Of Sharks, Vultures and Haters

Posted by Dave Nichols | Thursday, February 26, 2009 | , | 15 comments »

Response to "A Nats320 Editorial":

I realize that getting into a war of words may be a silly thing to do, but since you are just about the only blogger in the Natsophere that censors his comments for content, and since you will not publish any comment that I try to leave on one of your posts, I wished to respond to your post this morning about "spreading wildfire", since my blog is obviously one of those that you're calling out.

Twisted metaphors aside, I have a couple of critiques of your ideas. Since you yourself said that "A healthy give and take over whether Jim Bowden should remain with Our Washington Nationals is worth discussing", let's discuss!

First, you decreed that the "Gonzalez/Lugo situation is completely different from The Federal Investigation involving the skimming of money". Really? I thought the $1.4 million signing bonus to a player whose next biggest offer was half that amount was what triggered the investigation with regards to the Nationals. I guess I have it wrong, along with ESPN.com, the Washington Post, the Washington Times, CBS Sports, USA Today and all the rest.

I think maybe what you meant to say was that the fact that he lied about his age and identity was different than the bonus-skimming investigation. Both situations are equally damning and damaging to the organization and the man that presided over the negotiations, General Manager Jim Bowden.

Apparently Bowden's track record as a lousy GM and the general lack of respect among his peers isn't reason enough for the Lerners to fire him. Nor is it enough for you to call for his ouster, which is your opinion and you're entitled to it. So we'll just wait to see if the FBI has evidence that he was involved in the scheme. The franchise will be left waiting too, handcuffed with a General Manager that has been chopped off at the knees, muzzled in the press, and neutered of any decision-making responsibility.

I suppose you'll say I'm reading too much into the fact that Mike Rizzo and Mark Scialabba are the Nats officials in the Dominican today straightening out the mess as evidence that Jim Bowden is already out of the loop in decision-making.

You made a big deal about letting "the investigation play out--before this Spreading Wildfire burns Our Washington Nationals to the ground". My opinion is that every day that Jim Bowden is still employed with the team is another day of damage to the long-term future to the organization. It's another day of a team without a General Manager, another day that this franchise twists in the wind, another day that decisions aren't made, another day that every other organization in MLB doesn't know who is in charge, another day that the media and fans mock and ridicule the franchise.

If you love the Washington Nationals so much, how can you sit idly by and defend the person that is currently bringing so much public scorn and ridicule upon it, and leaving it in such a weakened state?

Your implication that those that are calling for Bowden's head are doing "irrecoverable damage" and that the organization "may be forced into doing something drastic--like revamping their entire Baseball Operations--without regard to the long term future of Our Franchise" is simply, in a word, ludicrous.

If you think for one minute what I say, or what Fire Jim Bowden says, or Federal Baseball or Nats Farm Authority, or Hendo's Hutch or OMG or Nationals Enquirer or We've Got Heart or Nationals Journal (WP) or Nationals Chatter (WT), anyone else in the Natosphere, or, yes, even YOU; if you even think for one second they're taking our opinions into account when deciding the long-term future of the franchise, then man, do I have some news for you.

The only thing the Lerner family cares about is making and spending money. If the team is successful on the field as a result of it, all the better.

The only thing Stan Kasten cares about is making the Washington Nationals franchise the best that it can be under the parameters he has to work with. I honestly believe Stan when he said the only thing he wants to do is make this franchise one of the models of the industry. His legacy is counting on it.

If you think the Lerners and Mr. Kasten will be "forced into doing something drastic"--your words--because of PUBLIC OPINION or the words of a handful of semi-connected internet writers, and not because of the facts in the matter, then I really don't know how to answer that. It's that type of self-indulgent narcissism that give bloggers a bad name.

I invite you, or anyone, to reply in the comments section.

Dave Nichols
Nats News Network

P.S. I apologize in advance to any of my Natosphere brethren or sisthren if their inclusion (or exclusion) in my rant is found objectionable.

The opinion expressed in the above editorial is the sole opinion of the writer, and not meant to imply the opinion of any other person, blog, or organization.


  1. Hendo // February 26, 2009 at 12:56 PM  

    Well, I take just about everything Jeff says with a grain of salt anyhow. But I think the more thoughtful Nats bloggers have been careful not to pile on, while the haters are going to hate anyhow -- and there's not much you or Jeff or I can do about that except call it out. Which, in a way, he's doing.

    That said, the questions now revolve around JB's effectiveness and around damage containment. That right there is the short-term bottom line, which we need carefully to distinguish from the long-term Plan even as we fulminate and speculate over current events.

    And I'm going to go right on speculating as responsibly as I know how. If that pisses anybody off, tough.

  2. Dave Nichols // February 26, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

    thanks Hendo.

    my personal opinion, as you well know, is that we have enough evidence about Bowden's effectiveness, but as i said in my post, everyone's entitiled to their own and i'm willing to listen and debate.

    i think the Nats had a decent off-season this year and have said it. but one off-season does not a track record make, and two years down the road we'll see just how effective it really was. can trying to win 75 games and rebuild a franchise at the same time work hand-in-hand?

    i think the real damage being done is letting Bowden twist is what's really hurting right now.

  3. Moe Greene // February 26, 2009 at 1:09 PM  

    Gotta take the high road, Dave. Honestly, my gut tells me that SBF was calling out FBJ. Even if SBF was subliminally speaking to you, you've got to be bigger than this.

    Between this and ABM, maybe it's time for you to take a break. I admire your compassion for that Nationals and the Natosphere, but it's not worth getting this upset about.

    As always, keep up the good work. Best wishes.

  4. Kristen // February 26, 2009 at 1:14 PM  

    Just wanted to chime in. I'm fully in support of what you said. I've been thinking it all morning.

    Being angry about this situation, this team, this GM and this blogger speaks volumes about how much you truly love this franchise. Further, your criticism was pretty darn classy, unlike his original rant.

  5. Dave Nichols // February 26, 2009 at 1:16 PM  

    Moe, appreciate the comment. this isn't anything new, i've had previous "discussions" with SBF.

    he said he was open for debate, so i'm debating. but he's usually less than receptive to receiving comments that issue a differing opinion or criticism of any kind, so this is the forum i must engage him.

    much as i would (and will) engage in discussion with anyone that wishes to leave a comment on one of my posts.

  6. Moe Greene // February 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM  

    Fair enough, Dave. I hope SBF is willing to discuss. Let's not forget, we should all be on the same team, right?

    For what it's worth, I've been on the FJB (the concept, not the blogger) bandwagon for quite some time now. Completely ignoring the Smiley Gonzalez Alvarez fiasco, he's been a poor GM. Moreover, his colleagues don't respect him. If that isn't reason enough to let the guy go, I don't know what is.

  7. WFY // February 26, 2009 at 1:28 PM  

    I can't help but think that weasels, snakes and rats felt left out of the wildfire.

  8. Steven // February 26, 2009 at 2:09 PM  

    The idea that we or I have such influence over the team I find kinda silly. If Stan or the Lerners are allowing us to influence their thinking, then we're in bigger trouble than I thought.

    For me, I just think that we're making a terribly boring enterprise (being a Nationals fan) and making it kinda fun and exciting.

    Shall we discuss the President's budget instead?

  9. An Briosca Mor // February 26, 2009 at 2:16 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  10. Dave Nichols // February 26, 2009 at 2:29 PM  

    Thanks for the comment ABM.

    The only differences i can see between how the White Sox and the Nats handled things are: 1) The GM wasn't even whispered as being involved, and 2) They acted immediately.

    As for the specualtion aspect, just because the team says something is or isn't so, doesn't necessarily mean it true.

  11. Moe Greene // February 26, 2009 at 2:33 PM  

    ABM - Another difference between Kenny Williams and Jim Bowden?

    A RING.

    It's indisputable; before and after Smiley-gate, Bowden was and always will be a joke to the majority GMs in baseball.

  12. An Briosca Mor // February 26, 2009 at 3:11 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  13. Dave Nichols // February 26, 2009 at 3:38 PM  

    "there's not anything that can be done in the short term to drastically affect the on-field product this year."

    Really? with all the free agents still available and trade possibilities involving the Nats 100 or so outfielders, there's nothing that can be done in the short term to drastically affect the on-field product?

  14. An Briosca Mor // February 26, 2009 at 4:19 PM  
    This comment has been removed by the author.
  15. bdrube // February 26, 2009 at 4:54 PM  


    Awesome post. Nats 320 is the only Nats blog I never read because I can't stand the mindless homerism as organizational butt kissing.

    The last straw for me was when he was saying what a great thing it was that Bush would throw out the first pitch in the New Stadium. I posted in reply that allowing Bush in our new park would be inviting bad luck that would make the curse of the Bambino look like a four leaf clover. Needless to say, in his endless desire to prostrate himself before the rich and powerful, he disagreed.

    Keep up the good work!