Bowden MUST Be Held Accountable For THIS Team

Posted by Dave Nichols | Wednesday, June 25, 2008 | , | 5 comments »

Jim Bowden has to be held accountable for what's happening on the field this year. Injuries happen to every team, but the good ones have quality players stashed they can recall to fill in.

There were plenty of NRIs and minor league free agents available over the past off-season that could have been brought in to compete for jobs on this team, let alone provide injury insurance. What did Bowden do? He signed Aaron Boone, Willie Harris, Rob Mackowiak, Pete Orr, Ryan Langerhans, two old, beat up catchers in Paul LoDuca and Johnny Estrada and Odalis Perez.

Boone and Perez have performed on the level the team hoped for, but the rest have been an abomination.

Harris, Mackowiak and Orr are all the same player and Langerhans has been released twice now with no other team claiming him, allowing him to be sent back to Columbus.

Think the $5MM the Nats spent on Paul LoDuca would have been better spent on Milton Bradley? How about Russel Branyan, a minor league free agent that "just wanted another chance", who has hit 10 homers in 74 at bats? Bartolo Colon? He signed a minor league deal. Chris Gomez signed a one-year $1MM deal. I could go on all day.

Yet Bowden came back with the crew he assembled proclaiming this team to be competitive. It never had a chance.

Now, we all know Mike Rizzo is in charge of scouting and drafting of the amateurs, so all we have to judge Bowden on is his performance assembling the major league and Triple-A team. and those area have both regressed in the four years (two under the Lerners) that he's been on the job.

Enough is Enough. I'm not playing hypothetical like is, but simply providing evidence that Bowden very poorly chose the NRIs and one-year contracts he chose to give out for THIS SEASON, and the evidence is damning.

He continues to overvalue and overhype the players he assembles, then BLAMES THEM for poor performance. It's time he's held accountable for the teams he's putting on the field. There's no reason to play this poorly when you can be a shrewd judge of stop-gap talent in the off-season.

Bowden must go.


  1. Wigi // June 25, 2008 at 5:14 PM  

    I think there are a lot of reasons to be unhappy with Bowden this year, but the bench isn't one of them.

    The free agent catchers have been a disaster, but for all of the failures with Lo Duca and Estrada, you also have to give Bowden credit for Flores and Nieves. Sure, he didn't have them on the major league roster, but I think his thinking was sound - be conservative with Flores. Imagine if he had started the season with Flores and Nieves on the big league roster - the criticism would have been that the Nats were rushing their future star, and too cheap to sign a real catcher.

    The Nats starting pitching has been better than anyone could have hoped. The only real disappointment has been Hill, but it isn't like we couldn't have anticipated his situation, and there are plenty of credible rotation candidates in the minors, if not for this year, then next.

    The bench is just the bench, and it's a lot better than last year. Harris had seven career homers before this year, and he has four so far this season, with about a third of the ABs of a starter.

    The Nats defense has been good, recent lapses notwithstanding... but a team that is competitive most nights will make fewer mental lapses, so catastrophes as we've seen recently might have been avoided.

    Lastly, if you're a planista, you need to take your blood pressure medication, and realize that this is about building for the future. For the most part, there's nothing having anything to do with Lo Duca, Estrada, Willie Harris, Rob Mackowiak, Pete Orr or Ryan Langerhans that should be mentioned in the same sentence as 'the future'.

  2. Dave Nichols // June 25, 2008 at 5:44 PM  

    wigi, thanks for the comments. it's nice to have feedback.

    my larger point was that purely from a talent evaluation standpoint, Bowden's done a horrible job putting this team together. he presumably can't do anything about the injuries (or can he? maybe, like, not give out contracts to guys with a history of injuries). but what he can--and did--control was the quality of the bench and repplacement players he stocked at Columbus. Aaron Boone, Willie Harris, and Odalis Perez all are big league players. Wil Nieves is what he is, a Triple-A catcher filling in for injuries. got no problems with those guys.

    But: Rob Mackowiak, Pete Orr, Ryan Langerhans andsomeo f the relievers they are throwing aorund out there belong no where near a major league field, and now that the Nats are ravaged by injury, they are having to depend on players of this ilk to play for this team, especially since some of the players Bowden stakes his reputation to (Pena, FLop) have been downright terrible.

    i shuddle to think what happens if Hill's gone for a long time. i think i read somewhere Balestar pitched last night, so his turn is up when Hill's rolls around again? or is it back to Mock/Clippard or some other stiff?

  3. Dave Nichols // June 25, 2008 at 5:45 PM  

    shudder. i meant to type shudder, NOT shuddle :-)

  4. Steven // June 25, 2008 at 6:38 PM  

    Why are you taking shots at me? Aren't we allies here?

  5. Dave Nichols // June 25, 2008 at 11:47 PM  

    hey man, i'm not taking shots. i just said you were playing in the hypothetical (who should they have signed) and i was just looking at the guys they did, and others that were available instead. we ARE onthe same side, trust me. no disrespect was intended, i assure you.