Friday, September 19, 2008

A Very, Very Classy E-Mail from Jim Bowden

OK so I just got home from work a little bit ago, and my wife's best friend from college is over for dinner, so I don't have time tonight to post the full telling of the FJB v. JB smackdown at ESPN Zone, but to give you a little taste, I'm posting an email exchange between myself and JimBo from today. I'm posting this because I thought it was an incredibly classy gesture. Check back for all that led up to it early tomorrow.

First, the email I wrote to him:

I just wanted to reiterate my offer at ESPN Zone that anything I have posted on my "Fire Jim Bowden" blog that crosses the line into something that would be hurtful to your kids or family, I apologize and will remove.

My goal is to write a smart, stat-focused Nationals blog that covers general news but that also speaks to the current mood of the fanbase, which is that someone's head needs to roll. Sad to say, but I picked you. But I have no interest in personal attacks, profanity-laced tirades, or any of that stuff. And I try to give you credit where I feel it's deserved--Loaiza, O. Perez, Redding, and Dukes are all moves I've praised you for very highly. Dukes in particular I've taken up as a pet issue, because I think he's been treated incredibly unfairly in the media, especially the Tampa press.

That said, I admit I'm obviously not a fan of yours overall, and I can see how a blog dedicated to the proposition that you should be fired from your job would stick in your craw, so I don't mind you calling me out today. That was fair. From my perspective, you're a public figure and calling on you to be fired is no different than someone saying Jason Bergmann should be sent back to Columbus or whatever. It's not personal. It's just fans chatting about their team.

So again I really appreciate your willingness to open yourself up to criticism today and the fact that you've taken the time to read anything I've written. Frankly, I'm shocked that a man such as yourself even cares what a guy like me writes on a little amateur blog, so it's kinda cool to know that I'm noticed.

--Steven Biel
And Jim's reply:
Steven –

Thanks for your e-mail. Though it’s hard not take personally a blog entitled, “Fire Jim Bowden”, I assure you I take my job, the game of baseball, and fans seriously enough that I always listen to what is being said. I recognize that, in baseball, the one thing that would be worse than criticism would be indifference. The job I was given with the Washington Nationals is a challenging one. When I became involved with the Nationals the Minor League and Scouting Departments were extraordinarily weak, and certain decisions were based on sub-par scouting reports, when I personally hadn’t even seen the player. Asking for patience while a long term plan is being put in place is a tough assignment. I assure you that no one is more impatient than me, but I believe the way the ownership group, Stan Kasten, Mike Rizzo, Dana Brown and I are putting the pieces in place will play dividends in the long run.

I certainly understand being a public figure, that I am open to criticism especially for the moves that don’t work out. I also think that blogs are good for baseball because they allow for fans to express their frustration and hopefully someday... soon, their appreciation.

Thanks for caring about the Nationals! Any ideas you have to help our organization get better, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Jim Bowden


Dave Nichols said...

Steven, glad cooler heads prevailed all around. I thought i was going to have to separate you two for a while there this afternoon.

It was quite a day, concluded with 14 innings from two of the worst teams in baseball.

Steven said...

I saw you behind home plate. Nothing like an up close and personal look a an 0 for 7 from the face of the franchise.

Hendo said...

Whoa... sounds exciting. Now I'm feeling even more guilty that I didn't make it.

That was a classy email. But, when you think about it, any GM has to realize that, kind of like a manager or a player, they are hired to (eventually) be fired. And the time for Bowden to go is now. Much more on that at the Hutch after the season.

BTW, what do you think he would say to Manny as he dropped the axe? (We already know what he would say to Cordero: bupkes.)

Sean Hogan said...

Wow, he signed it "Peace"? He's been hanging around Millz with Thrillz too much!

Steven said...

@Sean--Tru dat.

@Hendo--seriously, it was so much fun. I can't even tell you.