Yesterday afternoon, Jim Bowden on MLB Network Radio on Sirius/XM with his co-host Casey Stern were talking about Denard Span being back in the Washington Nationals lineup. Bowden spoke to how he would like to see Denard Span batting first, and Trea Turner batting second, and said that he would give his conspiracy theory on it.
For those who do not remember, Bowden was the Nats first GM in the team’s history, and he would tell his story of September 2005 when he told manager Frank Robinson that he was calling up 2005 1st round Draft pick Ryan Zimmerman who had a short stint in the Minors. Bowden said Robinson didn’t want to play him, but did so sparingly. When Zim got limited playing time, which was mostly as a pinch-hitter or a mid-game or late-game fill-in, Ryan made the most of the opportunities and got his first start on September 7th in his 5th game with the Nats, but then his next start wouldn’t come until September 11th and then subbed a few more games. Then on September 22nd to the end of the season, the Nats first round pick started every game for the Nats the remainder of 2005, and finished the season at .397.
I think we can say Bowden was spot on in regards to Zimmerman. The rest is history, and a great time to be talking history as Ryan just hit his fifth career Grand Slam last night!
Bowden continued his story on the radio speaking of Robinson, himself on the Zimmerman playing time situation, “I’m telling you he’s better than what he had. He’s the Manager and he didn’t play him. Ok, well he finally played him and understood what I was saying. He was better than what he had, but he didn’t want to bring up a Rookie that was drafted and put him in the show.”
Then Bowden segues to Trea Turner sitting on the bench, “I kind of feel like Mike Rizzo is looking for a spark, he goes and gives him a weapon and the Manager wasn’t on the same page so he’s like I’m going to play Espinosa instead, and I’m going to play Rendon and I’m going to play Escobar and Desmond, and I didn’t really want him here anyway.”
Jim Bowden then continues, “Because to bring up a kid like that and sit him is a JOKE! You know, I think he can perform up here, but he can’t perform off the bench, and he’s not going to perform if you sit him 4 or 5 days then say Okay, I’m going to go ahead and do it, and then he goes 0-4 and then you go, ‘SEE’! If that’s the case, leave him in the Minor Leagues and bring him up when the rosters expand.”
Jim Bowden then went back to his time as a GM, “I’ve been through it before and gave you my Frank Robinson example. I understand both sides. Managers do their jobs. GM’s do their jobs. That’s why I’ve always said, and I will say this till the day I go to my grave, the organizations that have Managers and GMs that are on the same page are the ones we will visit in October. They’re the ones we will see in a 7 game World Series”.
Then Jim Bowden named the Managers and GMs that do it together and went back to, “It’s the ones that are not doing it together where the Managers has the ego or the GM has the ego, and this is my job and this is your job. Those are the guys who are home when I’m watching the biggest games at the end of the year. That’s just the way it is. I’ve never understood it. You bring Trea Turner up, the GM and Manager on the same page. Let’s bring him. Let’s play him at 2nd base. Let’s do 5 games in a row and see if we get a spark”.
Keep in mind, this isn’t the first or even the second time that Jim Bowden has made his thoughts known on the Trea Turner call-up. Jim Bowden on Sunday had some similar thoughts on Trea Turner and Ryan Zimmerman’s callup in 2005.
Here’s an excerpt from Sunday from Bowden from his MLB Radio show on Sirius/XM, “You know what, it reeks to me?” It reeks to me that Mike Rizzo wanted to bring him up and Matt Williams didn’t want him. So Matt’s, ‘well this is my job, I’m the manager, and I’m not going to play him.’ Matt Williams is on the hot seat anyway, and it’s not just the media. It’s not just the media.”
And who can forget this Tweet that became the talk of NatsTown:
This could certainly continue on Jim Bowden’s radio show. Maybe Jim will comment here as we will certainly Tweet this link to him.
If nothing else, Trea Turner is making his mark on the fans!
— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 23, 2015