Over a Beer and Peanuts: The Nats Blog – Part 2

‘Over a Beer and Peanuts’ is a relatively new section on The Baseball Opinion where I have a frank question and answer session with a fellow blogger to get their opinion on issues related to the area of baseball that they cover.  Willy Yoder, over at The Nats Blog, has graciously accepted the most recent installment of this posting.  His blog goes into depth on numerous issues related to the Washington Nationals.

Willy provided so much good content, I decided to break it up into two posts.  Here’s Part 2:

4.  I’ve never been a real fan of Jim Bowden, especially for his seemingly lack of respect for pitching compared to hitters in many of his deals. What do you think of his tenure in Washington?

My reaction to Jim Bowden ‘resigning’ was akin to the munchkins response to the death of the Wicked Witch. For years I sat by and watched as Bowden butchered great possibilities when he could have traded Livan Hernandez, Dimitri Young, or Alfonso Soriano. I watched as he traded for the entire 2003 Cincinnati Reds squad, and I suffered as my team was held hostage for its first four years in Washington by a man who has never gotten the job done anywhere. The only good things to come out of his tenure are the drafting of Ryan and Jordan Zimmerman(n).

5.  Assistant GM Mike Rizzo has come in and made quite a few changes in a relatively short time. What do you think of his work so far, and do you believe he should be the full-time GM? If not, then who?

I think for the most part Rizzo has done an excellent job considering what he has been given. However it seems as if there is an uncertainty over who is really in charge, Rizzo or the Nationals acting president Stan Kasten. This has led to some awkward decisions without a lot of explanation. For example I feel the demotions of Saul Rivera and Lastings Milledge were incredibly premature considering the two’s past success and the youth of the season. Also one has to wonder how long either of the two aforementioned executives will allow Manny Acta to run this ball club. I don’t know if Rizzo is the right man for the job, I’d like to see the Nationals go after current San Diego front office executive, and former Dodgers general manager Paul DePodesta. He is from the D.C area, young, money-ball saavy, and probably got fired for all the wrong reasons in L.A

6.  Except for a handful of prospects, many believe that the Nationals’ minor league system is relatively thin? Do you echo these thoughts? Are there any specific prospects that aren’t talked about much that pique your interest?

I do agree that the system is pretty thin, especially for a club that has done so poorly for essentially the last decade. There are some hidden Gems in there however. Personally I am most excited about 20 year old catching prospect Derek Norris. Last year in short season ball he batted .278/.444/.463 in 70 games at the age of 19. He’s got a very good glove but his plate patience and ability to drive the ball (22/63 hits were for extra bases) is what has me most excited.

Thanks for all the great input!


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