Jim Bowden criticizes Pudge Rodriguez deal
That small rumbling you felt this morning on your way to work? That was just the universe's irony scale shifting a few degrees to the right, thanks to Jim Bowden.
Bowden, as you likely know, has been co-hosting "Baseball This Morning" on SIRIUS XM Radio's MLB Home Plate channel this week, live from the winter meetings in Indianapolis. Bowden and co-host Steve Davis are on from 7-10 a.m., and one of their first topics Tuesday morning was the Nats' signing of Ivan Rodriguez.
"Two years, $6 million?" Davis asked. "Did they need to pay Pudge two years, $6 million to mentor and back up [Jesus Flores]?"
"Following in the footsteps of Paul LoDuca and Dmitri Young, another bad [signing] by the Nationals," Bowden said, as the world's irony scale exploded. "This time by a new GM, at least," he said, as Davis laughed.
"At least a different GM is making this decision along with Stan Kasten and the organization," Bowden continued. "But $6 million for two years, a lot of eyebrows raised at 12:17 in the morning when Jon Heyman reported that it was done at $6 million. But let's give a lot of credit where credit is due. Scott Boras, his agent, was able to get a two-year guaranteed contract for a 38-year old catcher with an on-base percentage of .280...."
"Here's something I wonder about Pudge," Davis later said. "Pudge signs with the Nationals, right? And you look at Pudge, why would he want to go to the Nationals? Wouldn't he want to try to get a back-up job where he might be able to...."
"Six million dollars, Steve!" Bowden explained.
"But he's [already] loaded," Davis countered. "He doesn't want to win?"
"No no, you don't get it," Bowden said. "Six million dollars at the end of your career, that's all it is. You don't sign there if it's not, because [they're] the only team that came to the table with $6 million and two years guaranteed. This was strictly a business decision. Look, Pudge can catch it and he can throw you out, and in his day he was an impact offensive player. And as you said, he is a future Hall of Famer. The reality is he never really was very good at calling a game. Been criticized most of his career. If there's a guy on, he's going to put the one finger down. You're going to get a fastball, because he ain't gonna let that guy steal the base late in the career. That doesn't work as far as having a pitching staff get people out, and that's why this decision to mentor young pitchers, not sure if Pudge is the right guy here."
Later in the show, Rodriguez's agent Scott Boras was on, and Bowden asked the natural question.
"Early this morning or late last night you completed a deal for Pudge Rodriguez, two years, $6 million guaranteed, 38-years old, .280 on-base percentage," Bowden began. "Why does Pudge decide to go to Washington instead of a contending team?"
"I think for any player that, you know, where you have a role and you have an element where you're going to be able to have significant contribution, where you're going to play a good bit," Boras said. "And certainly in Washington Pudge has an opportunity to, particularly this year, to play at a number that's well above that of a back-up catcher. So he's going to be a significant contributor. You know, he's won a World Championship in his career and he took on a situation like this in Detroit a few years ago where a club was building, and it worked out rather well for him. So, you know, certainly Washington, on their landscape, has a great city and a chance to advance rather quickly if the ownership chooses to do so. And where Pudge was at in his career and getting a chance to stay in a place for a couple years, it worked out well."
Or, to put it another way, six million dollars!"
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