Guillen, Sosa and BowdenMLB also has a piece on yesterday's ESPN Zone event that focused on Guillen. I like what I read:
I'm looking to buy a house here. I've already talked to Jim and we already had some great conversations," Guillen said. "I'm looking to be here for many years.
Guillen weighed in on the Sosa trade, saying he talked to Sosa, and Sosa had the ability to choose whether he was going to Washington or Baltimore. That conflicts with all other reports. Most of the reports say that the Nationals didn't want to give up the player that the Cubs were after (either Sledge or Wilkerson), and never got serious about a counter-offer, but kept discussions alive up until the end. Unlike the conspiracy theory, this seems logical.
I give Bowden both the benefit of the doubt and credit, here. I think he takes too bad a rap in the blogging community on the whole. I think pursuing a deal for Sosa along the lines of what the Orioles gave up was worthwhile. I also think it's commendable and quite probably the right decision not to mortgage our future by shipping off one of the two people on that short list.
I've been reasonably ambivalent to happy with most of Bowden's moves, with Guzman and Castilla being the big exceptions. I can start to see some justification for Castilla based on clubhouse leadership, but Guzman is still a mystery (particularly when you factor in the four year deal). Even Loaiza, with the dollar amount involved, it's hard to brand it a bad deal. While I think it needlessly pushes an equal to better arm into the bullpen (or even AAA), I'm still close to neutral on it.
I'm not saying that I'm Bowden's biggest fan, as my comments on his previous transactions will show. I'm just trying not to view his actions through the filter of a skeptic. I think he's probably an intelligent man who had reasons for the moves he made that were reasonably sound. For instance, even going beyond Castilla's "leadership qualities", I can seem him thinking the guy was worth taking a chance on, because while his away numbers were a big step down from his recent past, he magically learned how to take a walk, doubling his walk total from each of the two previous years. Maybe he thinks the guy is worth the risk, particularly considering we supposedly have a good hitting coach. Once you throw in the leadership qualities, the deal starts feeling more sensical. I'm not saying that it's what I would have done, but I at least believe there might be method to Bowden's madness (though I'm still trying to explain Guzman).