C. are responsible for the $611 million in bonds that are financing the new stadium. The ability to pay off the interest and principal of those bonds will be directly related to ticket sales and concessions. These are going to be directly correlated especially after the first season to how well the team performs. In your interviews did you get any sense that the ownership and management also understand their responsibility to fielding a competitive team (as opposed to this years team) in order that these bonds are paid off. The D.C. residents are taking a risk here as well in trusting this ownership.

Ken Rosenthal: Thanks for the compliment. I totally understand your point. I did get a sense from Kasten - and have all along - that he "gets" it. It's in their absolute interests to put a winning product on the field.

_______________________

20152: Ken,

As a national sports writer, what's your take on Stan Katsen's Plan?

i.e. Cutting payroll this year, pouring money into player development and trying to build a farm system before going out and spending money in free agency.

A lot of fans were turned off by the team not making a big splash in free agency, but we've all seen where that's gotten the Redskins.

Ken Rosenthal: I happen to like the plan. If anything, I think they need to go further. They should have traded Soriano. They should trade Cordero. If you're going to in this direction, you've got to go full bore.

_______________________

The Upper Decks: Online chats last year frequently alluded to the Lerners' painstaking, hard-nosed (some would say "cheap") attitude in all aspects of their business dealings; from FedEx charges down to pencils. This approach might work well in the construction business; I've heard it observed that this may help the owners greatly in supervising the completion of the new stadium.

But does that business attitude work as well in the very unscientific, mercurial world of professional athletics? Some owners are clearly irrational and unreasonable in their pursuit of championships, and some organizations seem to pamper and prize their staff -- perhaps rewarding them beyond what a marketplace might otherwise set.

Did your reporting uncover any reports of hard-headed businessmen unwilling to match other organizations' mad quest to succeed (at the expense of the bottom line)?

Ken Rosenthal: I think it comes down to ownership needing to do certain things to build morale. The Braves, for example, have extremely high morale. Why? Because management treats employees right. Obviously baseball is different than other businesses. The Lerners - if they want to keep good people - need to adjust.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Ken,

Great work. Front office drama is far more interesting than anything going on on the field this season. Thanks for shedding some light on the recent turnover which, to an outsider, appeared to be suspicious and possibly indicative of a large-scale issue.

Has there been any reaction from MLB (i.e. Selig, DuPuy, Reinsdorf)? This is the group that hand-picked the Lerners and urged them to add Stan Kasten. Any sense that they are nervous they made the wrong choice, and that perhaps the Malek group or Jeff Smulyan would have been a better choice? I seem to recall that the concerns about the Lerner group and Kasten prior to the sale of the club were that this assembly of leadership would be heavy-handed and frugal. Justified, or too early to call it?

Ken Rosenthal: Too early to call. No reaction from MLB. In general, MLB prefers owners to be frugal - at least when it comes to player salaries. Obviously, though, MLB officials badly want the franchise to succeed. If this team was a mess in, say, two years, I'm sure they would be concerned.

_______________________

Silver Spring, Md.: What was the point of your article, exactly? I don't get it, a couple of disgruntled mid-level employees couldn't pick up housing expenses because they live in Florida. I live in Silver Spring. I can't stay in a hotel in Washington when my agency holds an event there. I didn't hear too much from these clowns when their travel vouchers were getting paid and they had jobs. Time to move on to that second career of selling used cars, boys. Surely this isn't the first new ownership team to face adjustment issues in their first year of ownership. Although this might be the first new ownership team to take over an entire organization that was left for dead by MLB. The Bowden/Kasten dichotomy is old news. If all of the crybaby/know-it-all consultants and Fed employee fans who claim that the Nationals somehow owe them something could put as much energy into solving the country's problems as they do in complaining about Kasten and Bowden's rebuilding project and the hot dogs, I think America would be in much better shape. If they think that the Lerners owe them something for the sweetheart stadium deal, guess again. Blame the elected officials that you voted for, D.C. Oh, guess what, The Yankees have won one more game than the Nationals. A three part non-story on this, only in Washington.

Ken Rosenthal: The point of the article was to shed light on certain things going on internally with the Nats - things that I thought were worthy of attention. The disgruntled employees were one aspect of it, yes. But there are plenty of other things in there as well.

_______________________

Re: Soriano: Ken,

We hear a lot from the talking heads about not trading Soriano. Do you know of any good deals that were offered that Bowden refused?

Ken Rosenthal: Tough to say what was offered. Most of the interested teams contend that Bowden set his asking price so high, the talks never got all that hot. The question is, could they have done better than the 31st and 68th draft picks - the compensation the Nats ultimately received when Soriano left as a free agent. I'm willing to guess the answer is yes.

_______________________

Columbia, Md.: Just curious. How did you get this story? Did those employees come to you, or did you seek them out?

Ken Rosenthal: I talk to people from all 30 teams constantly; I'm on the 4,000-minute cell-phone plan. I started hearing things and checked into them.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Mr. Rosenthal, will you please specify on what issues the Nats deviate from the norm?

How far from the norm are they? With Stan Kasten, I thought these types of "newbie" issues would be minimal.

Ken Rosenthal: The turnover is beyond the norm, even considering that it's a relatively new G.M. and new owner. The issues with expenses are also beyond the norm. Scouts from other teams were talking about it all spring.

_______________________

Section 213, Row 12: Here's my question, and it's a serious question.

Have the Nats properly staffed the front office?

I understand that the Nats are committed to developing their farm system. After the pillaging that occurred under Omar Minaya and MLB, I understand that commitment. (How much better would this team be with Grady Sizemore and Jason Bay in the outfield, Brandon Phillips in the middle infield, and Cliff Lee and Chris Young in the rotation?)

But the Winter Caravan that they put out was a joke, ticket relocations during the offseason were handled haphazardly and with another 3000-4000 seats not being renewed - that's a missed opportunity for goodwill, season tickets were delivered barely on time, the concessionaires weren't ready for the Opening Day crowd, the promotions calendar is meager.

Are they properly staffed up there? And if so, what do they do all day?

Ken Rosenthal: I asked this question, not specifically about tickets, but about scouting and player development. I do think the Nats' baseball operations is fully staffed, yes.

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Prince William Co., Va.: Ken, you've followed Jim Bowden's career a lot more thoroughly than most of us have. Do you see anything in his track record that indicates he knows how to build pitching, particularly a starting rotation? Based upon his years in Cincinnati, I don't see it, and fear he's exerting Rasputin-like influence over the Lerners. You would think Kasten -- who saw Atlanta's rise to prominence built upon pitching -- would know better. I really thought he'd bring in someone like Dayton Moore or Frank Wren as GM.

Ken Rosenthal: That's a legitimate point about Bowden - he hasn't done a particularly good job building starting rotations. That said, he also has never operated with the resources that he will have in Washington. He's clearly bright and creative, so it will be interesting to see how he fares.

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Glen Echo: Ken

You've given us 4,917 words of negativity. Is there anything positive that you can think of ?

Ken Rosenthal: Did you read the sidebar on how Kasten is working the ambassadors? I try to make the articles as fair as possible.

_______________________

Anonymous: You mentioned treating people right. Do you sense the Lerners, Kasten, and Bowden accept how important this is and are willing to change?

I fear that no good baseball person -- player or management -- will want anything to do with the Nats because they treat people poorly. Money only goes so far -- we see that with Mr. Angelos.

Ken Rosenthal: Great point. I think that Bowden and Kasten believe they didn't have the right people in place, and that's why the turnover has been as extensive as it has been. I don't know that they see a need to change. Only time will tell if that is the case.

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Washington, D.C.: I'm very sad I'll be in a meeting for this chat, I've always been a big fan since your Baltimore Sun days!

How much do you think this process truly differs from any other changing of the guard in upper management of professional sports??

It certainly sounds dramatic, but anytime there is leadership change in any business there is going to be turnover and turmoil as personalities mesh or clash.

Ken Rosenthal: Thanks for following me all these years! In doing the articles, it was difficult to separate how much of this was normal and how much of it was out of the norm. I made the point at least once that such issues aren't unusual during ownership transitions. That said, as I mentioned before, I wrote the articles only after concluding that some of the things going on were, uh, a little unusual

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20120: Ken,

Since you're plugged in. Has anyone used any of your 4,000 cell minutes to mention any improvement in the Nats farm system?

Are there any names scouts are talking about?

Ken Rosenthal: No one raves about the Nats' system, at least not yet. They've got some decent prospects, some interesting guys from last year's draft, but they're not nearly at the level where they want to be.

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Washington, D.C.: While I appreciated many of the points you made in your comprehensive article, I am not so sure that I share your optimism about the long-term prospects of the Nats in this market. D.C. is a very competitive sports market where just about every major and minor American sport has made the tactical decision to plant their flag in this region -- the latest being Tiger Woods new tournament at Congressional. While the Redskins have enormous fan support in the D.C .area, I am under the impression that the Wizards (who are arguably the second most popular team in DC) are only in the middle of the pack in the NBA in terms of revenue. In short, why do you think the Nationals will likely become a major revenue team in light of the stiff competition for sports entertainment in this market and, I might add, the salient points you made in your article?

Ken Rosenthal: I just think the market has changed significantly since the Senators left - it's bigger, wealthier. We're talking about the seventh-largest TV market in the country. The new ballpark should be an attraction. The Nationals have advantages that other franchises don't.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: Your article is an informative mix of expose and optimism. Which direction do you instinctively lean to with the Lerners?

Ken Rosenthal: I'm in a wait-and-see mode. I know that sounds wishy-washy, but I do think the situation needs more time to evolve.

_______________________

Great Falls, Va.: I am very concerned with the broken promises about customer service. They promised better ticket service, but season tickets this year were delivered one week (or less) before opening day. They promised a better RFK experience, but the lines, bad food and conditions this year are no better than last. Finally, they promised in a glossy brochure last winter to send packages to season-ticket holders about relocation in April, but now they're saying late May or June. These broken promises add up and raise serious concern whether they know what they're doing. Is there any serious effort to improve customer service, or are they just going to keep making empty promises?

Ken Rosenthal: On this, I have no idea - sorry. I tried to cover a lot of ground in these stories, but didn't get into that area.

_______________________

Washington, D.C.: It's reassuring to see that you like "The Plan."

Being new to this "patience" thing, what are realistic expectations this fan should have? How successful? How soon?

Ken Rosenthal: Wow, that's a great question. I think the Nats believe - privately - that they can be competitive next season and perhaps a contender the year after that. I'm skeptical of that timetable. I just don't think they have enough talent in the pipeline yet.

_______________________

Arlington, Va.: I have a question on Bowden. As you mentioned, he's really made some really good (one-sided) trades. I have no idea how he pulled off the Kearns/Lopez deal and dumping Vidro and all that cash is also hard to believe. At the same time, it seems that the general baseball community has no respect for him and don't want to deal with him. I'm not sure if its his arrogance or the fact that they don't want to be embarrassed by him. How does he stand with the other GMs, and do you think he hurts the Nats more than he helps them. Thank you.

Ken Rosenthal: Some GMs don't like Bowden, but I don't know that it hinders his ability to make deals. If the Nats have a player that a certain GM wants, that GM is going to deal with Bowden. Personality CAN be an issue, but with Soriano, for example, the bigger issue was the asking price.

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Logan Circle, D.C.: Ken,

Thanks for your article and shedding some light into our ownership. I'm still willing to give them a chance since they are new and having dysfunctional ownership wouldn't be a new thing here in DC. Anyhow, any reaction to your article from the Nats brass? Do you expect to get the cold shoulder from Kasten and Bowden when you run into them next?

Ken Rosenthal: No reaction from the Nationals. I don't know how Stan and Jim will receive me. I've known both a long time, especially Jim - we worked together during the 2004 post-season on ESPN's Cold Pizza. That said, I feel it's my responsibility to report things like this. I fully understand that certain relationships might not be the same afterward.

_______________________

Ken Rosenthal: Everyone, I've got to run. Thanks very much for reading the article. Your questions were excellent. I'll be working the Mariners at Yankees game for FOX this Saturday afternoon at 3:55 p.m.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2007/05/03/DI2007050300715.html?hpid=discussions

Ltlabner
05-03-2007, 05:38 PM
I don't see Bowden deserving blame for not reimbursing employees, not paying Florida based scouts per-deim, sunflower seeds, hats, etc..

Do you?

When you have a title like General Manager you are involved in more than just on field operations.

Lots of people leaving the front office? Some of that has to fall at Bowdens feet. Expence reimbursments and per-diem issues would typically fall under the perview of the accounting/finance department that is ultimatley part of Bowdens perview. He likely didnt deny the actual charges but he plays some role in the policies that are/are not enforced. Purchase of minor league equipment at some level would likely fall under Bowdens responsibilties (ie managing the operating budget) and as such as some responsibility.

Are you telling us that the minor league folks never complained or at least mentioned the issue to Jim? Somehow he was totally out of the loop on that one? You really think the accounting folks run right to the ownership group, but completey bypass poor old innocent Jim Bowden.

Come on Redread. Your bias in favor of Bowden is worn on your sleave. There's nothing wrong with that, but lets be honest, Bowden is responsible for some of the woes in the front office since, you know, it's HIS front office.

REDREAD
05-04-2007, 11:43 AM
When you have a title like General Manager you are involved in more than just on field operations.

Lots of people leaving the front office? Some of that has to fall at Bowdens feet..

Sure, but lots of people leaving the front office isn't necessarily bad. Much like Cincy when Cast arrived, it's not as if they were a model franchise.




Expence reimbursments and per-diem issues would typically fall under the perview of the accounting/finance department that is ultimatley part of Bowdens perview. ..

I doubt it. The GM does not run that department. Bowden's job is the ML roster, and he's partially responsible for player development/minor leagues, scouting, etc.. Do you honestly think he has anything to do with approving the purchase of sunflower seeds or hats? Didn't the article say that the Lerners put new accounting policies in place because things were too loose and easy under MLB. The Lerners may have gone too far. I agree on that. But Bowden had nothing to do with it.




He likely didnt deny the actual charges but he plays some role in the policies that are/are not enforced. Purchase of minor league equipment at some level would likely fall under Bowdens responsibilties (ie managing the operating budget) and as such as some responsibility. ..

I doubt it. Bowden has nothing to do with the bean counting, except the money going to the players.. Nothing to do with equipment. Although he might be part of the business trip approval process, he's not the one ultimately reimbursing the expenses..





Are you telling us that the minor league folks never complained or at least mentioned the issue to Jim? Somehow he was totally out of the loop on that one? You really think the accounting folks run right to the ownership group, but completey bypass poor old innocent Jim Bowden. ..

I doubt the part time scouts that were only making 20k/year even have access to Bowden. That's like saying I have access to the Vice President of the coorporation I work for.. I don't.




Come on Redread. Your bias in favor of Bowden is worn on your sleave. There's nothing wrong with that, but lets be honest, Bowden is responsible for some of the woes in the front office since, you know, it's HIS front office.

I agree that Bowden is responsible for some of Washington's woes. He's responsible for the ML roster decisions. He and Kasten are responsible for the minor leagues, scouting, draft, etc. (I'm not sure how the responsiblities are divided). Signing that SS from Minnesota was a dumb move. I'm not saying the guy is a genius, but a lot of things mentioned in the article are not his fault.