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Nats Ownership Encouraging Investigation Of Bowden

Washington Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said on Monday that he has done nothing wrong. The federal investigators looking into Bowden still aren't so sure, a source familiar with the investigation said. The Nationals, meantime, are waiting to find out, and want to learn more about Bowden's possible involvement in a growing baseball-wide scandal before they determine whether he retains his job.

But behind the scenes, according to sources, some within the team's ownership group -- which includes Managing Principal Owner Theodore N. Lerner, seven principal owners and nine founding partners -- are eager to cut ties with the general manager they inherited almost three years ago, and see the investigation as a way of facilitating Bowden's exit. The Nationals, one source said, are encouraging the investigation to return an answer on Bowden so the parties can "go on their merry way."

In the past week, the federal probe examining scouting practices in Latin America - including the skimming of signing bonuses earmarked for prospects - has intensified scrutiny of Bowden and tested the team's willingness to tolerate it. On Monday, Bowden denied any wrongful practices, saying simply, "I'm innocent of any wrongdoing, and besides that I don't have any comment."

Team president Stan Kasten, asked directly about support for Bowden, said: "Listen, I support everyone who works for the Washington Nationals all the time, period. But we're not going to talk about things that are going on away from here that I have no control or involvement in. I've told you, I am gonna allow the process to play out. We'll allow the chips to fall where they may, and we're going to look at things honestly and deal with them as is appropriate."

Neither Ted Lerner nor his son, Mark, were willing to comment on Monday, saying through a spokeswoman that "Stan's response will stand as the Nationals' statement."

To date, Bowden is the highest-ranking baseball official involved in the investigation. And while the probe has revealed numerous problems that occurred under Bowden's watch, it has failed to prove he was responsible for them. Still, Bowden's proximity to these problems has led investigators to examine his practices dating from 1994, when he worked as general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, a source said.

Both in Cincinnati and in Washington, Bowden worked with José Rijo, who owns and operates a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. In 2006, Rijo brokered negotiations with a prospect, thought to be 16-year-old Esmailyn Gonzalez, who was using a false name and age. Major League Baseball confirmed this week that Gonzalez is actually four years older than thought, and named Carlos Daniel Alvarez Lugo. The Nationals, with Bowden's approval, awarded Gonzalez a $1.4 million signing bonus in 2006.

On Saturday, Rijo, a special assistant to Bowden, took a leave of absence from his job after meeting with team officials. Rijo has since returned to the Dominican, but has not been fired. No other team officials have been punished, Kasten said.

Kasten noted the investigation involves many pieces, the Gonzalez case being "just a discrete thing" within the bigger picture. The White Sox fired senior director of player personnel David Wilder and two scouts over the investigation; the Yankees and the Red Sox also have fired scouts. "This has already taken in, covered a number of teams. Several teams have already let people go," Kasten said. "Several other teams have learned they didn't need to let people go. So it's a wide-ranging investigation."

Washington's pragmatic stance with Bowden, several sources said, will change instantly if the investigation gives team ownership any ammunition. That group, which took control of the Nationals in 2006, inherited Bowden as its general manager - and ever since, Bowden has built a reputation for survival skills. He survived the transition to a new ownership group by fostering an alliance with Principal Owner Mark Lerner, still his closest supporter. He survived a forced marriage with Kasten. He survived a 2006 drunk driving charge. He survived three losing seasons in Washington, including last year's 102-loss calamity.

Forced out as Cincinnati's general manager in July 2003, Bowden initially worked as an analyst on ESPN2's "Cold Pizza" morning show. But in November 2004, the Nationals - then under the control of Major League Baseball - became Bowden's opportunity at another GM job. In Cincinnati, after all, he'd curried a reputation as a polarizing, impulsive, vibrant risk-taker - sometimes outrageous, and always willing to find creative ways to build a team on a low budget.

He did just that in budget-tight Washington, and shortly after taking the job, he got to know Mark Lerner, whose family hadn't yet purchased the team. Bowden developed a friendship with Lerner. And later, even though Bowden's sensibilities clashed with the Lerners' preference for restraint, Bowden kept his job for one reason.

"Jim endeared himself to Mark," one source said Monday. "And they have continued to be close, to the dismay of Stan."

Bowden's track record in building the Nationals reflects a mix of unwise contracts given to veterans, savvy high-reward risks on players like Elijah Dukes, and notable offseason upgrades, including the early February signing of free agent Adam Dunn. While talking about Bowden on Monday, Kasten bemoaned the lack of recent attention given to on-field story lines.

"It's happened with your backs turned to it at the moment," Kasten said, motioning to one of the practice fields. "I hope you're not happy about that. Something could be happening out there. We could have Adam Dunn at third base at the moment and you wouldn't know about it."

Staff Writers Thomas Boswell and Dave Sheinin contributed to this report.

By Chico Harlan  |  February 23, 2009; 8:51 PM ET
 
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Next: Let The Games Begin

Comments

I'm just saying... can I call them or what?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 23, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

To borrow a phrase from an earlier generation of Washingtonians, Jim Bowden is "twisting slowly, slowly in the wind."

Posted by: greggwiggins | February 23, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

Hasta la vista, bay-bee. And take your Segway with you.

Posted by: jdschulz50 | February 23, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

See now, pity for the man is already kicking in for me...

Posted by: NatsNut | February 23, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

If they are eager to cut ties, why not just do it? Why let the FBI do their dirty work for them? What if the investigation doesn't turn out the way they are apparently hoping? Gutless is not a word I previously would have associated with Ted Lerner.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | February 23, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Dead man Segwaying.

Posted by: leetee1955 | February 23, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Ted knows that he can fire Jim any time he wants for any reason. It's not like he's Roland Burris and they need to vote to expel him for cause.

Posted by: sbiel2 | February 23, 2009 9:25 PM | Report abuse

When the weight of circumstantial evidence clearly overwhelms internally-held views, it becomes time to move on. Rijo & Bowden have both been damaged by the recent press releases; Rijo has already taken a "leave-of-absence" from the team - Bowden should do the same.

If the FBI & MLB can absolve them from criminal wrongdoing, let them either come back, or get on with their lives elsewhere.
If there turns out to be some problems, then release the involved parties, and move on as a team.

Posted by: BinM | February 23, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

SWHIP in the minors; will we be able to see him at Potomac this year?

2008
1. Ozzie Rodriguez: -0.341
2. Santo Luis: -0.250
3. Madison Bumgarner: -0.227
4. Thomas Hanson: -0.188
5. Netfali Feliz: -0.102
6. Wilkins De la Rosa: -0.085
7. Trevor Cahill: -0.081
8. Derek Holland: -0.040
9. Michael McCardell: -0.030
10. Victor Garate: -0.026

2007
1. Joba Chamberlain: -0.522
2. Clay Bucholz: -0.392
3. Fautino De Los Santos: -0.336
4. Ian Kennedy: -0.151
5. Jacob McGee: -0.129
6. Mark DiFelice: -0.105
7. Gio Gonzalez: -0.080
8. James McDonald: -0.075
9. Clayton Kershaw: -0.057
10. Edinson Volquez: -0.055

Posted by: dhfrancoise | February 23, 2009 9:37 PM | Report abuse

I don't know which baffles me more, that they won't just can Bowden or that Bowden can sit there and see all this and not just quit. Who would continue to work under these conditions?

Posted by: estuartj | February 23, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Chico, that's a "discrete thing" in that quote from Kasten, not a "discreet thing." You might want to send in a correction on that before this goes to print, since I'm sure your copy editor was either fired or took the buyout. And get yourself a dictionary, too, dude. The spell-checker in MS Word is not a cure-all, you know.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess it's a matter of self preservation at this point. He quits or gets canned and he's done in MLB. With this hanging over his head he's not getting his ESPN gig back. Where do you go from here if you're Jim Bowden?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 23, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Dmitri is day-to-day ... and so is JimBow.

Posted by: SilverSpring8 | February 23, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

It's sad. It's possibly unfair. And, now it's too late. For mercy, bring it to an end. Bowden's already lost his job. Now it's just a matter of how many weeks or days. How can they do anything else but let him go? How can they let him make any financial decisions with this cloud over him? I'm not saying he's guilty. I'm saying he's toast.

Posted by: natbiscuit | February 23, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Chico, another VERY IMPORTANT legal error you have made in your article:

"And while the probe has revealed numerous problems that occurred under Bowden's watch, it has failed to prove he was responsible for them."

Chico, it's so important to get this right. The step between investigation and proof of guilt is indictment, which occurs when federal prosecutors feel they have enough information to charge someone with a crime and try to prove in court that he or she is guilty.

Not only has the investigation been unable to prove Bowden guilty, but it has been unable to provide prosecutors with what they feel is a solid enough case to go into court. They clearly feel that case may be there, which is why they're still investigating.

But we need to be accurate with our statements. Otherwise it adds fire to the daily witch hunts that occur on Nationals Journal.

Posted by: Section506 | February 23, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

"But behind the scenes, according to sources"

Un-named sources. How much can we trust that. Still need to let it play out.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 23, 2009 10:18 PM | Report abuse

Awesome post Chico, this is the kind of journalism that I love. A blend of sources, quotes, known and unknown information. Yeesh. Just good reading!

I, too, feel sorry for Bowden NatsNut, but I also feel that he should not be the GM of our team. Winning is the currency of GM's, and Bowden is flat out broke.

Posted by: NattyDelite | February 23, 2009 10:20 PM | Report abuse

I still don't think he did anything wrong, and I think it's terrible that the team might use all of this as an excuse to fire him.

That said, if it's going to happen, it needs to happen now. There is no way that Bowden can do anything constructive in the coming weeks or months with this hanging over his head.

The king is dead. Long live the king.

Posted by: rushfari | February 23, 2009 10:34 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the ownership group is taking its time with the decision on whether Bowden stays or goes because they want to make sure they have an air-tight case to fire Bowden "for cause" so that they don't have to pay the rest of his contract and all the other severance obligations/goodies contained therein....A finding by the FBI of wrongdoing would certainly suffice....

Posted by: Y2kob | February 23, 2009 10:40 PM | Report abuse

“Still, others view Kasten as arrogant -- a label he begrudgingly accepts -- and unaccepting of opposing views, such as those that might be held by agents and the media, two groups with whom he has clashed in the past.”

"I understand that [word]. I don't mean to be," he said when confronted with the label of being arrogant. "I do have a passionate, self-confident style when I'm trying to make my point."

Acknowledging a problem with arrogance, (Bowden) has sought advice from Reds consultant Jon Niednagel, director of the Brain Type Institute, which evaluates personnel for companies.

Posted by: dhfrancoise | February 23, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

Byrom jokingly asked Towers if there were any fellow major league GMs he did not like to deal with in trade talks.
"Only one," Towers replied. "And I'll name him. Jim Bowden. The guy's an idiot. I won't take his calls, and I don't think many others do."

While other baseball executives conspired with their colleagues to trade wins and share the $1-per-pin purse, the Cincinnati Reds general manager grappled Cleveland's John Hart to the floor.
“Most of us would just go back and forth so you (each) got the most money,” San Diego general manager Kevin Towers says, recalling that November 1999 morning in Laguna Niguel, Calif. “But nobody ever set the ground rules. Bowden used both hands because he wanted to win.”

“They say what goes around comes around. If that be the case, then he's going to get his some day.”
- Dave Collins, ex-Reds coach


Jim Bowden is “one of the worst people in the world.”
- Ron Oester, Reds coach

One National League general manager, asked if Mr. Bowden is the most disliked man in baseball, replied, “He's in a league of his own.”

“He would have been perfect for Animal House.”

Posted by: dhfrancoise | February 23, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

You know what would make me happiest about Bowden getting fired? We won't have to put up with all these random, unsourced and out-of-context quotations from that tool dhfrancoise here any more. Estoy firmado indeed!

Posted by: nunof1 | February 23, 2009 10:51 PM | Report abuse

I just caught up on Nationals.com to find a Q&A with Adam Dunn and Bill the Lad.

I am disgusted by the questions that Bill the Lad tried to bait Adam Dunn in. Here is the 1st high profile Free Agent that comes to DC and he asks him these ridiculous questions.

If the Nats have any power to fire someone, maybe BL should go elsewhere.

http://washington.nationals.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20090223&content_id=3872966&vkey=news_was&fext=.jsp&c_id=was

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 23, 2009 11:03 PM | Report abuse

“Jim had a penchant for trying to eliminate people,” Mr. Quinn says, “which is unfortunate as hell. It's almost to the point where the guy can't help himself. If he perceives someone is encroaching on his turf, he takes the (steps) to eliminate them.”

Critics referred to him as “Abner,” as in Doubleday, on the theory Mr. Bowden believed he had invented the game.


“I've never been a part of an organization where there was less harmony, less encouragement, (people) not supporting one another, never knowing what the true purpose was,” he says. “You've got to understand the importance of chemistry, and I don't think he does.”


“Mr. Bowden asked that a line be removed from the Reds media guide that called him ‘a man with great character, integrity and family values.’ ”

Posted by: dhfrancoise | February 23, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

So, since we're engaging in rank speculation -- who would be the heir apparent? Rizzo?

Posted by: fischy | February 23, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

Provided of course this is the end of the line for Bowden I think Rizzo's the guy one way or another. He either gets the gig in full or they tag him with the "interim" title for the season. I think if they don't they risk losing him after the season is over. Why else would he stick around if not for this precise opportunity?

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 23, 2009 11:28 PM | Report abuse

fischy - I would say Mike Rizzo is the frontrunner if a change occurs which some would say is an heir apparent, but Jim Bowden has 9 lives....

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 23, 2009 11:31 PM | Report abuse

I think that what you mean is that Rizzo is the front runner in your book. I trust no one here has any anonymous sources with the ownership group that is floating his name. Though, if you do, please say so, so we can all treat it like God's own word, like all our other anonymous sources.

Posted by: Section506 | February 23, 2009 11:35 PM | Report abuse

I want to go on the record that I know nothing. I am stupid. I didn't finish High School.

However, I do have an opinion, that IF a change is made to the GM's spot, my personal opinion is that Mike Rizzo is the frontrunner. This opinion is based on my own observations and come from no anonymous sources.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 23, 2009 11:39 PM | Report abuse

Keep duckin JB...you're the best in the business at dodging live bullets. Be a shame if this is the turn around season and you're not able to view it from the top. I hope you survive this, I like survivors...well, except the CBS show survivor.

Posted by: cokedispatch | February 23, 2009 11:58 PM | Report abuse

as long as we're piling on as copyeditor--I don't know where this quote is from, but I'm wondering what Stan begrudges them.


***********
“Still, others view Kasten as arrogant -- a label he begrudgingly accepts...”

Posted by: dhfrancoise | February 23, 2009 10:42 PM

Posted by: CEvansJr | February 24, 2009 12:41 AM | Report abuse

Relationships between professional sports teams, and their management always end. They usually end publicly, and more often than not they end in a firing. Jim Bowden knows this as well as anyone. His firing was always a possibility if not a probability. The same will hold true for his successor, whoever it may be. As a fan of the team in question the only thing to hope for is that it's done at a time and in a manner that is ultimately for the good of the team.

Here in the NJ we differ on opinion but we share a common love for this team. When all is said and done it will be the team that holds our loyalty no matter the outcome of this thing. Every member of this franchise from the field to the front office is a piece in motion. They're here for a time, and then they're gone. Some stay for while, others are gone before we get to know them. Some we'll remember forever, others we'll have to look up on Wikipedia one day to recall if and when they spent time in DC. The one thing that remains is the "Nationals". Sure they have a damaged reputation now and it would be beyond our expectations for them to finish .500 this season but that will only make it all the better when they do finally get this thing together.

It's the good of the team beyond all else, beyond any single player, manager or GM that we ultimately hold in the highest of regard. If this is the end of the line for Jim Bowden, I thank him for his time and service not because I agree with everything he did but because he fought tirelessly for the team I love. In the same breath, I thank the front office for making the move because I know they believe, as I now do, that this change is also, ultimately, for the good of the team.

Posted by: RicketyCricket | February 24, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse

Sheinin, WaPo, May 3, 2006


"Still, others view Kasten as arrogant -- a label he begrudgingly accepts -- and unaccepting of opposing views, such as those that might be held by agents and the media, two groups with whom he has clashed in the past."

"I understand that [word]. I don't mean to be," he said when confronted with the label of being arrogant. "I do have a passionate, self-confident style when I'm trying to make my point."

Posted by: dhfrancoise | February 24, 2009 1:08 AM | Report abuse

YOU KNOW HE'S GUILTY!! The Nats are sticking up for him because that is what they are supposed to do. Bowden is a liar just like all the steroid users. We are talking about the sports circle here, where anyone in sports would take a soda out of a kids hand to make another buck. Disgusting.

Posted by: Pete433 | February 24, 2009 6:33 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, GoingGoingGone, didn't mean to burn you up. See, what drives me nuts is for every Cricket there is a Pete433.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 7:38 AM | Report abuse

506 - I just hate typing "in my opinion" all the time.

I try to be impartial and not always go with the wave.

It is far easier to judge GMs like Vinny Cerrato and Brian Cashman that have cash to spend then it is to judge Jim Bowden who has been living on a strict budget.

LoDuca and Johnnie Estrada and Machowiak were disasters. The team didn't have a suitable backup to Nick Johnson last year.

Elijah Dukes and Willie Harris were good pickups, but net/net Jim didn't do a good job last year in my opinion.

With that said, public perception will play a part in it. People wanted Jim fired last year after the horrible season. Somehow Jim survived that.

Frowneygate, wow, didn't see that coming.

Posted by: GoingGoingGone | February 24, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Amen, nunof. Preach it.

---

You know what would make me happiest about Bowden getting fired? We won't have to put up with all these random, unsourced and out-of-context quotations from that tool dhfrancoise here any more. Estoy firmado indeed!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 8:27 AM | Report abuse

Then again, should that happen, I suspect that we'll still be seeing random, unsourced and out-of-context quotations, but they'll be about someone else. So it goes on the Internet...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

"People wanted Jim fired last year after the horrible season."

People have wanted Jim fired since December 2004. I guess it was the Guzman signing.

Posted by: Section406 | February 24, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

Ok - so here's the part I don't get:

1. Chico, BoomBoom and the Boz ominously write "some within the team's ownership group [including Teddy] are eager to cut ties with the general manager."

2. Ted's the king; he can do what he wants (postulate)

3. JB has an "at-the-pleasure-of" kind of job; he can be fired at any moment, regardless of whether he is actually complicit in this mess or not, regardless of whether he is actually competent, or not.

Therefore, why is he not fired yet? It would be easy to cite "We've been displeased with the on-the-field performance so far, and with the upcoming draft, we want a fresh vision for that position," and let him go, while refusing to answer all FBI questions under the "ongoing investigation" umbrella.

The only reason I can see that he isn't gone is that there really is some sort of palace insider stuff - there's that problematic "some" in the WaPo article. Some folks pro, some folks anti, and it's making decision-making hard. Then you read about his time in Cincy and the word "polarizing" comes up again and again, and then you look again here and the situation seems...polarized, and not in the good way like the sunglasses.

Anyway, I guess I just don't get the delay - if you want to get rid of him, get rid of him, and let the FBI chips fall where they may. Make a clean break, and a new start.

Why would Ted Lerner want to wait so that it looks like the FBI is forcing his hand?

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | February 24, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

I saw nothing wrong with recruiting former Reds players and staff. I thought he made a couple of very good trades including Soriano, Milledge, Dukes, and Kearns. I think he has navigated the free agent scrap heap with appropriate sensibilities. And I think he has done an admirable job of resurecting a barren farm system. I am not a Bowden hater, but I think it is time to go.

Rizzo would be a decent choice as interim, but I would prefer a more proven GM with a broader range of proven skill sets. Stan knows who is available and who 'might' be available soon. There is a question of transition time and continuity. I think it is a matter of days or weeks, not months.

Posted by: natbisquit | February 24, 2009 8:44 AM | Report abuse

Not to interrupt the waving of torches and pitchforks with actual baseball stuff, but did anybody notice that MLB Network is starting the 30 teams in 30 days coverage this week? According to the network's site, the first airing of the Nats segment will be at 8 p.m. on Friday. It also looks like the first (non-Nats) spring training game will air on Wednesday afternoon, with other match-ups throughout the week.

I've enjoyed all of the network's coverage to date. You can't go wrong with all baseball, all the time, IMO. Over the weekend I caught part of a Mark Fidrych complete game classic vs. the Yankees. That game will repeat on Wednesday afternoon (again, according to the site schedule).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 24, 2009 9:01 AM | Report abuse

"2. Ted's the king; he can do what he wants (postulate)"

The Lerners are a tight-knit family that has managed to successfully run multiple businesses as a family for decades. That's not an easy thing to do, and probably the reason they have been able to do that so successfully and for so long is because even though Ted is the father, the patriarch, or even the king as you say, he never does solely just what he wants to do. He does what the family as a whole wants to do. In other words, the Lerners reach decisions by consensus, not by a unilateral decision from Ted Lerner. That's what they're doing now with respect to Bowden, reaching consensus on what to do. It's quite likely that this is a process that has been building for a while, even before the allegations against Bowden surfaced. Those allegations and the associated media scrutiny have probably served to speed up the consensus-building process, but it still takes time. But signs are strong that it is now approaching a conclusion.

Posted by: nunof1 | February 24, 2009 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Edging further out this branch of speculation: for those wondering why they wouldn't just fire Bowden now because the ownership has the right to do so, isn't it nearly certain that there are financial implications for firing with/without cause? Underperformance is one thing, but if someone is fired for an offense worthy of investigation, that changes things.

In other words, if someone is being investigated in relation to skimming bonuses on a prior team, wouldn't you want the investigation to play out to find any potential skimming on your own signing bonuses? If there was any truth to that at all (which I'm not claiming), you better believe the Lerners would not only fire JB, but would file suit in the same minute.

Posted by: natinbeantown | February 24, 2009 9:13 AM | Report abuse

I know, GoingGoingGone, my comment wasn't intentionally directed at you, but I was indiscriminate in my language. Some people need to be reminded that almost everything posted is in their opinion, because they're confusing that with fact an awful lot.

It's the ESPNification of baseball, and it's appalling.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 9:23 AM | Report abuse

Some people need to be reminded that almost everything posted is in their opinion, because they're confusing that with fact an awful lot.

Posted by: Section506 | February 24, 2009 9:23 AM

*****************

But 506, it's not just opinion because we're RIGHT.

(jk)

Posted by: NatsNut | February 24, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

I think Senator Burris might have a more secure future in Washington than Trader Jim at the moment.

Posted by: Kev29 | February 24, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

It's just your opinion that it's the "ESPNification of baseball." And it's just your opinion that it's "appalling."

So shut your piehole and stick to the facts!

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | February 24, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

Lets change the subject. What did you all think of this?

Q&A with Adam Dunn
MLB.com catches up with Nationals slugger
By Bill Ladson / MLB.com

Posted by: dmacman88 | February 24, 2009 11:32 AM | Report abuse

To answer the question why some in ownership are "hoping" (paraphrase) the investigation implicates Bowden in wrongdoing rather than just fire him now, I will offer my own opinion:

Some in ownership want him gone right now, probably mainly for baseball reasons and the other negatives circulating about Bowden as a GM (and I don't think anybody can dispute that a significant number of people inside MLB have bad things to say about Jim Bowden (including maybe Stan himself)).

Some in ownership, however, do not want Bowden gone yet because, baseball-wise, they think he is a good GM or because Bowden has a relationship with them (read Ted Lerner here based on WaPo reporting). Thus, the ownership members who want Bowden gone are hoping that the investigation will give them the one last justification to convice the pro-bowden ownership folks that Bowden must go. This very idea has probably been openly expressed in ownership circles based on the reporting above.

Posted by: tlynch44 | February 24, 2009 12:04 PM | Report abuse

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