Thursday, July 24, 2008

Roadkill


Chad Cordero deserved better. For over three years, Our Number 32 has been a mainstay for Our Washington Nationals. Outside of Ryan Zimmerman, there could be few others more popular among Our Fans during that time span. "The Most Thrilling Closer In The Game" had his moments, some very good ones, and like every stopper, some bad outings as well. But make no mistake about it--Chad Cordero was the Heart & Soul of Our Bullpen. The Stand Up Guy--who never hid from the Press after any game.

He made things happen and was the Go-To Guy to close out most every game. That fact was rarely in question.

Look how dismal the 2008 Version of Our Washington Nationals has stacked up to previous relief corp staffs since Baseball's Return to Washington. Not even close--Chad was the linchpin to the operation.

Which all makes Our General Manager's comments last night on SportsTalk Radio 980 all the more worrisome. Responding to a question, Jim Bowden mentioned, off the cuff, that Our Washington Nationals will Non-Tender "The Chief" once this season is up and Cordero is given medical clearance (Many thanks to Brian at Nationals Farm Authority for bringing these comments to light).

Between the lines--Baseball is a game. Outside the chalk, it's all business. More and more, while we don't like it, The African Queen and I have come to realize, the players, are just pawns, to be moved around and across the chessboard. Eventually, to be discarded once deemed useless.

The fact that JimBo wishes to make Chad Cordero a Free Agent by essentially releasing him--is not the issue here. Rather, his comments send a signal, a bad one--that Our Washington Nationals may not care about some injured players. Intentional or not. And that's a shame.

Judging from Chad Cordero's comments given to Bill Ladson at Nationals.com--Our Number 32 was stunned. Shaken over the very fact that two weeks after undergoing Season Ending Surgery due to a labrum tear--Washington was tossing him over the side.

That's not right. No, it's not right.

This PARTICULAR business of baseball should have been handled INTERNALLY. Now, every single player in the game must turn their heads in wonder over it's mis-handling. Do you think Chad Cordero would even consider re-signing with Our Washington Nationals after being publicly shoved aside by Our General Manager? What do the rest of our players think? Would other players give second thoughts to possibly coming here?

You want to bet that Chad Cordero will be given some pretty good offers to sign with other Major League Teams? Guaranteed, it's going to happen. Few will give up on a 27 Year Old (next spring) Arm whom has experienced success at the highest level of the game. Just look at Troy Percival. That man's been around for years, always injured, always successful.

Dear Jim, I fully understand the business decisions behind your comments. Our Washington Nationals are wary over extending up to nearly $5 Million for a pitcher returning from surgery to his throwing shoulder. That's understandable.

But, you should have kept this information under wraps. You could have handled this matter with far less publicity and without upsetting Our Number 32, needlessly. But more than anything else you should have shown Chad Cordero a little more respect. After all this man has done for Our Washington Nationals, he should not have been thrown under the bus.

A One Time All--Star, still popular, now Roadkill, waiting to be scooped up by the Scavengers. And to think, Sohna and I always believed Chad Cordero was a Core Player--for Our Future.

This post is about how the information was released, not how the news will affect Baseball Operations. As I stated earlier, Baseball Is A Business, but this business should not have been handled so poorly.

Sorry "Chief", Sohna and I feel you deserve to be treated better. Good Luck in your rehab.

30 comments:

WFY said...

Good points SBF. I still think that a Bowden firing should be followed by a perp walk from Nationals Park to the Greyhound station.

Dave Nichols said...

well said SBF. Bowden is a buffoon.

Sam said...

SBF,

It is Bowden who should be non-tendered! I look forward to expressing my displeasure when he sticks his mug out his "suite" window next homestand.

Take me out to the Ballgame!

Sam

Anonymous said...

Building a Team only to be torn down by managements (MOUTH Piece)
PrezPeete

JayB said...

Time has come to take a stand, based on what we have seen for 2 years of Stan's Plan and 2 years for MLB ownership.....IS JIMBO THE GM THAT CAN BUILD THIS TEAM INTO A WORLD CLASS ORGANIZATION?

It may cost you your access and we know Stan has a long memory but I feel sure you have an opinion, right?

Old Nats Guy said...

Why is everyone so surprised at such a cold, heartless statement by a cold, heartless man who is part of a cold, heartless organization? In 3 1/2 short years, the GM has methodically removed as many links to the Montreal Expos as possible. Who's left? Shawn Hill, Nick Johnson (both on the DL and probably soon to be released or non-tendered)and Luis Ayala (teetering on the edge). The trade of Rauch (the Nats most reliable arm in the bullpen) and the GM's treatment of the Chief is a statement. In his eyes, the Nationals are HIS team, not ours, and he is molding them into HIS type of team -- big guys who, on the rare occasions they actually make contact, hit the ball very far, but strike out once every 3 times at bat. Whatever happened to continuity? We really can't tell the players without a scorecard anymore. Good thing they're free (if not up to date).
I am not a drinker, but on the day the GM is heartlessly cast aside -- like so many now former Nats players who have no connection to Cincinnati-- I will toast his demise. I only hope that it happens before he acquires Adam Dunn. If that happens, I may start drinking BEFORE the GM is cut loose.

Softball Girl said...

Sure, baseball is a business. But tact, diplomacy and simply knowing where your customer's heart is is part of GOOD business. Do we need more evidence the front office is out of touch? I thought the new diamond club ticket offer was a slap in the face for all of us who had ponied up for season tickets. Now to throw Chief on the trash heap in public like that? C'mon Bodes. Have you walked around the stadium to see how many kids still have Cordero's name on the backs of their jerseys? Consider this fan officially alienated.

Sec314 said...

What a horrible way to handle personnel. Maybe its the right decision, but Cordero should have been informed first before this became public.

I've resisted, but I am finally ready to sign the petition at FireJimBowden.com

Green Mover said...

The GREEN Mover Said: I love these Nats, warts and all. I dislike the way the front office treats the season ticket holders. We aren't getting our money's worth and at this rate who knows when we will. Stan let's see how gentlemen from the South would conduct business?

The Nationals Enquirer said...

Seems like par for the course: are you really surprised?

(by the way, as a non-season ticket holder, I love the new Diamond Club ticket promotion! Sucks to be a loyal customer, I guess...)

SenatorNat said...

All commentary herein is justified: as I watched Billy Wagner walking in last night to a rabid standing and cheering crowd at Shea last night, I immediately thought back to the first half of 2005 - The Glorius Half Season - and what it felt like to see that chunky kid with the low-brim cap coming in the nail another improbable victory for the nascent Nats - it seems like a dream, now...But it was real, alright, fist-pumping and "BANG - ZOOM GO THE FIREWORKS - A CURLY 'W' IS IN THE BOOKS!!" was born.

No way to treat a young guy, who went out this year early on WITH NOTHING and still managed to get out of the inning before having to shut it down.

If anyone looks shot, it is Ayala - with the most appearances in the NL, and getting pounded, again losing the game last night in the City. (And, he literally was shot this winter!)


No way to treat a bobble-head day recepient, Mr. BigMouth. And God Forbid, doing it on Dan Snyder's newest acquisition with three guys dedicated to mocking the Nationals and who, if they attend baseball, do so at Camden Yards!

Andy Pollin, after the report that Guz had re-signed this week,asked his partners (Chris N. and Steve Z.: "Did you know something I just learned about - the reason Guzman had such a poor 2005 season?" The other two said, no - they sure didn't know. "Because he got lasic surgery - he couldn't see! And now that he can - he's hitting better! Don't these teams have eye doctors?" Wow - there is a group of soc-called Sports Reporters staying up with one of the three major sports teams in D.C., along with the Wizards and the Redskins.

BowBow did not draft Cordero when he served as GM with the Reds - thus, he is doomed. How in the world can he make this statement for Number 32 instead of for Number 26, even if the latter makes 18% of what the former does.

The City has to be considering, as one of its options, proceeding to formally evict the Lerners from the Administrative Offices for failure to pay rent: imagine front page picture in Post of their office belongings out on South Capitol Street. (If so, then Marge S's poodle's leash in Bow-Bow's desk bound to be part of the scene.) If situation were reversed, Lerners would have evicted the city tenants months ago...

The owners and their GM just seem to be so tone-deaf and are trying the patience of the fans unnecessarily.

Trust in the Chief not to be a wash-out. All Fair.

An Briosca Mor said...

What a horrible way to handle personnel. Maybe its the right decision, but Cordero should have been informed first before this became public.

Do we have anything that tells us that Cordero wasn't informed of this decision before Bowden leaked it on the radio yesterday? Cordero's comment to Ladson was "I'm shocked he would say it now and make it official. It's a bit upsetting. It's early. I understand that it's a business." That "make it official" bit says to me that Cordero already knew this would be happening. He's just shocked that Bowden announced it publicly already.

Also, Bowden told the Washington Post today that "We have let his agent Larry Reynolds know that we can't commit 5-7 million to Chad after his surgery, but we are interested in a low base [salary] with incentives in case he is healthy." I doubt that call to Cordero's agent was made after Bowden's radio appearance yesterday.

So I wouldn't blow this out of proportion by characterizing it as Bowden throwing the Chief under the bus. Admittedly, what Bowden did was not the most elegant way of handling the situation. But then again, when has Bowden ever done anything elegantly? He was asked a question on a radio program about Cordero's contract status, and he answered it truthfully. I suppose he could have answered "No comment" or otherwise ducked the question, but if he did that imagine the grief he'd be taking now for "hiding something". I suppose he could have just not appeared on a radio program at all, but if he did that imagine the outcry over "the Nats FO won't talk to the press". Really, Bowden was in a no-win situation here - and he lost. Still, what he's doing with Cordero is the only right and sensible move in this situation. As Cordero realizes - and so should we all - it's a business, nothing more.

An Briosca Mor said...

The City has to be considering, as one of its options, proceeding to formally evict the Lerners from the Administrative Offices for failure to pay rent: imagine front page picture in Post of their office belongings out on South Capitol Street.

If the city ever contemplates doing this, they might want to actually finish building those administrative offices first. It would look better on TV that way. According to Boswell (but what does he know anyway?) there is at least one entire floor of the office building, visible from the street, that is completely not built out yet. OTOH, I don't think your pet peeve the giant centerfield baseball is even at issue in this matter. How that must burn you, eh Senatornat?

Andrew said...

I heard the Bowden replay on 980AM and I would hope an apology or a better explanation is forthcoming.

Dave said...

JayB said: "IS JIMBO THE GM THAT CAN BUILD THIS TEAM INTO A WORLD CLASS ORGANIZATION?"

World class? Most definitely not. He may be somewhat competent at most baseball matters--but as the main operating manager of a large organization of people, he is an utter failure. (And I guess some folks have some questions about some of his baseball moves as well.)

Softball Girl said: "[T]act, diplomacy and simply knowing where your customer's heart is is part of GOOD business."

I don't think Bowden would know tact if it came up and bit him in the butt. Tact is not part of his world. This was a crude, ham-handed way to handle the Cordero situation. Yes, ABM, he could have said "no comment" on the radio show. Part of his job is to be able to keep his mouth shut sometimes.

I haven't really taken much of a public position on this, but I'm going to the Fire Jim Bowden blog right now and signing the petition.

JimBo must go! Time for the Nationals to move into the bigtime!

Dave said...

I keep wondering when Kasten and the Lerners are going to make this team their team by installing their own GM?

Let us not forget that they inherited JimBo from Tavares and company.

Anonymous said...

an briosca more...take it as fact that Chad and his agent did not know.

An Briosca Mor said...

an briosca more...take it as fact that Chad and his agent did not know.

Why would anyone take as fact anything posted anonymously on the Internet? Take as fact that you're full of it.

SenatorNat said...

ABM: The Sports Reporters are that in name only - they are not press, and Bowden is there as filler, in reality. They would not know it if he completely made something off the wall up, like "As you know, under MLB rules, any closer who fails to maintain his SPS average, based on at least three full seasons with at least 10 recorded saves, is automatically put back into the Reserved Closers Pool (RCP) per the current CB Agreement; and we are not permitted to tender him." To which, Andy Pollin would respond: "Well, you're a GM - would you have drafted two wide receivers like the Redskins did this year when there were more essential positions, typically viewed as more valuable in the first two rounds, which needed to be addressed."

As to finishing the offices, I walk by there all the time, and I notice store fronts not occupied, but the incomplete nature certainly does not jump out at the casual observer.

The "Iconic Baseball" however is the most prominent missing element to the casual viewer in light of the fact it is still on promotional literature.

You are probably right, ABM, that it could look darn-right tacky - and we are better off without it, since those things tend to trick-up a park and wear poorly in time BUT - it is emblematic of a "frugal" (polite term) mentality, which, when coupled with brash GM with poor track record, is not all that attractive to the casual fan...

Trust in the play of the Z-Man to make us all forget about these little problems. All Fresh.

Anonymous said...

I truly believe Bowden is trying to rid the Nats of everyone who was with the organization prior to him arriving. When are Stan and the Lerners going to get the hint and fire this buffoon? This after the awful Raush trade - need I remind you that the Rangers were able to get David Murphy and Casey Gabbard (sp?) for Gagne last year? And Gagne was an upcoming free agent while Rausch is younger and locked up at reasonable rates for next year. And look what JimBo got us - some no hit good field minor league second baseman - the reincarnation of Bernie Castro. Enough is enough Bowden must go.

Dave said...

All i know is if Bowden is not sent packing this off-season, i think i might just have to turn in my Nats fan card.

An Briosca Mor said...

I'm still waiting for my Nats fan card. That, and my little ceramic model of Nationals Park.

janet said...

I signed the FireJimBowden petition, with the comment that "Baseball is a business, but it's played by people. Bowden seems to treat his players like trading cards or a fantasy team. People like Chad Cordero deserve better than a premature announcement of contract issues during a difficult rehab process."

Shea Hillenbrand said...

The Ship Is Sinking. Play for yourselves.

An Briosca Mor said...

Well, after reading this, let me retract most of what I said earlier. Bowden did indeed throw Cordero under the bus. He's a scumbag.

Anonymous said...

Chief has been horrible since day one good riddance...GO JIMBO!

janet said...

I'm reposting my comment from the Washington Post discussion "It's a little disrespectful", where Chico Harlan summarizes the phone conversation he had with Chad Cordero.

My comment --

The issue is not whether non-tendering Chad for the 2009 season is the appropriate thing to do. It is how the decision was made public.

For Chad to learn of this from his father, who learned of this from a friend who heard on the announcement on the radio -- Bowden didn't just throw Chad under this bus, he backed it up and parallel parked on top of him. It's inexcusable, and I hope it is the last move Bowden makes in his capacity as general manager for the Washington Nationals.

Tom said...

I'm just going back to watching Oriole games. I already bought tickets.
See ya!

Anonymous said...

Order your "Fire Jim Bowden" shirt.

http://firejimbowden.blogspot.com/

Simon Oliver Lockwood said...

This is beyond bizzare. Czaban and Polin ask Bowden some contract-related question almost every week, and Bowden has ALWAYS replied that he doesn't discuss such details on the radio. And now he announces something like this BEFORE he tells the player? What a kick in the face to Chief. And another example of Bowden's complete lack of professionalism.