Jim Bowden

Last updated

Jim Bowden
Born (1961-05-18) May 18, 1961 (age 60)
OccupationBaseball executive

James Goodwin Bowden IV (born May 18, 1961) is an American baseball analyst. He is a co-host of SiriusXM's "Inside Pitch" on MLB Network Radio and a columnist for The Athletic. He previously worked for ESPN, writing a blog for ESPN.com titled "The GM's Office". He used to be a host and co-host on Fox Sports Radio, a baseball analyst for FoxSports.com and a Baseball Insider for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels for Fox Sports West. He has held positions of Senior Vice President and General Manager for both the Cincinnati Reds and Washington Nationals. On October 16, 1992 he became the youngest general manager in baseball history. He was named MLB Executive of the Year by Baseball America in 1999. Bowden's teams finished in first place in 1994 and 1995. Bowden has also worked in television for ESPN and Fox Sports West as well as local television and radio stations in both Cincinnati and Washington, D.C.


Early life and career

Bowden was born in Boston, Massachusetts and raised in Weston, Massachusetts and Boothbay Harbor, Maine. He graduated from Rollins College in 1983 with a B.A. degree in Communications and Business Administration. He was the Sports Director at the College radio station as well doing the play by play for both the baseball and soccer teams. HIs broadcast partners included Chris "Mad Dog" Russo (Class of 1982). [1] His entry to professional baseball came as an assistant in the Pittsburgh Pirates media relations department in 1985. He was a former college roommate of Squire Galbreath, whose father Dan and grandfather John were the principal owners of the Pirates. General manager Syd Thrift was impressed with Bowden and asked him to join the Pirates' baseball operations department as an administrator. Bowden computerized the Pirates' scouting files, and became a protégé to Thrift. He followed Thrift to the New York Yankees, [2] and eventually moved to the Cincinnati Reds where he was later promoted by the Reds Owner, Marge Schott, to General Manager. He also served as team president during her suspension in 1993.

General manager

His first role as a general manager was with the Cincinnati Reds at age 31 in 1992. When he took this position, he was the youngest general manager in the history of Major League Baseball.[ citation needed ] Bowden was named Major League Executive of the Year in 1999 by The Sporting News after leading one of the lowest payroll teams in baseball to 96 wins. [3] In 1993 Bowden fired rookie manager Tony Pérez after only 44 games. [4] Perez was a star player in Cincinnati and immensely popular with Reds fans. At the time, it was the earliest firing of a first-year manager in 65 years. [5] The firing drew significant criticism from Cincinnati fans. [6] However, he replaced Perez with Davey Johnson, who went on to lead the Reds to a division title in 1995.[ citation needed ] In 1998 Bowden traded Jeff Shaw to the Los Angeles Dodgers for infielder Paul Konerko and left-hander Dennis Reyes. [7] This move was met with shock in the Cincinnati area as Shaw, an all-star and Cincinnati native, signed with the Reds at a discounted rate prior to the season. [8] At the time Shaw was quoted as saying "We had a handshake deal that he wasn't going to trade me. Three months later, he traded me ... If I had been in the room with him, I would have killed him." [9] However, the Shaw-Konerko trade turned out to be a lopsided one, with Konerko making six All-Star teams in his career (later with the White Sox). [10] He continued with the Reds until being fired in 2003. [11] Bowden is perhaps best known for his drafting of Joey Votto, Adam Dunn, and Aaron Boone, and his trades for Ken Griffey, Jr. Denny Neagle, John Smiley, Kevin Mitchell, Deion Sanders, José Guillén and Alfonso Soriano. He was the first GM to propose the use of Instant Replay in 1992 and also has supported the concept of trading amateur draft picks.[ citation needed ]

After he was fired by Cincinnati, Bowden worked as a commentator on ESPN before being hired by Major League Baseball to serve as GM of the Montreal Expos, who were soon to become the Washington Nationals, in November 2004. The team acquired players such as Ryan Zimmermann, Alfonso Soriano, Adam Dunn, Josh Willingham, José Guillén, Danny Espinosa, Tyler Clippard, Luis Atilano, Jordan Zimmermann, Chris Marrero and Derek Norris during his tenure.

In 2006, Bowden traded Gary Majewski from the Nationals to the Reds along with Bill Bray, Royce Clayton, and Brendan Harris for Austin Kearns, Felipe López, and Ryan Wagner. [12] The trade caused some controversy, as the Reds front office was apparently unaware of cortisone shots that had been given to Majewski because of arm pain before the trade. [13] It was alleged that Majewski was known to be injured by Bowden and the trade was an attempt to dump him for some value to some unsuspecting team. In his time with the Nationals Majewski was an effective pitcher, with a 2.93 ERA in 2005 and a 3.58 ERA with Washington up until he was traded. With the Reds he had very little success, with a 7.28 ERA in parts of three seasons. He was not re-signed after the 2008 season and to date has not pitched in the major leagues again. A grievance was filed with MLB alleging misconduct by Jim Bowden and the Washington Nationals. [14] MLB has never revealed their findings and no punishment is on record.[ citation needed ]

In February 2009, it was reported that Bowden along with former special assistant José Rijo were part of an FBI federal investigation into the skimming of signing bonus money from Latin American baseball players. He resigned from the Nationals on March 1, 2009. [15] [16]


Bowden is a co-host of the Sirius XM Radio show Inside Pitch, which airs on the MLB Network Radio channel. He also is a baseball analyst and insider for ESPN, participating in video shoots and podcasts on ESPN.com, and serves as a substitute analyst for Sunday Night Baseball broadcasts on ESPN Radio.

He has been a host on Fox Sports Radio, a baseball analyst for FoxSports.com, and a baseball insider for both the Los Angeles Dodgers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for Fox Sports West. His broadcasting career has also included appearances for ESPN's Cold Pizza , SportsCenter , ESPNEWS, and Baseball Tonight . He also worked for local television and radio stations in both Cincinnati, Ohio and Washington, D.C. while he was a Major League Senior VP and General Manager in each respective city for a combined 15 years.

Related Research Articles

Frank Robinson American professional baseball player, outfielder, manager

Frank Robinson was an American professional baseball outfielder and manager in Major League Baseball (MLB) who played for five teams, from 1956 to 1976. The only player to be named Most Valuable Player (MVP) of both the National League (NL) and the American League (AL), he was named the NL MVP after leading the Cincinnati Reds to the pennant in 1961 and was named the AL MVP in 1966 with the Baltimore Orioles after winning the Triple Crown; Robinson's 49 home runs (HR) that year tied for the most by any AL player between 1962 and 1989, and stood as a franchise record for 30 years. He helped lead the Orioles to the first two World Series titles in franchise history in 1966 and 1970, and was named the Series MVP in 1966 after leading the Orioles to a four-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. In 1975, Robinson became the first black manager in big league history, as the Cleveland Indians’ player-manager.

Lou Piniella American baseball player and manager

Louis Victor Piniella is a former professional baseball player and manager. An outfielder, he played 16 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Baltimore Orioles, Cleveland Indians, Kansas City Royals and New York Yankees. During his playing career, he was named AL Rookie of the Year in 1969 and captured two World Series championships with the Yankees.

Aaron Boone American baseball player & manager

Aaron John Boone is an American baseball manager and former infielder who is the manager of the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball (MLB). He previously played in MLB for 13 seasons from 1997 through 2009. As a player, Boone is most recognized for his 2003 campaign with the Yankees where he was an All-Star and hit the winning walk-off home run of the 2003 American League Championship Series.

Dusty Baker American baseball player and manager

Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker Jr. is an American Major League Baseball manager who currently manages the Houston Astros. A former major league player, he had a 19-year career as a hard-hitting outfielder, primarily with the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers. He helped the Dodgers to pennants in 1977 and 1978 and to the World Series championship in 1981. He previously managed the San Francisco Giants, Chicago Cubs, Cincinnati Reds, and Washington Nationals. He led the Giants to the 2002 National League pennant and also reached the playoffs with the latter three teams. In 2020, he was hired to manage the Houston Astros on a one-year contract. In his first year with the Astros, Baker became the first MLB manager to lead five different teams to the playoffs. In addition, Baker is one of six managers to reach the postseason ten times.

Barry Larkin American baseball player

Barry Louis Larkin is an American former professional baseball player. He played shortstop for the Cincinnati Reds of the Major League Baseball (MLB) from 1986 to 2004.

Paul Konerko American former professional baseball first baseman

Paul Henry Konerko is an American former professional baseball first baseman who played in Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Cincinnati Reds and, for most of his career, the Chicago White Sox. Konerko helped the White Sox win the 2005 World Series over the Houston Astros, the franchise's first since 1917. From 2006 to 2014 he served as the White Sox captain.

Kevin Kennedy (baseball) American baseball analyst and manager

Kevin Curtis Kennedy is a former manager in American Major League Baseball and a former television host for Fox Sports' baseball coverage. He was given the nickname "The Skipper" by Fox Sports due to his prior managerial career. Kennedy joined the Tampa Bay Rays broadcast team for the 2009 baseball season as a replacement for Joe Magrane.

Rob Dibble American baseball player

Robert Keith Dibble is an American former Major League Baseball (MLB) pitcher and television analyst. Between 1988 and 1995, Dibble played for the Cincinnati Reds, Chicago White Sox and Milwaukee Brewers. He was a two-time All-Star who recorded 89 saves during his career. Since retiring as a player, Dibble has held several roles in sports television broadcasting.

Jeffrey Lee Shaw is an American former professional baseball relief pitcher, who played Major League Baseball (MLB) for the Cleveland Indians and Chicago White Sox of the American League (AL), and the Montreal Expos, Cincinnati Reds, and Los Angeles Dodgers of the National League (NL), during a 12-year career from 1990 to 2001. His son, Travis Shaw, is an MLB infielder.

Gary Majewski American baseball player

Gary Wayne Majewski is an American former professional baseball pitcher. He played for the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds, and Houston Astros of Major League Baseball (MLB).

Eduardo Pérez American baseball player

Eduardo Atanasio Pérez Pérez is an American former professional baseball player, coach, and current television sports color commentator. He played in Major League Baseball and the Nippon Professional Baseball league as a first baseman, third baseman, and outfielder from 1993 to 2006. After his playing career Pérez became a baseball analyst with ESPN, ESPN Deportes, and ESPN Latin America as well as a host on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.

Stephen Francis Phillips is an American baseball analyst and former baseball executive. He served as the general manager of the New York Mets from 1997 through 2003. He worked as a baseball analyst for ESPN from 2005 until his dismissal in October 2009. He currently serves as an MLB analyst on TSN and TSN 1050 radio as well as the host of The Leadoff Spot on SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.

MLB Network Radio is an American sports talk radio station on Sirius XM Radio that features Major League Baseball related talk shows, as well as archives and live reports.

Wayne Krivsky is an American professional baseball executive. The former general manager of the Cincinnati Reds, serving from February 2006 until April 2008, and was a special assistant to the GM and a Major League scout for the Minnesota Twins. It was his second tour of duty with the Twins, where he was assistant general manager in 1999–2005.

Christopher John "C. J." Nitkowski is a left-handed former professional baseball pitcher and current baseball broadcaster. A first-round draft choice of the Cincinnati Reds in 1994, he played in the major leagues for the Reds, Detroit Tigers, Houston Astros, New York Mets, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, and Washington Nationals. He has also played in Nippon Professional Baseball for the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks, and in the KBO League for the SK Wyverns, Doosan Bears, and Nexen Heroes. Nitkowski currently works as a broadcaster for the Rangers and SiriusXM's MLB Network Radio.

Frank Wren

Franklin E. Wren is an American front office executive in Major League Baseball. He began his baseball career as a minor league player for the Montreal Expos and later joined the team as an executive. Wren moved to the Florida Marlins in 1991, then was hired by the Baltimore Orioles in 1998 for his first stint as a general manager. After the season, Wren was hired by the Atlanta Braves. The Braves promoted Wren to general manager in 2007, a role he kept until 2014. He joined the Boston Red Sox in September 2015.

The 1998 Los Angeles Dodgers season was the 109th for the franchise in Major League Baseball, and their 41st season in Los Angeles, California. It was the first season since the sale of the franchise from Peter O'Malley to the Fox Entertainment Group took effect. The new corporate executives would quickly anger Dodger fans when they bypassed General Manager Fred Claire and made one of the biggest trades in franchise history. They traded All-Star catcher Mike Piazza and starting third baseman Todd Zeile to the Florida Marlins for a package that included Gary Sheffield.

Ben Cherington American professional baseball executive

Benjamin P. Cherington is an American baseball executive serving as the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates of Major League Baseball (MLB) since November 2019. He previously served as the vice-president of baseball operations for the Toronto Blue Jays, and was the executive vice president and general manager of the Boston Red Sox from 2011 to 2015. He succeeded Theo Epstein in that position, having worked in the team's baseball operations office since 1999, before Epstein's arrival.

The 2021 Major League Baseball season began on April 1 and is scheduled to end on October 3. The 91st All-Star Game held on July 13 was supposed to be held at Truist Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, but league officials moved the game to Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies, following the passage of the Georgia Senate Bill 202 by the Georgia General Assembly, which MLB considered to be restrictive of voting rights. The World Series is scheduled to begin on October 26 and a potential Game 7 is scheduled for November 3. The entire schedule was released on July 9, 2020.


  1. Robinson, Joshua, and Michael S. Schmidt. "Nationals’ G.M. Resigns as Scandal Deepens", The New York Times, March 1, 2009.
  2. "Yanks Dismiss Thrift's Top Aide". The New York Times. August 31, 1989.
  3. http://www.baseball-almanac.com/awards/aw_sney.shtml
  4. "BASEBALL; Ready, Blame, Fire: Just 44 Games for Perez". nytimes.com. May 25, 1993.
  5. Edes, Gordon (May 30, 1993). "Firing Reds' Perez Act Of A Small Man". Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  6. NIGHTENGALE, BOB (October 13, 1995). "Reds' Bowden Seeks Wins, Not Popularity". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 1, 2010.
  7. "Reds Trade All-Star Shaw To L.A." cbsnews.com. July 4, 1998.
  8. "Shaw trade another sign of what's ahead for Reds". LubbockOnline.com. July 5, 1998.
  9. Sullivan, Tim. "Bowden makes deals - and enemies". April 01, 2001. The Cincinnati Enquirer.
  10. https://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/24/sports/la-sp-pugmire-qa-20120924
  11. "Reds clean house, ax Bowden, Boone". SFGate.com. July 29, 2003. Retrieved July 29, 2003.
  12. "Reds swap Kearns to Nats for Clayton, pitchers". ESPN.com.
  13. "Reds GM: Team got damaged goods from Nats". ESPN.com.
  14. Kay, Joe (May 19, 2007). "Sports Writer". USA Today. Retrieved May 19, 2007.
  15. Ginsburg, Steve (March 1, 2009). "Nationals GM Bowden resigns over skimming probe". Reuters. Retrieved July 20, 2021.
  16. Segura, Melissa (February 22, 2009). "Feds expanding probe of longtime GM Bowden for bonus skimming". SI.com. Retrieved February 22, 2009.