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.

Rangers, Rougned Odor finalize contract extension

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The Texas Rangers announced today that they have finalized a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor. There is an option for a seventh year that could bring the deal to $52.5 million. That a deal was done was reported over the weekend by Jon Heyman and Evan Grant.

The deal covers Odor’s first three years of arbitration eligibility. Odor had previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017.

The 23-year-old second baseman tallied 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 14 stolen bases, and 89 runs scored in 150 games last season.

2017 Preview: Our Predictions

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By now I don’t need to tell you how silly it is to predict the outcome of a baseball season in which over 2,400 baseball games are played by over a thousand players, all of whom are subject to injury and/or wild variation from past performance or reasonable expectations. Baseball is freakin’ chaos, my friends. And while that is one of the top things to recommend it, it’s also the thing that makes predicting its outcomes a fool’s errand.

Let no one say that Bill, Ashley and I aren’t fools. We’re gonna make our picks anyway, because that’s what we do:

 

ASHLEY’S PREDICTIONS

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Mariners
AL Wild Cards: Astros, Blue Jays

NL East: Nationals
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Giants
NL Wild Cards: Mets, Dodgers

ALCS: Astros vs. Indians
NLCS: Giants vs. Nationals
World Series: Astros vs. Nationals … Nationals win!

AL MVP: Mookie Betts
NL MVP: Kris Bryant
AL CYA: Chris Sale
NL CYA: Madison Bumgarner
AL ROY: Andrew Benintendi
NL ROY: Dansby Swanson
AL MOY: A.J. Hinch
NL MOY: Bruce Bochy

 

BILL’S PREDICTIONS

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Astros
AL Wild Cards: Rangers, Blue Jays

NL East: Nationals
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wild Cards: Mets, Cardinals

ALCS: Indians vs. Rangers
NLCS: Cubs vs. Dodgers
World Series: Dodgers vs. Rangers, Dodgers win in five games.

AL MVP: Manny Machado
NL MVP: Corey Seager
AL CYA: Chris Sale
NL CYA: Noah Syndergaard
AL ROY: Yoan Moncada
NL ROY: Dansby Swanson
NOTE: Bill did not pick Manager of the Year recipients because he is a communist who does not believe in honoring those who benefit from the labor of others. Then I shamed him about it on Twitter, so he pitched A.J. Hinch and Dusty Baker.

 

CRAIG’S PREDICTIONS

AL East: Red Sox
AL Central: Indians
AL West: Astros
AL Wild Cards: Mariners, Tigers

NL East: Nationals
NL Central: Cubs
NL West: Dodgers
NL Wild Cards: Mets, Giants

ALCS: Red Sox vs. Indians
NLCS: Cubs vs. Dodgers
World Series: Red Sox vs. Cubs, Cubs win in seven games

AL MVP: Mookie Betts
NL MVP: Yoenis Cespedes
AL CYA: Justin Verlander
NL CYA: Clayton Kershaw
AL ROY: Andrew Benintendi
NL ROY: Hunter Renfroe
AL MOY: A.J. Hinch
NL MOY: Joe Maddon

Mark it down, you guys. And then please forget it, because we’re gonna pretend these predictions never happened come October.