Jim Bowden, Criminal Mastermind?

Report alleges Bowden may have been skimming bonuses

If last week's SI.com report that the Nats' top international prospect was a fraud wasn't enough to kill Jim Bowden's job prospects, then yesterday's SI.com report might do it.

SI.com reports that the federal investigation into bonus skimming is targeting ol' Leatherpants.  The report alleges that Bowden may have been skimming off the top, as if he were Tony Soprano, since 1994.  Jim Bowden, criminal mastermind?

The report claims that a scout hired by Bowden, Jorge Oquendo, has close connections with Dave Wilder.  Wilder was the former White Sox director of player personnel who was stopped at an airport carrying over $30,000 cash, which he said was gambling winnings. It was later alleged that he had been investing some of his skimmed dollars in the #1 gay bar in Phoenix, Arizona.

After the Wilder investigation turned up evidence that pointed to bonus skimming, the Sox fired him and some other employees, and the wider FBI probe began. 

And now Bowden finds himself caught up.

If the FBI is investigating Bowden more closely, it could mean the end of his time in D.C.  The stink of the allegations alone would be hard to scrub off.

It's already brought down Bowden's current Latin American pointman, Jose Rijo, who took a leave of absence for the most Washingtonian of reasons: family troubles.  Yeah, right.

With all this circling around, Stan Kasten has been silent about Leatherpants's future.  He's left him dangling out there, which doesn't do anybody any good.  He won't even let Bowden address the issue publicly, imposing a gag order, which must be suffocating the attention-seeking GM.

The Nats need some resolution one way or another, and it's looking increasingly likely that the forced marriage between Kasten and Bowden is facing irreconcilable differences.

The perception of corruption, combined with Bowden's long history of other embarrassing incidents, and his long record of non-winning all point to a GM who should be fired.

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment, and the only kind of skimming he likes is in his milk.

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