Sunday, August 28, 2005

Bodes: In his own words

Rocket Bill's gamer following a consecutive six-zip loss to the Cardinals was nothing if not Bowden-centric. This was clear from the first two sentences:

After Sunday's game between the Nationals and Cardinals, Nationals interim general manager Jim Bowden was so upset that after he entered the clubhouse, he slammed the door in front of members of the Washington media. Bowden has every reason to be upset.

I don't know about you, but I wanted to read about some Billy Beane-esque chair-throwing. Alas, we didn't get that, but some particularly choice quotes followed.

On ineptitude (Part I):

"They have to get out of this thing and start swinging the bats. Nobody can swing it for them," Bowden said. "We can't make a trade to change the offense. They know where they are in the pennant race. Even though everything is going wrong, they are still [in it]. But you still have to do it.

On ineptitude (Part II):

"We gave the Cardinals this game. This was embarrassing. We gave them those runs. We let a ball drop, we didn't do well on a first-to-third steal that Tony [La Russa] put on and we gave them the game. ... We are giving the bats away. We are swinging at balls [ed: not?] in the zone. We are not swinging at the pitches we should hit and we are giving it

On making due with what you got:

"[The players] in the locker room know they have three more games before the rosters expand," Bowden said. "They all know by the last game in Atlanta that there is going to be enough choices for Frank that he doesn't have to play any of them, if he doesn't want to. There's going to be choices everywhere.

On "be[ing] a man":

"These guys have three days to wake up. We are going to Atlanta with John Patterson, Livan Hernandez and Esteban Loaiza on the mound before the roster expands. Our best guys are going at them, and you know what? Be a man, wake up and do some damage. Or guess what? After that, Frank can do what he can do. When we get to Thursday, and they are not hitting, you might as well put other people in there. There are a lot of guys that can score no runs a game."


Just for reference, here's the starting nine Bowden was calling out:

Wilkerson LF
Carroll 2B
Johnson 1B
Guillen RF
Wilson CF
Castilla 3B
Bennett C
Guzman SS
Halama P

One can understand Bowden's frustration.

Wait . . .


Those other wild card suckers just refuse to win:

---> Florida got pounded, 14-3, at Chicago.
---> Houston got shut out (guess who was pitching?), 1-0, at Los Angeles.
---> The Mets lost, 4-1, at San Francisco.
---> Philly's losing, 6-2, in the third in Arizona, thanks to a Shawn "G FORCE!" Green grand slam. Oh, and guess which D-Bucks starter has been handed the lead?

So, you see, while the Nats have been given a head start in this Race to the Bottom, those other chuckleheads are playing along. As such, the Nats could go 0-for-Saturday-and-Sunday and still not lose any actual ground. If the Nats end up winning the wild card, I bet at least some people are going to credit Frank Robinson for his genius late-August rope-a-dope strategy.

Any more of this, and I'm changing my sidebar to "Operation: 87!" If that . . .

I'm afraid "Operation: 75!" would give us thrills enough.
If I were at all consistent and confident in my predictions, I'd go for that. But, no . . . I get hoodwinked into expecting more. ;-)
I heard those quotes this morning on XM Radio. I was impressed to a certain extent, but then I realized, wait, Bowden, aren't Castilla and Guzman sort of your fault?
Yeah, pretty much.

Bowden appears to have two modes:

1) obnoxious per se; and,
2) "targeted obnoxious" (so as to deflect attention from stupid moves that backfire).

The (planned) Zimmerman Switcheroo is an example of the latter. Yesterday's comments were an example of both.
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