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Silence Broken, Job Lost

Since resigning as Nats GM, Jim Bowden has maintained a strangely visible profile, appearing on an LA radio show, dropping baseball-related twitter musings, etc. But only in a recent sit-down interview with Brett Haber did Bowden officially "break his silence" and describe, among other things, the emotional end to his tenure.

"I cried," he said. "Sure. I didn't hold them back."

Bowden was actually supposed to work for ESPN this week as a broadcaster during the NCAA baseball tournament's Super Regional. A press release from last week indicated as much.

But, according to Deadspin, Bowden's Haber interview has cost him the gig. Here is what Deadspin is saying:

Without announcing anything publicly, ESPN replaced Bowden with someone named Jay Walker. According to ESPN spokesman Paul Melvin, the un-hiring came after the network learned of a sit-down Bowden had with local D.C. sports guy Brett Haber. The Haber/Bowden interviews--a Frost/Nixon for fans of horrific baseball--saw the ex-GM confess that he'd likely never get another job in MLB and that he had never visited the Nats' baseball academy in the Dominican Republic. "[W]e talked with Jim and both he and ESPN agreed that the interview will result in a lot of attention on Jim and the surrounding story," Melvin said via e-mail. "That's not what we want. We want to keep the focus on the games." Melvin also emphasized that the network had never intended to hire Bowden on full-time--"it was always a short-term, one-off assignment."

By Chico Harlan  |  June 5, 2009; 11:38 AM ET
 
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Comments

I'm surprised by this Haber piece - surprised that they could find a room to do the interview which was large enough to fit both their egos.

Posted by: BGinVA | June 5, 2009 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Bowden's hubris never ceases to amaze me. Even in shame he has an over-reaching desire to bring attention to himself.

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | June 5, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

I'm thinking it isn't hubris, so much as "issues."

-----------
and replying from the last post
--
understandable, joeb--but may I suggest the strike was not the game of baseball's fault, it was MLB's fault--players and owners. And of course, the Expos were among the most-hosed by the strike, IIRC. Or was that the Reds? (WKRP reruns now playing in my head.)

And yeah, that doesn't meet my standard for die-hard, either, to be honest, but my point was more along the lines of, he still gets to do that.

******************
sec3: interesting take. I'm exactly the opposite -- I haven't been a baseball fan in general since the strike; I'm strictly a Nat's fan.
I wouldn't tell anyone else who or how to root, either, but it does seem odd for someone to call themselves a die-hard Nat's fan and be actively rooting for our players to fail (Dunn to strike out; Hanrahan to blow up).
Posted by: joebleux | June 5, 2009 11:22 AM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

actually, I think I'm thinking of a different strike, there...

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

It's scary that it took Bowden falling on his own sword to get him out.


He should have been fired back in 2006.

Posted by: Liebercreep | June 5, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Second the post from Liebercreep about the firing of Bowden. The Lerners and Kasten should have gotten rid of him after the 2006 season when they could start fresh with the rebuilding process. Instead they hung on to Bowden who kept trying to pick up pieces off the scrap heap (Dmitri Young, Willy Mo, Aaron Boone) to fill out the roster. Last season was bad enough to get any GM fired, but they waited until Bowden did something so stupid that he was forced to resign.

the Lerners need to drop the ticket prices for next year to win back fans and spend some money for a solid major league bullpen and a legit starter or two. I could see this team challenging the Mets all-time loss record of 120 the way things are going.

Posted by: wizfan89 | June 5, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Sec3mysofa,

If you were at an otherwise meaningless blow-out game and the opposing pitcher had a no-hitter going into the 9th, wouldn't you inwardly want him to get it?

Now if you were in the middle of a tight pennant race and the game was close, it you would be much more likely to want to see your team break it up to win an important game. It is all relative.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 1:07 PM | Report abuse

No.
I dont want a no-hitter pitched against My team.

Posted by: alm1000 | June 5, 2009 1:16 PM | Report abuse

twinbrook, since you asked:

No, I wouldn't, not if the no-no was against a team I was a "die-hard" fan of. I'd be yelling "NOHITTER-NOHITTER-NOHITTER-NOHITTER-NOHITTER-NOHITTER-NOHITTER-NOHITTER" from about the fifth inning, on.

Hence "die-hard"--as opposed to "a fan of the game, over the team or the player."

But I haven't had that with a MLB team for a long time.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Come to think of it, now that you you mention it, I recall heckling Clemens at RFK the whole time. Someone in the row in front took issue (politely) with that, Clemens being the greatest thing since, well, ever, and a sure HOF'er.

It's true, they really *have* pissed away a decent fan base.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

There's a difference between *appreciating* good baseball by the opposition, and *recognizing* that you're getting your a** kicked. A die-hard fan recognizes that, and they hate it. The harder you get kicked, the worse it hurts. Whereas, that double play Rollins and Utley turned was a thing of great beauty, because I'm only an accidental Nats fan. And that's OK.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Find some way to see the play "Bleacher Bums" for a longer expostion on this theme.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Well, forgive me if you don't like my use of the phrase "die-hard" fan. I would think that sporting a curly W cap, watching most of the games regardless of the score, and participating in the NJ forum would qualify me (and probably most of you reading this) as pretty hard core. If my purity is not up to your standards, then no, I am not a "die-hard" fan. But I'll bet you'd get an argument from my wife and kids who have to put up with me IRL. :-)

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Just finished watching all five parts of JimBow's interview with Channel 9 and have come to two conclusions - the man desperately needs help and you can tell when he's lying because his lips are moving.

Posted by: leetee1955 | June 5, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

*SIGH*
You haven't been paying any attention at all, have you?
IT'S NOT ABOUT STANDARDS. IT'S PRECISELY NOT ABOUT STANDARDS. THAT'S WHAT I WAS AGREEING WITH IN THE FIRST PLACE.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Is Bowden lying when he says it's all his fault, as he does repeatedly in the Haber interview? Is Manny Acta lying when he says it's everyone's fault but his, as he does repeatedly in his post-game comments? Are they both losers in the blame game, or could they both be telling the truth?

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 1:40 PM | Report abuse

sorry, I hadn't seen your later post. That's what I get for multi tasking NJ with real work.

Posted by: twinbrook | June 5, 2009 1:45 PM | Report abuse

leetee, to borrow a phrase from Dorothy Parker, "Every word he says is a lie--including 'and' and 'the'."

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

well, then, sorry I yelled at you.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:47 PM | Report abuse

nunof, you know, seriously, (not having seen it yet) I think he is lying if he says it's all his fault. One, it isn't in fact ALL his fault, and b., there's no way he thinks it is.

And while Manny does tend to throw people under the media sometimes, I don't recall him saying it's everyone's fault but his.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Well technically Bowden doesn't say it's all his fault. What he says, over and over again, is "I take the blame for that." Which are words you have never heard from Manny Acta's mouth, have you?

So you really think that when Bowden says that he accepts blame he's actually lying about that?

You really should watch the whole interview, which is in five parts on the wusa9.com web site. But be warned, you have to make it through an annoyingly loud Pepto Bismol ad before each part.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

there is no doubt that jimbow better served this team in his departure than had he remained. he has this plan in his head where all eight position players have to hit 30 HR's and that offense trumps the need for at least major league-average defense. he bamboozled th lerners into thinking that spending money for talent wasn't important and that a passable team could be built on the cheap as he did in cincinnati under marge schott. let what happened with jimbow here be a cautionary tale for other owners who may stupid enough to hire that carnival barker. to parphrase the old television commercial "you can pay for your shortsightedness now....or pay for it later."

Posted by: surly_w | June 5, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I just read Boswell's column. Has he become the Nancy Pelosi of sportswriters?

Posted by: paulkp | June 5, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Parker was also known for exclaiming "What fresh hell is this?"

So is Mike Rowe. Being a Nats fan. It's a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Last thread, it was commented on the eight players I identified: "I don't think astounding is the right word. Average maybe. Certainly not astounding. "

It's fair to say I was projected growth for all of them and flame outs have to be accounted for. I was a bit too optimistic.

Similarly, almost all of today's comments were a bit to pessimistic. Even with flame outs that is a solid young batch of players, much more solid than anything that was bequeathed to the Lerners from MLB. It's enough that it would be naive to rate them failures as owners yet. Certainly failures for 2008 and 2009, but not forever yet. That jury is still out.

And, whether you like it or not, you have to give Bowden some credit for those guys. If only because he was the boss and allowed his subordinates to make the right decision. Certainly being the boss is the reason so many wanted him fired.

I just can't understand how anyone can see this last 17 of 20 stretch as equal or worse than April. The sort of game Zimmermann pitched last night has shown us a glimpse of something that Washington will have that Cabrera and Olsen never did.

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse

A genuine question: why is it only a small subset of conservatives that troll with connecting clumsy political humor to this baseball team? Serious question, no liberal trolling in response.

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 2:26 PM | Report abuse

As one who is not a card-carrying member of either camp, it seems to me that I've seen trolling from both sides of the aisle on NJ. I don't care to see it from either side, but that's just me.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I sincerely thought that there would be news last night or this morning that Hanrahan was DFA. Unfortunately, that does not appear to be the case.

Posted by: nervousnatsfan | June 5, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Did anybody else think there had been more coaches fired after seeing the headline of this post?

I was kinda scared there for a second.

Posted by: nattaboy | June 5, 2009 2:33 PM | Report abuse

They(the Lerners) may have deep pockets but Bud Selig and MLB picked the wrong ownership group i said it before, the Lerner's only care about the bottom line financially speaking and not about the fan base.The firing of St.Claire was all about a sacrificial lamb,a fall guy if you will.The Lerners and Kasten have allowed Acta to survive,but have fired two long term baseball people who have a combined sixty plus years between them(Robinson&St.Claire) now you tell me how does that make sense and if Jimbo's scam had not come to light then he would still be here too,unbelievable.Last night was a perfect example of Acta's stupidity they were trailing by a run and Acta bring's in this teams most ineffective reliever who promptly helps the Giants put the game out of reach by giving up three runs.Acta may be nice guy but a baseball manager? not even close and his record as a manager speaks volumes about this ownership group and the future of winning baseball in this city.

Posted by: dargregmag | June 5, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"he bamboozled th lerners into thinking that spending money for talent wasn't important and that a passable team could be built on the cheap as he did in cincinnati under marge schott."
_______________________________________________________________

I'm not so sure that Jimbo wanted to build it on the cheap, I think it was more that was how he was told to do it by the Lerner's and Kasten.

Schott was a known tightwad and Jimbo had no choice with her. Doing it on the cheap was the only way possible and he did a pretty good job fielding competitive teams on a shoe string budget.

I would think that if given the chance Jimbo would rather spend a little money on some players rather than wheel and deal all the time like he had to with ole Marge.

I think that's why old man Ted and the used car salesman kept him around so long because he's good at scrounging for talent on the cheap.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Maybe we watch a different major league baseball, but doesn't every team scapegoat coaches for losing? And isn't every team out for profit? And don't even the umpires call balls strikes just because a great pitcher is going for a (deserved) career honor? And doesn't the commissioner's office call everyone and put heavy pressure on them not to call a game until after it's gone 5 innings and then immediately call it as soon as one team gets ahead so that it won't have to be made up, without regard to safety or fairness?

All those things are wrong and all those things are par for the course in major league baseball. What astounds me about the Lerners is how QUICKLY they became just like every other owner. They were seemingly in the club before they even bought the team.

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

@surly_w: Don't you think you're giving Jimbo too much credit. Every babboozler needs a willing accomplice. In this case, Jimbo told the Lerner's exactly what they wanted to hear.

If Jimbo is guilty of anything, it's knowing what buttons to push and knowing what others want to hear.

Posted by: TimDz | June 5, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

506- It's not that that is not a nice, respectable group of 8 young players..it is. It's just that relative to our competition it is fairly average. It's sometimes difficult to compare our young (future) core to our competition's because in most cases theirs are in the minor leagues at the moment where they belong, so you rarely hear about them. If we sign the majority of our high picks this year and get a decent manager with some fire for the coming years we should be OK for the long haul. OK is as far as I'll go though.

Posted by: RickFelt | June 5, 2009 2:40 PM | Report abuse

A genuine question: why is it only a small subset of conservatives that troll with connecting clumsy political humor to this baseball team? Serious question, no liberal trolling in response.

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 2:26 PM
________________________________________________________________

As a Conservative, and I admit I'm probably a little biased here, but I think I've seen more Liberal political humor on here than Conservative, especially while GW Bush was in office.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse

"It's not that that is not a nice, respectable group of 8 young players..it is. It's just that relative to our competition it is fairly average"

Hahahaha, you may have a point. Average certainly looks great now!

I would say Zimmermann has the ability to be a stand out as a star. Lannan could develop as a Tom Glavine type pitcher, which is an unsung hero of any pitching staff. Zimmerman has the Brooks Robinson possibility.

But, you're right, they're all possibilities and with the exception of Zimmermann there aren't any superstar possibilities. It would be nice if they could be measured against their AAA peers instead of MLB players, but we don't have that option.

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

"I think I've seen more Liberal political humor on here than Conservative, especially while GW Bush was in office."

Hmm, my own consumption bias, it appears.

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

you were expecting a large subset of conservatives? On the Washington Post?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

I think it's too soon to say none of them will be very very good. Dibble, for instance, who's forgotten more than most of us will ever know about pitching, seems to think very highly of a few of them.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

"As a Conservative, and I admit I'm probably a little biased here, but I think I've seen more Liberal political humor on here than Conservative, especially while GW Bush was in office."

There's a very simple reason for that. There's not a conservative alive who has even the semblance of a sense of humor.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 2:58 PM | Report abuse

but srsly, if you were saying most of the political trolls here are conservative, I think that's demonstrably false.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I think P.J. O'Rourke is pretty funny.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:00 PM | Report abuse

I think parsing True Believers, of any group, is where sense of humor gets lost.
But then, we've had that discussion already, on this very post.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Another Nick to Boston set of musings from Olney, with a kicker.
http://insider.espn.go.com/espn/blog/index?entryID=4233163&name=olney_buster&action=login&appRedirect=http%3a%2f%2finsider.espn.go.com%2fespn%2fblog%2findex%3fentryID%3d4233163%26name%3dolney_buster

The kicker is if Boston will not give Delcarmen or one of their first tier minors / prospect pitchers (a/k/a, Delcarmen and the 3 Bs - Buccholz, Bowden, Bard), they might be willing to take Austin Kearns off of the Nats hands.

For a long time, I've thought that might be a reasonable landing spot for Kearns, given the health of Drew and Baldelli and Boston's deep and tough right field.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 5, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for showing your true colors yet again Nunof. Good Grief.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

Sam Hayakawa was funny.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Edmund Burke could be pretty funny in a snarky elitist sorta way.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Section505203, exhibit A. You never recognize a joke from me or anyone else when you see it.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

I recognize you Nunof.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Maybe you need to use more of these, nunof ;-), :-), :-D. Methinks. Just saying.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks, jca, for providing some of us with an exit ramp to some real baseball stuff and away from the pointless political talk that's taken over the main road here. Appreciate it.

Posted by: baltova1 | June 5, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Conservatives are people who always think the joke is on them, except for when it's not. The problem is that they think the joke is on them way, way too often.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"if you were saying most of the political trolls here are conservative"

No, not at all. Just the "feeling like after you voted for Obama" or a "bailout" or "more ____ than Pelosi" always seemed like a bit of a stretch.

Maybe I don't notice the liberal as much because I go out of my way to keep current politics off the blog as much as possible? Not that anyone would be surprised to know I'm a flaming liberal, I think. My red-headed Cubs-fan fiancee is a true conservative, though, so I try to practice tolerance. If someone I adore so much believes in it, it must be redeeming!

UGH, back to baseball!

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Not many people know it, but the Fuhrer was a terrific dancer. He could dance the pants off Churchhill.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the link, jca. Buster (whatever) doesn't offer any suggestions for who the Sox might offer but rather who they would not offer. Have you any thoughts on who might be in play?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

Real humorists don't use emoticons. (Does P.J. O'Rourke use them? Did S.I. Hayakawa?) Unfortunately, conservatives are dependent on emoticons in order to know when they should be amused. That's why Queen Victoria was never amused. Emoticons hadn't been invented yet.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

You know, I think Hayakawa might have used them, had they been invented yet. He was never much of a cheerleader for high-level abstraction.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

I heard Kearns switched party affiliations from Republican to Democrat in 2004 and that's why he hasn't been able to hit the broad side of the barn since then. I'm not sayin' anything I'm just sayin'

Posted by: RickFelt | June 5, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

William F.ing Buckley! Buckley was funny.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

506,

Would that make her the better half?

Methinks, just sayin'

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Good on you for practicing tolerance, 506. We need more of that in this world, IMO. With the possible exception of Phillies Phans.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

Ahnoled is funny in a big galoot movie star sorta way. 'Course, he's not all that conservative anymore, to hear them tell it.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:23 PM | Report abuse

And to inject a little baseball commentary: Wow, what a comment on the worth of Austin Kearns. The price to acquire Nick Johnson actually goes DOWN if Austin Kearns is included. If the Nats threw in Hanrahan too they'd be giving away Johnson for nothing.

Posted by: nunof1 | June 5, 2009 3:24 PM | Report abuse

It turns out hating Stan Kastan for ruining your team is a bi-partisan issue! At last the cause that will bring America (and some Canadians) together.

Posted by: soundbloke | June 5, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Dennis Miller is pretty damn funny.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

used to be. hasn't been for years.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Dennis Miller is pretty damn funny

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I would posit that caring about the team is what unites us, rather than hating any given individual. I don't hate Kasten, or Bowden, or the Lerners, or Acta, but I do love the Nats (G*d help me).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

William F.ing Buckley!

William F.ing Buckley?

William F.ing Buckley!

What does that mean? William F.ing Buckley?

It means William F.ing Buckley!

Who are you? Do you have a job?

Posted by: longterm | June 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Wierd, one submit and two postings.

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: longterm

THAT's funny.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | June 5, 2009 3:28 PM | Report abuse

What does RF Fick mean? What is the sound of one hand clapping? Will the Nats put a curly W in the books tonight?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"The kicker is if Boston will not give Delcarmen or one of their first tier minors / prospect pitchers (a/k/a, Delcarmen and the 3 Bs - Buccholz, Bowden, Bard), they might be willing to take Austin Kearns off of the Nats hands."

jca, if we trade Nick for money, then I'm officially jumping on the LAC bandwagon.

As a fan, I'd rather keep Nick in any case, but if he goes, it had better be for some decent prospects (which we can use), not for money (which this franchise already has more than enough of).

Posted by: joebleux | June 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

Alright, loving the Nat's it is. Be all grown up about it...

Posted by: soundbloke | June 5, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

That's the spirit, soundbloke! Come on, you know you do, too...

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:33 PM | Report abuse

Ah, I didn't pick up that it would be a trade for money. Ugh. Brings back bad memories of Jamey Carroll's departure (Yeah, I know, no comparison. But he was one of my faves - so there!).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 5, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Mine too, 1a

Posted by: Section505203 | June 5, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

"Would that make her the better half?"

Your statement implies that her and I are equals...

Posted by: Section506 | June 5, 2009 3:55 PM | Report abuse

Nuevo post. speaking about money.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | June 5, 2009 3:56 PM | Report abuse

>I think that's why old man Ted and the used car salesman kept him around so long because he's good at scrounging for talent on the cheap.

It's not because he was good at it, it's only because he was willing to do it. Lerner doesn't want anyone with any self-respect. Or leverage.

Posted by: Brue | June 5, 2009 4:07 PM | Report abuse

How in the world did Haber get the interview? He is horrible. Did Bowden have something against the Post?

Posted by: MKadyman | June 5, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

This used to be a posy about baseball. Today it's become Conservative vs. liberal.
Okay, that's it. Game over.
For those who might have believed it couldn't get any worse. Yes it has.
Gawd, Nats baseball is totally disgustingly awful on the field and off the field.

Posted by: 1stBaseCoach | June 5, 2009 11:32 PM | Report abuse

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