Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Bodes' Sox

Barry Svrluga has a follow-up on the Bodes to Boston beat. What's striking about reading Barry's article is is how hard Bowden is campaigning for the job; he's openly coveting the other position, which seems strange. His interview is Wednesday or Thursday.

I'm late to the party with this, but Bowden took himself out of the running for the Dodgers job. Why? Did he get signals from the team? Did he just want to position himself better in the eyes of Boston?

When confronted with news, I ask myself the question that runs across my head every seven seconds or so: "How does this affect me?"

I have a love/hate relationship with Bowden. On one hand, he is especially adept at finding those diamonds in the rough -- role players like Hector Carrasco or Carlos Baerga. But he sometimes has to bring in two tons of rocks to find those diamonds.

Although he didn't demonstrate it this season, he's shown that he has a good eye for offensive talent. And although he preaches pitching, he's never really shown much of an ability to acquire it. Perhaps that's been a function of the budgets he's had.

But what I most appreciate about Bowden is his energy. I gave him the nickname PT Bowden because he sometimes comes across as a huckster, and he's always a salesman. He sold baseball, and gave the casual fan hope and excitement. There's value in that.

Overall he's probably average. He's not the miracle worker you'd conclude from his stories. And he's not the knuckle-dragging halfwit that most statheads see.

If he does go to Boston, I think he'd succeed. Nationals Farm Authority has posited the theory that the Sox GM situation is more a council of elders situation. They have plenty of advisors with plenty of experience to help make many of the decisions. They'd be able to temper his weaknesses, all while leveraging his strengths -- mainly the public face and energy he presents.

If you've ever seen a picture of Jim Beattie (another candidate), you'd see a man who looks like he should be doing probate law in Iowa. Bowden would be a bright public (dare I say cherubic?) face who could probably handle the cannibalistic Boston media.

If he were to leave, life would go on. I'd assume that Bob (ba)Boone would take over, working in concert with Tony Siegle. Boone wouldn't be able to do anything wild -- he'd have an even shorter leash than Bowden most likely. The team would essentially be in a holding pattern. (Which isn't much different than where we are now anyway.)

We're not going to be a player with the big names on the market anyway. AJ Burnett (whom the Nationals spoke with today) isn't going to come here -- not because of the instability, but because some team is going to offer him 4 years for $48 million.

We could manage for the short-term. It wouldn't be ideal, but nothing about this franchise has been in the last ten years.

So if Bowden goes, be happy -- happy for him. The Nationals will survive.

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