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.

Report: Christian Yelich’s relationship with Marlins ‘irretrievably broken’

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Joe Longo, the agent of Marlins outfielder Christian Yelich, said his client’s relationship with the Marlins is “irretrievably broken,” ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick reports. He believes in the best interest of both Yelich and the Marlins to work out a trade before the start of spring training.

Longo said,

They have a plan. I respect that plan, but that plan shouldn’t include Christian at this point in his career. He’s in the middle of the best years of his career, and having him be part of a 100-loss season is not really where [we] want to see him going.

The relationship between player and team is irretrievably broken. It’s soured. He’s part of the old ownership regime. The new ownership regime needs to get new parts into this plan and move forward, and he needs to get on with his career where he’s got a chance to win. The big issue is him winning and winning now.

He loves the city of Miami. He loves the fans. He’s had nothing but a good experience in South Florida, and he feels sorry where they ended up. But I think having him report [to spring training] and attempting to include him moving forward is going to be uncomfortable for both sides. I don’t see how it’s going to work.

This certainly comes as no surprise considering the offseason the Marlins have had after installing new ownership, going from Jeffrey Loria to Bruce Sherman and Derek Jeter. The club traded All-Star outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, who hit 59 home runs last season, as well as Dee Gordon and Marcell Ozuna. As Crasnick notes, Yelich isn’t the only player to express disappointment with the Marlins’ current direction — J.T. Realmuto and Starlin Castro have as well.

Yelich, 26, signed a seven-year, $49.57 million contract extension with the Marlins in March of 2015. Given his career performance, that’s a bargain of a contract, which is why more than a handful of teams have inquired with the Marlins about him this offseason. Yelich finished the past season with a .282/.369/.439 triple-slash line along with 18 home runs, 81 RBI, 100 runs scored, and 16 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances.