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Thread: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

  1. #16
    Charlie Brown All-Star IslandRed's Avatar
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.

  4. #18
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.

  5. #19
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.

  6. #20
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    [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.
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  7. #21
    This one's for you Edd Heath's Avatar
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.
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  8. #22
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.

  9. #23
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    Quote Originally Posted by PTI (pti)
    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.
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  10. #24
    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    Quote Originally Posted by GAC
    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.
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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.
    Last edited by dfs; 06-15-2006 at 10:26 AM.

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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    Quote Originally Posted by PTI (pti)
    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.

  13. #27
    Member Sea Ray's Avatar
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    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

  14. #28
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    Quote Originally Posted by Heath
    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.
    When all is said and done more is said than done.

  15. #29
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    Quote Originally Posted by Sea Ray
    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.

  16. #30
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    Re: Now the truth comes out... Jim Bowden was never....

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou
    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???


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