Washington Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden and his special assistant Jose Rijo are two of the people federal authorities are investigating, the lawyer said.The Times seems to have a different source than the original ESPN.com story, which identified their sources as MLB officials. The NYT story identifies their source as "a lawyer with knowledge of the inquiry." (I suppose the MLB official could also be a lawyer, but to me it reads as someone else.)
The NYT piece also has several direct quotes from the source that give some interesting details on the scam:
Completely reading the tea leaves here, I have a couple observations:
“As the process continues, it is going to be much larger and is going to involve other teams, several general managers and other scouting directors, and players are going to have to meet with agents,” the lawyer said.
“What some of these scouts would do was overvalue a player and tell a team that a player is worth say $600,000 and then tell the player ‘I will give you this money and sign you but you have to give me a certain percent back,’ ” the lawyer said.
The lawyer added, “There will be a question as to whether the general managers turned a blind eye and accepted” the practice.
- Additional sources add credibility to the story, and having the NYT confirm it adds a lot. The NYT certainly gets their share of stories wrong (coughJudith Millercough), but with two ESPN reporters who Brian at NFA says have a good track record, Mark Fainaru-Wada and T.J. Quinn, and now NYT confirming the story, it's more worrying.
- Regardless of whether Bowden is involved or not, there's a dispute about the nature of his questioning. We now have the NYT and a apparently a separate source confirming ESPN's report that Bowden is indeed a suspect. Someone isn't telling the truth.
- I would be curious to know more about these sources. I've written about how many enemies Bowden's made in baseball, so it's not not hard to imagine someone with an axe to grind leaking something embarrassing to JimBo. But if the Times' attorney is on the FBI side or someone on the DR side, that would add some credibility to me.