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Boz on Bowden ... and Something Off-Topic

Here's Boz's take on today's news.

Want some non-Bowden news? Nice piece from Florida Today on bench coach Jim Riggleman.

By Tracee Hamilton  |  March 1, 2009; 2:50 PM ET
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It's critical that the Lerners oversee the process to ensure that the next GM understands the importance of state-of-the-art statistical analysis. Stan Kasten was successful before clubs began to appreciate the value of sabermeterics, which has revolutionized baseball management. But there is no evidence that Stan himself understands sabermetrics or its value. There is a reason why young GM's like Theo Epstein, Andrew Friedman, and Jon Daniels have been so successful -- they're operating at the cutting edge, giving their clubs a significant competitive advantage over "old school" GM's like Walt Jocketty and Dave Dombrowski, who have not changed with the times. Being a scout, even a very good one, is not sufficient -- so the Lerners should be skeptical about promoting Rizzo unless he is much more sophisticated than seems likely.

In particular, I don't see why Rizzo is likely to be more successful than young cutting-edge front office personnel like Jed Hoyer, Thad Levine or Mike Chernoff.

It's also important the new GM is 100% supportive of "The Plan" and is willing to focus on the long term. The Nationals cannot afford to get sidetracked by signing older free agents, even good ones. They're not going to the World Series any time soon, and the only way to get there in the end is to trade players with current value for younger prospects. Every single veteran should be on the trading block, without exception.

Posted by: DistrictBoy | March 1, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Hilarious. You'd take Jon Daniels, who's done nothing, over Dave Dombrowski or Walt Jockety?

I love stats, but statheads take it way too far sometimes.

Posted by: Uncle_Teddy | March 1, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

friedman and the rays how many year to be champion?and who sign the young players?CHUCK LAMAR a scout remember?and daniels,how many years they been in the playoff to said they are a sucess?nonne,now theo boston yes,no question,been run by a scout or evaluator is the right way to go for the nats,,mariners think so,phillies think so too with pat a old scout, i can go on and on,so yes,some one to build the nats rizzo can, given the liberty to get the players they need in the draft and building international scouting that works and he will hired assistand that will help the cause,drew,upton,tony pena,owings webb,reynodls,tracy,montero,carlos gonzalez,alberto gonzalez,carlos quentin,and many more mlb and more in pipe with the dbacks,yes you need a evaluator a scout

Posted by: MIGUELNAVAG | March 1, 2009 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the links, Tracee, particularly the Riggleman piece, which I'd not have found on my own.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 1, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Also, after reading the Boz piece, it occurs to me that I hope that nobody thinks that now Bowden has stepped down (and whether or not he was involved in skimming) this thing is over. I'd be particularly interested to learn more about the MLB investigators who supposedly had no suspicion that there were issues with the Smiley situation, and who repeatedly told Kasten that there were none. Sounds like this type of thing has been going on for a long time and MLB has had its head in the sand. hmmm, what situation does that bring to mind?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 1, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse

How can you say that Jon Daniels has done nothing when over the past four years he has developed the Rangers farm system into the best in baseball?

Meanwhile, Jocketty has traded away top prospects like Ryan Turner and Brandon Waring for over-the-hill veterans like Ramon Hernandez. And Dembrowski, other than drafting Rick Porcello, has turned Detroit's farm system into one of the worst.

You are correct, MIGUELNAVAG, that Chuck LaMarr drafted many of the core pieces of the Rays. But Friedman has put together the extra pieces needed and drafted and traded for quality young players.

I'm not saying that sabermetric expertise is the only qualification to be a GM. But these days, clubs need every competitive advantage at their disposal. There is no question that, over the past five years, sabermetric experts have had grossly disproportionate success.

Posted by: DistrictBoy | March 1, 2009 4:51 PM | Report abuse

districtboy, hold off on the evaluations of daniels until those "prospects" actually turn into players and the rangers actually win. until then, he hasn't actually proven it yet. ;)

Posted by: sec231 | March 1, 2009 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Why don't the Nats sue the government and MLB for shoddy investigative practices? Seems to me they're the ones who owe the Nats that $1.4 million Frowney signing bonus....

Posted by: Juan-John | March 1, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Wow - Lotsa topics - In order of time signature >>>
@DistBoy: ..."every single veteran is on the trading block"... Define "veteran" - does that include anyone who has ever played for the Nationals, or is it limited, and if so, by what?

@Miguel: Dude - Sentence structure 101 - please review.

@1a1: Gasp! You couldn't possibly be referring to the PED problem - I thought you knew better than to bring that up again in mixed company ;).

The Lerner's may be litigious, but they're not stupid. Filing a suit against MLB for a $1.4M recovery? Not likely.

Posted by: BinM | March 1, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

You might very well think that, BinM, but I could not possibly comment. :-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 1, 2009 5:53 PM | Report abuse

"... to the PED problem ..."

... damn it! To illustrate your point, BinM, it only took me ten to fifteen seconds to decipher that particular acronysm.

Posted by: natscanreduxit | March 1, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

When I say that the Nats should put every "veteran" on the trading block, I mean the future GM should trade away every player who will either be unproductive or not with the team by the time the Nationals are finished with the rebuilding process and ready to win the World Series. That would amount to a LOT of players Bowden stupidly acquired, and it would be a tough task to trade them all...but it must be done.

Kearns, Guzman, Dunn, Harris, Belliard, Johnson, Young, Willingham, Hill all need to go. It's a harsh reality and I know that the front office will be reluctant to have the MLB team be that horrific but that's what rebuilding teams have to do. It makes zero sense to "hold back" when rebuilding an organization. A franchise either has to pursue a championship in the short term or completely focus on the long-term. There shouldn't be a middle ground, and that's what Jimbo was attempting. It doesn't work. I hope whoever Kasten and the Lerners hire to take over the club understands that.

Posted by: DistrictBoy | March 1, 2009 8:05 PM | Report abuse

DistrictBoy; your two posts make tons of sense if this was 2006. However, at this point it would be a PR disaster to gut what would be a fairly presentable Major League product for something that would border on a AA club for several if not many years to come. I was always of the thought that no matter what this would be a 10 year project no matter how hard they tried. The new Nats GM will have to be a no nonsense guy, he will have to get along with Kasten and he will not only have to know whats best for the organization but he will have to be ready to sign the #1 and #10 draft picks ASAP after the June Draft.

On the other hand, the Nats need to find someone who can repair all of the PR damage that has been done because of Bowden. From a league standpoint Bowden probably was a cancer, but from a DC PR standpoint you can't say that Bowden did anything wrong, he did promote the team and the game to who ever was willing to listen.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | March 1, 2009 9:08 PM | Report abuse

If you're still reading here, BinM, I believe that I finally picked up on the hidden implications of your posting early this morning. Only took 12 hours or so.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | March 2, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

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