The coverage in the Post, Nationals.com, and elsewhere made a lot out of Bowden's comments that he'd consider prospect-for-prospect trades, especially pitching for hitting. If he started trading away our young pitching, the most valuable asset in baseball, I'd be livid, but I thought his comments were just variations on his typical line about "we'll do any trade that makes our team better." It's a stupid line that I think Bowden thinks makes him seem creative and innovative. But it doesn't mean anything, and as his reputation for innovation has eroded, it sounds increasingly like grasping at cliches because he just doesn't know what else to say. If Wily Mo looks lost at the plate, then JimBo seems lost at the mike.
So all the talk about trading prospects I disregard. I also don't put much stock in the "Don't know that" line when asked if all the draft picks would get signed. They're in negotiations. It would be stupid to telegraph that the team is desperate and about to cave to every demand, even if they are.
The part of his news conference that I didn't like was this:
Well, I mean, our veteran players, obviously, there's not much of a market. Rauch was our marketable guy that we traded. The other ones there's not much of a market for. Obviously, look, we're a last place team and a lot of them are underachieving. So that's not surprising.We all know who he's talking about. Felipe and Lo Duca have been terrible. For that matter Kearns hasn't been any better, and even Guzman's been bad and hurt since basically the minute he re-signed.
But what good could it possibly to trash his players like this? I mean, he already had to eat crow after insulting one of the team's most popular and longest tenured players. This his Bowden's roster. Every one of these guys who he's now trashing was acquired by him.
This is one of his most classless patterns. In 2005 he trashed his offense when the team petered out down the stretch. There are many other examples like this. Brian Schneider comes to mind. Ryan Church. A better blogger would have a whole list of other links.
I really wish he'd just once say, "you know, I made some bad decisions. I took on too many injury-prone players. I thought certain players would perform better than they have. This team isn't good enough, and it's my job to build a winning team. So hang this on me."
If he said that, I think he would actually gain credibility in the eyes of the fans and the media. But it's just impossible to imagine Jim Bowden ever admitting fault and taking blame like this. It's just not his style.