This isn't about Phil Wood; let's get that out there front and center. Phil seems like a fine guy -- whip-smart and probably the best-looking Old School Washington Baseball Enthusiast alive today. Furthermore, Phil actually knows stuff about the current Washington Nationals, whereas I only know some stuff that doesn't really involve the Washington Nationals. So keep his perspective, and my lack of perspective, in mind when I add some comments on this:
I won't pretend to know exactly what happened, but my hunch is that Mr. Kasten decided early on to give Jimbo as much rope as he needed to hang himself. Would it make Stan look bad in the eyes of some? Sure. But, inasmuch as I was told by multiple sources in 2006 that Stan intended to fire Bowden within an hour of getting the club - and then was blocked from doing so by ownership - I believe that Stan decided to bide his time. It took longer than he expected to get shed of Jim, but Rizzo was his guy all along.
Okay. The Lerners won the Nats-grab contest in the spring of 2006, becoming installed as owners not too long after that. Kasten was, from appearances, their white knight; he brought with him the sweet smell of baseball success with the Braves, plus he's a real pro on the business end of things. Everybody smiled and mugged for some cameras and recommended the brisket, and then they got to stuff with substance eventually. Kasten wanted Bowden out, but, Phil states (and he's certainly not the only one to do so), the Lerners insisted on keeping the guy. And so Kasten waited. And waited. And waited some more.
Even accepting the absurdity that the Lerners, notwithstanding their bags of money, would have the temerity to block such an important decision by their Visionary Club President who otherwise was given absolute latitude to trumpet and, they insist, install unfettered his much-heralded Plan, it seems truly incredible to me that Kasten would wait nearly three years while Bowden acquired enough "rope" to bring about his own undoing --thus providing a berth for Rizzo, the guy Kasten wanted in the GM position all along, way back to 2006.
The guy must have the patience of Job. And hopefully The Plan survives and bears him ten more children, or something.
Otherwise, if the decision was to sit silently rather than use some well-earned professional capital to speak up and make what you're convinced represents the right change, this course of action seems akin to shutting your eyes while the organizational bus motors straight toward a steep, leathery cliff.