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Jim Bowden responds to Thomas Boswell

Thomas Boswell wrote a typically fascinating column on Monday morning dealing with Scott Boras's complicated and important place in the Nationals organization. The focus of the column was Boras's role in the future, but there were a couple quick glances to the past, like so:

Boras, who despised former Nats general manager Jim Bowden, lobbied for Rizzo to replace him in the job, even raising the possibility, according to sources, that Strasburg would not sign with the Nats as long as Bowden was in charge of his minor league development....

Boras has a clear sense of how the internal chemistry of the team works - usually a key element in encouraging other free agents to join an organization. "They've got a great clubhouse now," says Boras. That would be "now," as in post-Bowden.

Well, someone didn't like those paragraphs. That would be "someone," as in Jim Bowden.

The former GM promised on Twitter that Boras himself would be joining his Sirius XM MLB Network Radio show to respond to Boswell's column. Later, it turned out that Boras was unavailable, though "he wanted to come on," Bowden's co-host said. So Bowden put up this tweet:

Thanks to Scott Boras for sending me an e-mail denying the comments and inferences made by Tom Boswell of the WashPost in his article today.

Bowden also addressed the issue on his show. Long, but oh so good:

"I just took the article that Tom wrote and I sent it to Scott Boras, I e-mailed it to him, and I said 'Scott, any truth to any of these comments by Tom Boswell?'

"Scott wrote me back and he said 'No, and to show you this, call me and I'll take your call in the middle of [signing day]. Here's my number.'

"Scott and I have had a long relationship, we did the Danny Espinosa deal together with the Nationals. I've done deals with Scott my entire life, I've always had a good relationship with Scott, he's been on my GM's Corner show -- which is a great video if you want to watch it. In fact, one of his great lines there at the end of the show was I'm glad he doesn't have to negotiate against me any more.

"You and I ran into him in Dodgers Stadium last year, you were with me. We've had him on this show. I've always had a good relationship with Scott. What bothers me about this case is false allegations that people make, and then they infer things and they don't have quotes. He has no quotes from anybody, no quotes from Scott, no quotes from anybody with the Nationals. But to go out there and make a comment like that without any backing -- and obviously it was just a lie that he just made up himself -- that's the part of journalism that I really don't understand. I don't understand it on the baseball side, I don't understand it on the media side, why people make things up. I'll never understand it....

"Scott wouldn't respond as quickly as he did if there was truth to it. I've known Scott a long time....I just think it's unfortunate. I really do. You know, I've been gone for two years now, and I think they should try to focus really on what's going on there and not sit there and turn around and try to throw another knife into my character. I'm sick of it, when it's not true. For people to be able to make false allegations whenever they want, and to make up situations when you don't even have a quote, I just think it's unfair."

So on the one hand, we have a trusted and distinguished columnist -- who very obviously has sources deep inside the Nats organization -- telling us that Boras didn't like Bowden. On the other hand, we have a deposed GM telling us that he's known Boras for a long time, has interviewed him on the radio and on, and ran into him at Dodgers Stadium last year, so there's obviously no way Boras could dislike him.

Oh, plus relying on sources without quotes is evidently bad journalism. Right. Got it. Understood.

By Dan Steinberg  |  August 16, 2010; 4:10 PM ET
Categories:  Media , Nats  
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Boswell right? Or wrong? One absolutely true fact though: Jim Bowden, not current GM of the Nationals. At the end of the day, you can't dispute that fact. Nats Nation very happy about that.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | August 16, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Stay classy, LeatherPants.

Posted by: diogenes_quixote | August 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how you end a bog post.

Posted by: harrisongoodman | August 16, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

I do business all the time with the lady at Wendy's. Frankly I can't stand the way she looks at me and I know one day I'll tell her a hate her, but in the mean time heck I'll get my chicken caeser salad there cause it's cheap and my money transacts there fine...but one day...just one day...

Posted by: Berndaddy | August 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I dunno. I mean, Boswell was the first to publicly state that Jose Canseco was on steroids, and look how wrong THAT was.

And Bowden said Boras would come on the air, then couldn't but he really wanted to, then quoted an e-mail from Boras...except he's on the radio so we can't see it.

Um, yeah. I'm going with Boswell here.

Posted by: tgoren71 | August 16, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

All together now:

"Who Cares?"

Posted by: TimDz | August 16, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Bowden's holds himself in very high regard so of course he thinks everyone loves him. Personally, I have only met a few people that are more full of sh*t then JimBo.

The guy is a total embarassment.

I don't know if Boswell is right but this has turned into a great story. On the final day of signings for the Draft picks, JimBo is calling Boras to profess his love for him. Hilarious!

Posted by: dmacman88 | August 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

Also, if memory serves (and maybe it doesn't), Boswell was actually in Bowden's corner for quite a while during Bowden's GM stint so it's not like he's had an axe to grind with the guy for a long time.

Posted by: gkronenberg | August 16, 2010 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Interesting term he uses to describe Boswell, "trusted and distinguished ". It is curious that he didn't use those same adjectives to describe Bowden. Is he still a baseball executive or is he now a talk show host? You know like Sarah Palin used to be a governor and now she is a talk show host.

Posted by: CvilleJohn | August 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Effective end to the blog post, except that at least two of the Twitter examples turned out to be true.

Posted by: swmoore | August 16, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

Boswell rates about 70 AUs higher on the trustworthy scale than JimBo.

Posted by: js_edit | August 16, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

Although I love Boswell and am thrilled Rizzo replaced Bowden, I find Steinberg's snarky ending quite lame. I remember his blind loyalty attacking Peter Vecsey in defense of Mike Wise after the Washington Post shamefully buried the Arenas story (which they knew about) and allowed themselves to be scooped by the New York Post.

How the mighty have fallen.

Posted by: nativedc | August 16, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

In case it wasn't clear -- and evidently it wasn't -- the point of the end is that Bowden is insisting anonymously sourced reports could not be accurate or trustworthy. Boswell's report is based on sources. And yet Bowden regularly quotes anonymous sources in issuing his (very often valuable and accurate) reports on Twitter.

In other words, anonymous sources are often both extremely trustworthy, and vital to sports journalism. And are not an indication of a reporter just making things up.

Posted by: DanSteinberg1 | August 16, 2010 5:53 PM | Report abuse

BURN well done as always Dan. Or should I say Mr. Steinberg. Hmmmm who to trust who to trust. Super Prick Agent or great writer that has proven himself over and over again. MAN THIS IS A TOUGH ONE!!!!!!! ;-)

ROFL love the Drama.

Boras is horrible for baseball. I cannot wait for the rookie cap so he can no longer do this stuff.

Posted by: Mike4169 | August 16, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

I, who am no one, cannot see JimBo's tweets, because he has blocked me. This is probably because earlier in the season, I mentioned him in a tweet that was critical of his taking credit for completely building the current Nats.

In fact, I think I initially only retweeted someone else's tweet to the effect that Omar drafted Ian Desmond for the Expos.

For this Bowden has blocked me from ever, EVER, seeing anything he might tweet.

I am sitting here at my computer laughing out loud about this.

Posted by: shepdave2003 | August 16, 2010 6:18 PM | Report abuse

"So on the one hand, we have a trusted and distinguished columnist -- who very obviously has sources deep inside the Nats organization..."

I like Boz but he very obviously does not have any sources within the Nats inner circle. I can't think of a single bit of Nats news that Boz has broken or any insight into the inner workings of the organization he has ever brought to light.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | August 16, 2010 6:53 PM | Report abuse

Tom Boswell is a big boy... You don't need to come to his defense. It smacks of don't mess with the print media, we will make you pay. Take on one of us, take on all of us.

I am no Bowden fan, for sure, but a WaPo tag team isn't necessary.

Jim Bowden has always been his own worst enemy. Just let him rant.

Posted by: muddapucker | August 16, 2010 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Who has more credibility, Tom Boswell or Jim Bowden? The answer, at least from what I've seen as a reader and a baseball fan, is Boswell by far.

Posted by: greggwiggins | August 16, 2010 7:44 PM | Report abuse

Could Fox sports radio find any more dumb dumbs to make me less inclined to listen to their drivel? Bowden's show is unlistenable. He's that tool we all know who got a really great job stunk at it but still thinks he was awesome and deserves respect because of it. Personally I wouldn't trust him to shoot the sour cream gun at Taco Bell.

Posted by: damjammer | August 16, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Bowden was (is?) a tool. Anybody can see that.

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | August 16, 2010 10:21 PM | Report abuse

Well, Jim, let me clear it up for you then.

Whether or not Scott Boros is glad you are no longer GM of the Nationals, I -- speaking as a Nationals fan -- am thrilled, beyond my own capacity to express it, that you can not ever again make one more stupid trade with the Cincinnati Reds to pick-up some player you used to have beers with.

You have now demonstrated with two different organizations that you are not only incompetent -- but also unethical and maybe criminal -- in your conduct personally and professionally.

It figures that the only organization left that would hire you is the same one that employs crackpots like Glen Beck and Bill O'Reilly.

If Boswell was inaccurate in his portrayal of your relationship with Scott Boros, then he should apologize. The fact that you have never apologized to the Nationals organization and its fans for your unethical and embarrassing conduct during your tenure as GM is, to me, the much greater offense.

Kevin Olson
Manassas, VA

Posted by: noslok | August 16, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

The best thing about baseball in Washington is Tom Boswell.

Posted by: oconnra8 | August 16, 2010 11:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, the best thing about baseball in Washington is that ther IS baseball in Washington.

I'll take Bos over Bowden any day. And exactly why didn't Boras come to his defense except for the rantings of Jimbo?

Posted by: jacktaven | August 17, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Agree re. baseball being the best thing, Jack, though I also like Bos.

And this just in from the Luddite Department: I don't get the whole Twitter thing. As far as news reporting, it doesn't leave much room for context, which is kind of key in journalism, imo. Then there's the issue of people getting their backs up about not being followed, or being blocked, or whatever. Maybe it brings back bad middle school memories for them or something. Then there's the whole behind-the-scenes gossip/firestorm (twitstorm?) aspect. But that's just me. Tweet on, dudes (and dudettes). I won't be reading, but I'm sure somebody will. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | August 17, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | August 17, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

"In fact, one of his great lines there at the end of the show was I'm glad he [Boras] doesn't have to negotiate against me any more. "

And Jim takes this as an endorsement? Isn't that pretty much the same thing Boz said? What a maroon.

Posted by: zimbar | August 17, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

In my opinion, Tom Boswell has gone the way of Mike Wilbon over the last few years. Which is to say he has become a complete and utter hack, a dishonest, sloppy, amateurish journalist who I once respected greatly.

Let us not forget the lies Boswell invented last year about the Redskins which Steinberg eloquently pointed out:

"So when Tom Boswell writes that contrite Skins officials 'say there'll be no more Steelers crowds at FedEx Field....' I mean, I can't imagine they've actually said that" -Steinberg

Boswell lied about the team and made up a position the team did not take. Boz claimed that the Redskins officials said "there will be no more Steelers crowds at Fed Ex." They never said this. Nor would they, considering they have no control over such things.

Boswell needs to issue a retraction or he will slip further and further into irrelevance.

Posted by: Barno1 | August 17, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

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