Washington Nationals: Top 5 Stories Of 2009. No. 4...Jim Bowden Resigns.

4Jim Bowden Resigns.

This story really began in July of 2008 with the publication of a series of articles reporting that then-Washington Nationals' GM Jim Bowden and his special assistant Jose Rijo, "...were being investigated in a probe examining an alleged scam involving the skimming of signing bonuses for young Dominican players," as a July 11, 2008 AP report published at the Sporting News.com put it in an article entitled, "Nationals GM denies being investigated by the FBI", which also quoted Mr. Bowden proclaiming:

"'There's no wrongdoing...I met with FBI investigators. I think there are many people throughout baseball who are going to be talking with the FBI and Major League Baseball, trying to help get all the information out there on all the problems that exist over there. ... At no time when I met with the FBI investigators were questions revolving around myself or Jose Rijo.'"


The next reports on the investigation surfaced in February of 2009 when SI.com's Melissa Segura posted an article entitled, "Feds expanding probe of longtime GM Bowden for bonus skimming", which quoted an anomymous "baseball executive familiar with the investigation", who elaborated on Mr. Bowden's connection to the investigation and other MLB executives involved in the probe and said that investigators were now, "...looking at Washington Nationals general manager Jim Bowden as far back as 1994, when he was GM of the Cincinnati Reds." 

The SI.com article on Mr. Bowden's connection to the investigation was the second one by SI.com writer Melissa Segura in less than a week to cause the Washington Nationals high-profile embarrassment as it followed just five days after Ms. Segura's article entitled, "Nationals prospect falsified indentity", (ed. note - "Which should definitely have a possessive apostrophe, though I know I kept my mouth shut when the AP writer above didn't use one when writing, 'Nationals GM'...and...Huh...I actually just got a Bowden Tweet while I wrote this...odd..."), which first broke the story of how 19-year-old infield prospect Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez was actually 23, and named Carlos Alvarez Daniel Lugo.

Then on Sunday, March 1, 2009, I received a text early in the morning from a source with knowledge of the situation in Washington, who reported that DC GM Jim Bowden had decided to resign because, in his own words, "I've become a distraction." Later that morning, Bowden appeared at a press conference during which he once again professed his innocence, but lamented, as quoted by Washington Post writer Tracee Hamilton in an article entitled, "Bowden Statement":

"'My resignation is based upon my realization that my ability to properly represent the Washington Nationals has been compromised because of false allegations contained in the press. I am disappointed by the media reports regarding investigations into any of my professional activities. There have been no charges made, and there has been no indication that parties have found any wrongdoing on my part...'"

To this day, no further reports have emerged about Jim Bowden's involvement in the federal investigation. The Former DC GM is currently employed as a Baseball Analyst by FOXSports.com. Three days after Mr. Bowden resigned from his position with the Washington Nationals, Mike Rizzo assumed the General Manager's duties on an interim basis, and on August 20, 2009, Mr. Rizzo was given the full-time job.

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