Jim Bowden was something of a hands-off GM

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Via Deadspin, we learn that former Nats’ GM Jim Bowden recently sat down for an extended interview
in which he admits that he never once stepped foot in the Dominican
Republic despite the fact that his team ran an academy and spent
millions of dollars on talent there:

With both of those scandals originating in the Dominican Republic,
some say more diligent oversight by Bowden of the Nationals’ operations
in that country might have nipped some of the problems in the bud. But
Bowden admits in his 5 years with the franchise, he had never once
stepped foot on Dominican soil. “I sent our top executives down there
to oversee it and at no time did I ever come back with feedback from
them that there were any problems,” Bowden explains. “In retrospect, if
I had to do it again, would I go down there? Of course I would NOW. But
20-20 hindsight is easy after the fact.”

The kicker to all of this is that, as Deadspin’s Josh Levin reports,
the interview has caused ESPN to renege on an offer to let Bowden
broadcast some College World Series games. Which, given all of the
other things of which he has been accused, is most bizarre. Levin:

Considering the extent of his alleged off-field transgressions and
his proven inability to construct a baseball team, it’s bizarre that
ESPN would want to hire Bowden for any kind of assignment–maybe they
just needed someone to keep Steve Phillips company. What’s more bizarre
is that he would be deemed unfit for the broadcast booth for the crime
of being mildly candid on television.

Guessing what ESPN is going to do with this sort of thing is kind of
hopeless, I suppose. As is any team that dares give Jim Bowden a job.

The Blue Jays are allergic to .500

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The Blue Jays dropped Thursday afternoon’s game to the Rangers 11-4, splitting the four-game home series. And, impressively, the Blue Jays failed for the ninth time to get back to .500. The club is now 35-37.

Here’s a look at all the times the Blue Jays could’ve evened out their won-lost record and what happened:

  • April 5 (0-1): Lost 3-1 to the Orioles
  • April 7 (1-2): Lost 10-8 to the Rays
  • June 1 (26-27): Lost 12-2 to the Yankees
  • June 3 (27-28): Lost 7-0 to the Yankees
  • June 5 (28-29): Lost 5-3 to the Athletics
  • June 13 (31-32): Lost 8-1 to the Rays
  • June 16 (32-33): Lost 11-4 to the White Sox
  • June 20 (34-35): Lost 6-1 to the Rangers
  • June 22 (35-36): Lost 11-4 to the Rangers

The Blue Jays are now a half-game behind the Orioles for fifth place in the AL East, but they’re only 5.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. Interestingly, if the Blue Jays played in the NL East and had the same record, they would be in second place. But even the Phillies — baseball’s worst team — have been at .500 or better for a few days: after winning Opening Day and after game Nos. 6, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.

Report: Marlins expected to trade Adeiny Hechavarria

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Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the Marlins are expected to trade shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria in the next few days.

Hechavarria, 28, is currently on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique. It’s the second time this season he’s hit the sidelines with an oblique injury. Hechavarria is also hitting a disappointing .277/.288/.385 over 67 plate appearances, which is marginally better than his career averages.

While the Marlins are shopping Hechavarria at depressed value, there are two factors that give him value: he still plays good defense, and he’s under team control through the 2018 season. Passan does estimate that Hechavarria will see a pay raise from $4.3 million this season to $6-7 million next season in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.

Passan adds that while the Marlins aren’t yet willing to shop outfielders Christian Yelich and Marcell Ozuna, relievers A.J. Ramos, David Phelps, and Kyle Barraclough are being made available.