Posted on: March 1, 2009 1:04 pm

More to come after Bowden bows out, Rijo fired?

The next shoe hit the floor in the ongoing travails involving Jim Bowden, now-former general manager of the Washington Nationals. Bowden resigned this morning as Nats' GM.

"I'm today resigning my position as the senior vice president, general manager of the Washington Nationals. It's an emotional decision. It saddens me, but I feel it's in the best interest of two of the things I love the most: That's the Washington Nationals and baseball," Bowden said while reading from a prepared statement.

"I have become a distraction. Unless you are Manny Ramirez, there is no place for distraction in baseball. I want to be able to turn the page, and I want this franchise to be able to have everybody, from the media to the fans, focus on what the game is about. It's about players. It's about what happens on the field."

Here is a link to the CBS story on Bowden's resignation:

Here is a link to a story about the matter on

Bowden is under investigation for possible involvement in a scheme to skim signing bonuses from Latin American baseball prospects. He continues to proclaim his innocence. Bowden's resignation comes in the wake of the recent firing of Jose Rijo, a special assistant for the Nationals. Rijo was involved in the signing of a player from the Dominican Republic who allegedly falsified his name and age.

For his part, this surely is not the end of the story for Bowden, and likely not for Rijo. If Bowden believes leaving will shift the focus away from the Nationals, he is sadly mistaken. There will be plenty of reportage on this story until all the details come out, the investigation is completed, and any legal proceedings are resolved.





Posted on: February 23, 2009 12:50 pm

Bowden trading leather for snakeskin, DOC grays?

As another federal investigation gathers steam, the Washington Nationals and, apparently, the Cincinnati Reds -- and Major League Baseball by extension -- are sure to be embarassed by allegations now raining out of the sky regarding current Nationals General Manager and former Reds GM Jim Bowden.

Below are links to two stories detailing the alleged skimming of signing bonuses from players out of the Dominican Republic, one from CBS and one from Sports Illustrated.

When it comes to Jim Bowden, he's always been a slick fast talker of a GM. He was responsible for what I continue to contend could be the worst trade in Reds' history, bringing Ken Griffey, Jr., to the team in 2000 and essentially mortgaging the team's future while accomplishing virtually nothing in the process. Outside of that for me, there is no love lost in the Reds' camp for old Leatherpants, who earned the nickname for his penchant for wearing leather pants. He was the mastermind of such moves as firing Reds' manager Tony Perez 44 games into the 1993 season BY VOICEMAIL. He couldn't even face the guy straight up! And after going to the Nationals in 2004, he helped engineer a trade with the Reds in 2006 that is still talked about in Reds' circles because Nationals' pitcher Gary Majewski, a featured player in the trade, had received a cortisone shot just prior to being traded to the Reds. (After the Reds filed a grievance in 2007 and the trade was investigated, it was determined there was no wrongdoing on the part of Bowden or the Nationals.)

What disturbs me more is to see Jose Rijo's name mentioned in connection with this mess. Rijo is a special assistant for the Nationals, and he has now been linked to a prospect from the Dominican Republic who was older than originally reported during first contacts with the player. Rijo has always been one of my favorite Reds' players and one of my favorite players of all time, but now that could be tarnished.

I would think that many fellow Reds' fans feel the way I do -- it would serve Bowden right to have karma bite him in the butt if he has been involved with skimming signing bonuses. And, certainly, based on what is being reported, the activity goes beyond Bowden and whatever Rijo might have done. But to see Rijo being thrown on the heap with Bowden would be a hard pill for me to swallow. Right now, both are ducking media contacts, but I would venture to say that won't stop those media outlets from pursuing Bowden and Rijo like feral dogs on the scent of tempting prey.

So, it's obvious Bowden has traded those leather pants for snakeskin, and maybe some of the proverbial snake oil we often hear about. But, pending outcome of the investigation that is ongoing, will he be able to cozy up and play "Let's Make A Deal," or will he have to trade in the leather and snakeskin for DOC grays? Stay tuned to your nearest sports information source, sports fans, this one's not over and will likely be an underlying topic of conversation for the entire MLB season, with athletic, political and social dimensions, considering the number and quality of baseball prospects coming out of the Dominican Republic and what a shot at a professional baseball career can mean to so many of those recruits.

Posted on: December 24, 2008 1:06 am
Edited on: December 24, 2008 1:56 am

MLB: Deals put Yanks under white-hot spotlight

If this team didn't already get enough attention, they just set themselves up for a lot more. A recent spate of free-agent signings -- including a seven-year $161 million contract to CC Sabathia, a five-year $82 million contract to A.J. Burnett, and an eight-year $180 million contract to Mark Teixeira -- will essentially have the team baking under the spotlight this year.

Threads are being posted all over the place, by Yanks fans, Yanks haters, baseball fans in general, to different ends. Yanks fans are lauding the moves and sticking their tongues out at Red Sox fans. Yanks haters are wishing a pox on the team and its management. Baseball fans in general are wondering what such deals will do to the overall economics of the game.

I can tell you that I normally don't follow the Yankees all that closely. I hold nothing for or against the team. I am a Reds fan, and I have had trouble enough the last few years keeping my stomach up for watching them on a regular basis (good news is they are poised to improve in 2009). But I will also tell you that I will be watching the Yanks a little more closely this year, as will a lot of other fans, Yanks lovers, haters and everyone in between.

I admit I would laugh myself silly if the Yanks don't make it to the playoffs. The derision that would rain down upon the team, especially from their own fans, would be nothing short of spectacular. Their new stadium could go up in flames before the first season in it ends if the Yanks don't live up to the expectations they have created with this outrageous free spending.

It will be interesting to see what happens as the season progresses. Money can buy the best players, but it can't force those players to work well together. We are talking about highly-paid players with strong personalities. Hopefully, the management will be ready to forge a close-knit group coming out of spring training, or I would anticipate the possibility of a meltdown of monumental proportions.

Thanks, Yanks, for making the upcoming 2009 season that much more interesting!

Posted on: November 5, 2008 4:57 pm

BP gets first GG! Woweeee!!

Cincinnati Reds second basemen Brandon Phillips earned his first Rawlings Gold Glove Award for his play during the 2008 season. Among Phillips' season highlights: a National League-leading .990 fielding percentage and a 78-game streak without an error.

Here is a link to the story at

Congrats, BP! You deserve it. May it be the first of many for you in a Reds uniform!

Posted on: February 2, 2008 4:00 pm
Edited on: February 2, 2008 4:01 pm

Glass half full -- what's on the menu?

The Reds have set the table, now let's see what kind of meal they can put together and serve to us . . .

Dusty Baker is on board. Walt Jockety is in the front office, serving at the conduit/liaison between Bob Castellini and Wayne Krivsky (I have a feeling that, if Krivsky has a rough year, he will be fired either before the season is over or shortly after season's end. And they would lose nothing, because Jockety could slide right into the job).

Enough player moves have been made to stock the cupboard. Cordero, Volquez, Affeldt, Adkins, Brower, Herrera, Lehr, Pettyjohn, Valenzuela -- all pitchers. All, to a greater or lesser degree, will get a look in spring training. Cordero and Affeldt are the only ones likely to be a lock in some kind of role for the Reds. Volquez may be next in line. The rest will get a shot, but likely will end up somewhere in the minors. But, for the first time in a long time, there is some new, and good, material to work with.

I must say I'm a bit puzzled by the raise that Matt Belisle got -- considering his numbers from last year (OK -- not good, not great, but OK), somebody  in the organization must see something that most of us don't. Whoever that person is, I hope that person is right.

Position players acquired in the offseason look to be role players, either in the minors or occasionally in the Bigs.

I think the starting lineup won't look much different from last year, which also disappoints me to some degree. I had hoped the Reds would deal Dunn or Griffey or both, but the market just wasn't there, or the terms couldn't be worked out. One side or the other asking too much. Oh, well, we'll have to live with it one way or the other.

Let's hope Homer Bailey is more consistent and able to have a good showing, and, if he makes the Big Show right out of spring training, let's hope he can stand the routine of starting every fourth or fifth game.

Things to look forward to: seeing what Joey Votto and Jay Bruce can do, and, on deck, Johnny Cueto.

Here's the CBS Team Page for the Reds if you want to get the full lowdown:

This year, I'm not counting on the playoffs, but who knows? If all the pieces fall just right . . . I'm fairly confident, though, that they will finish above .500. At the very least, THAT will be an achievement for them.



The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or