Just an observation - but have you noticed that the GMs that Bowden seems to get along with and trade with are the young brash ones - Beane, Epstein, Cashman etc. Older ones like Ash, Jocketty, Gillick all seem to despise him. It has been my experience in life that young adults - those in their 20s and 30s especially value results, period. Anything short of criminal behavior is alright if the results are good - its one reason many corporations skew hiring toward younger executives and salespeople for front line jobs. They are more aggressive, more competitive and ruthless in general. Around 40, when middle age and spare tires begin to settle around us and claim us in that generation we were "never going to become one of" (how many of us in our arrogance of youth have told our fathers "I'll never let myself get in THAT shape") we begin to value other things equally with success. Money and success in our profession becomes much less of a measuring stick to judge others by - and the guy we would have fired forthwith a decade earlier we give a second chance. Bowden himself mentioned in an interview that he feels he is beginning to mellow (perhaps part of the reason for his silence this off season although I think a gag order was in effect).
Older GMs that value absolute honesty, like Gord Ash and Jocketty, despise Bowden's machinations, they look at his open one-upping of Gillick, and Malone, to name just two, the same way us older fans look at guys who swagger and dance and show up pitchers after hitting a homer. Unsportsmanlike, obnoxious, arrogant. Younger fans in general (I know generalizations are dangerous - to you younger Zoners who find these "in your face" displays obnoxious, I apologize for including you) think its exciting, its flashy, showy and adds to the game. In much the same way, Bowden is viewed by younger GMs as doing whatever it takes to get a job done. Older Gms know you can get the job done with integrity, too. Personally, I am less impressed by Bowden each year - I believe Marty Schottenheimer was right when he said, as he resigned from the Chiefs, "ten years is long enough to get the job done - if you haven't then its time to move on."