</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by SpringfieldFan:

All I know is that he has produced another .500 team.
</strong></font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Sorry to get on you so hard TC. Your response makes sense. I don't have the ability to judge his people skills, nor do I want to. And let's face it - if the Reds, by some long shot, were to repeat the '99 season again this year, the fans would love Bowden no matter how poorly he treats his own.

All I ask is people to be fair. If you have problem with the gm from a baseball perspective, say why. The point about not developing good starting pitching is valid. But too many refer to all the 'bonehead' moves without specifically mentioning one. Honestly, when you look at his track record, there aren't too many bonehead moves. Hard to make great trades when the purpose of every trade is to dump another $3-4m in salary. As for the comment above, the game has changed dramatically in ten years. When the game was balanced, he put together playoff teams (94-95). Even when he hasn't had a competitive payroll, he won 96 games in '99 and 85 more in '00. Do people realize how difficult it is to be .500 with this payroll?? Ask Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, Montreal, Florida, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Detroit, Tampa Bay - all teams in similar payroll situations with fewer wins than the Reds over the past 5 years. Only one comes to mind - Oakland - that has surpassed the Reds' success with a small payroll. And that's why the criticism about developing young starters is valid - that's the difference between Oakland and Cincinnati. Unfortunately, payroll has to be a factor in every discussion evaluating a gm. That's baseball in 2002.