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Jim Bowden's tips for small-market GMs

A few months ago, Stan Kasten was asked whether he considers the Nats a small-market or big-market team. He sort of suggested it's impossible to know just yet.

"I never use those designations," he told Rick Horrow on Versus. "I always talk about big revenue, small revenue, because you can be a big market like Miami but still be small revenue. I think right now we are a big market with medium revenue. I think when we do our job on the field, we're gonna be a big big market with big revenue. Two bigs in the market, only one big in revenue, because we're never gonna be L.A. or New York, but we don't have to be to win consistently."

It's an optimistic enough projection, and the "medium" category is a nice twist on the small/big dichotomy. But former GM Jim Bowden -- a man who should understand the D.C. situation fairly well -- seemed to come down decidedly on the "small" side during his latest video spot on (Video below.)

"I had to trade for Elijah Dukes in Washington," Bowden said, while discussing what small-market teams must do to succeed. "We couldn't afford to go get a $10 million outfielder, so we traded an A-ball pitcher for a guy that's been arrested I don't know how many times. When we went into the room and talked to our owners about the deal, I told the owners straight out, I said 'This guy has as good a chance of landing in jail as he does an All-Star game, but he could land in either one. We should take this chance.'

"But in a small market, what's the choice? If you don't make the trade, who's gonna play right field? And that's the question that has to be asked, and that's why small markets take the gamble. Do you want to roll over and just quit? Do you want to just give up, because you don't have the money to compete, or do you want to find a way to compete? GMs in small markets have to try to find a way."

Well then. I could also refer to Bowden's introductory remarks, where he said "This week we're gonna take a look at the difference between a big-market GM and a small-market GM. A big-market GM means big payrolls, lots of wins and job security. A small market means low payroll, lots of losses, and 4-to-6 years before you get fired."

So I guess that's another way to guess how he'd classify Washington. Bowden's tips for winning in a small market? "Good scouting, shrewd trades, and the ability to find the best young talent that can play both offense and defense."

I'd be remiss if I didn't include this exchange with Boston's Theo Epstein, conducted via Skype. (And yes, there's a statute of limitation on Bowden Bog posts. Maybe two years or so. Then he no longer counts as one of ours. Until then, you'll have to bear with me.)

Bowden: "And what's next for Theo Epstein? When you're done being a GM, do we go to President, do you go to Commissioner of baseball? What's next for Theo?"

Epstein: "I don't know about any of those things, Jim. Really, as you know, in this job, you can't think too far ahead with respect to your own career, with respect to yourself and your job. You really can't think anything but day-to-day, because you never know in this world. We'll see, if your job's open in three years, maybe I'll get a Skype account of my own and step in your shoes."

Bowden laughed. I guess it was either that or break down in tears and cry.

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 16, 2010; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Eliot Spitzer's Tips For Big State Governors:
> It's the economy, stupid
> Take on corporate crime
> Avoid prostitues

Jack Abramoff's Tips For Lobbyists:
> Buy some hats - style counts!
> Invest in a restaurant
> Don't bribe congressmen or steal from tribes

John Delorean's Tips For Aspiring Car Makers:
> One word, my boy: Stainless
> Product placement in Hollywood blockbusters is key!
> Stay off the coke

Posted by: EdTheRed | February 16, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

^^^ That's actually pretty funny.

Bowden's still a Major League tool.

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | February 16, 2010 9:37 AM | Report abuse

PLEASE!!! This idiot set us back. Now we are going to listen to him for his expertise. LOL LOL LOL LOL LOL Had we had a real GM when the team came in here in 2005 we may now have a chance to compete for the pennant. MLB and Bowden held us back. I love Rizzo and his gang. By 2012 we will be competing for the title.
Anybody who believes anything that Jimbo says then is extremely dumb!!!!

Posted by: eddie5 | February 16, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

What's next? Vinnie Cerrato's tips for building a playoff football team?

Posted by: tanman1 | February 16, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

But the Nationals DID spend almost $10M on an outfielder, Jim's good friend from Cincinnati Austin Kearns.

And didn't Austin just deliver those 40 homer, 120 RBI power numbers that Jim talked about when the new contract was signed with Kearns?

The problem with Bowden is he is a con man that is trying to go back and con the same people a second time with the same angle.

This time everyone sees through him.

Posted by: leopard09 | February 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

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