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Former GM Jim Bowden Says Dodgers Are A ‘Team Going Backwards’

It appears the Dodgers will miss out on the Bryce Harper sweepstakes. After trading Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, and Alex Wood to the Cincinnati Reds – it feels like the team may be on the outside looking in.

When these things happen, the team will be taken to task by talking heads. Moreover, one of those talking heads is Sirius XM’s Jim Bowden. Give a listen to what he had to say about the Dodgers. It’s not pretty.

The former general manager had biting words for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sirius XM airwaves on Sunday.

“You look at this Dodgers team right now. You’ve got Pederson and Hernandez in left, Taylor in center I guess, Verdugo in right, Bellinger at first and Muncy at second. And that’s a team that’s going backwards.”

Bowden expressed concern about the Dodgers no longer having Puig in right field.

“You know, Puig is gone. You’re going to miss Puig, he’s a pretty good right fielder. Are you gonna overpay for Pollock? How’s that gonna play out?”

Look, it’s fine for a talking head to express concern that the Dodgers haven’t accomplished enough this offseason. Browsing social media, it seems like the fan base also shares that sentiment. However, it’s important to remember this is still a team that has an over/under win total projection of 95.

The take home message? R-E-L-A-X.

In short, the sky is not falling. Jim Bowden climbing on the airwaves and screaming for the Dodgers to do something fast does not make it so. The 2019 Dodgers are going to win a lot of ballgames. While they aren’t automatic to be penciled in to the 2019 World Series, they will be spoken for.

Any team that aspires to get there in the National League knows one thing: they’re going to need to pass through Los Angeles.

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Written by Clint Evans

Clint lives in Ohio, and played collegiate baseball. He loves the Dodgers due to his first memories of Chavez Ravine when he was nine years old. The voice of Vin Scully has been a staple in his life since he was a kid. No amount of baseball talk is ever enough, and he wishes the regular season was year round. He has written about baseball online since 2007.

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  1. Bowden clearly has a problem with the Dodgers (he did not even list Alex Verdugo as one of the top 20 MLB prospects for 2019). Perhaps it dates back many years to when Dodgers did not offer him its GM position. Seemingly, when the subject of the Dodgers comes up on MLB radio when he is on the air turns into an anti-Dodgers rant.

    • That’s why he’s a former GM. Verdugo in right I guess? Yes, Verdugo in right. This kid was a major league player playing in the minors. Any other team would’ve had him up 2 years ago. Daniel is right. It’s too early. There will be a flurry of activity after Harper / Machado sign.

    • Bowden is right IF the Dodgers do nothing more this off season. Having Pederson and Taylor in the starting lineup is hardly a Championship formula. However, add one more player (Kluber or an OF) and the story changes.

  2. Bowden spoke to soon. He should wait until all the dealing is done and then give his assessment. I listen to all these guys on xm radio and so far they’ve been wrong about most of their predictions. Not because they’re not knowledgeable but because they don’t really know whose talking to who and there are just too many possibilities. Wait until spring training and then evaluate all the teams, not just the Dodgers for some reason.

    • David fan since ‘58,
      As far as Jim Bowden is concerned, hecexpressed it succinctly himself in his own words…”the talking heads” will be going on about this team constantly!
      Well he should know that very well as a marching and chowder society member himself in good standing for years! Jimmy you are a talking head looking for a splash impact on the pundits scene! Personally, you disdain for the LAD is long standing and deeply flawed! You were not much of a GM (or you would still be retained i that capacity somewhere!) IMHO. And B) I do not recall you being much of an evaluator of MLB talent in your forgettable career! A good fiction writer I will give you that! LOL!

  3. I would agree with Bowden IF the Dodgers don’t do anything further; they lost a lot hitting and fielding talent no one can argue that. Verdugo, Seager for a full season, and Russell Martin simply can’t replace Puig, Machado, and Grandal both in the field and the plate. To say so is pure fan zealotry. We hope Kershaw, at minimum, can give us last year’s numbers and not further regress. We hope Verdugo is ready. We hope Muncy doesn’t duplicate Taylor in 2018 and falls back from an out-of-nowhere career year.
    I’ve been a Dodger fan for 45 years, since I was 9 and seen it all; I’ve already laid $100 in Vegas and bet on the under.

    • What is all this loss about Kemp, no one wants him. Wood just about fell off the map last year and couldn’t crack the starting rotation in the WS and some of the playoffs he is unnecessary for this upcoming season. Puig was streaky at best and will easily be replaced by Verdugo. Seager for a whole season easily makes up for Puig as well. I really don’t get how you come up with that. Your statements miss the mark completely.

      • I disagree with you on that one………He is right about one thing, Puig……….they will miss Puig………Verdugo IS NOT the defensive player Puig was….he never will be…he may not even be the hitter Puig was but that remains to be seen……but there is no question that he is a big drop off in right defensively.

        • Bluz1st, I concur with you about Verdugo AND he is just another LH batter they don’t really need. In no way on God’s green earth will Verdugo replace the offense from Puig and or Kemp. I for one believe both he and Muncy are replaceable for more RH bats but as you and everyone knows, IIWII.

          • Want your opinion. Did Puig with his antics(high-maintenance persona) wore out his welcome? Personally, I got tired of his antics, missing the cut-off man trying to throw out everybody on the base-paths allowing the runner going to 1st to go to 2nd etc.

  4. I agree that people need to wait, as there still is a lot of time left in the off season. However Bowden’s assesment of the CURRENT roster is correct. Any level headed fan has to agree the roster as it stands today is WORSE than it was in October. That may change by Spring Training, but we lost a lot of depth and production in Wood, Kemp, Grandal, and Puig.

  5. There’s no doubt the dodgers are worse for having dealt puig and lose 20/25+ homers and excellent defense in right. I get the martin deal. No one was going to trade bellinger for Realmuto. But you put a serious offensive liability behind the dish, and downgraded right, that’s not making the ball club better. That’s probably losing the west by a game or two. The have to upgrade the offense in right and frankly verdugo’s stock among baseball is currently higher than what he will probably produce.

  6. There will almost certainly be additions. An ace quality starting pitcher, outfielder, catcher with a bat, maybe even a second baseman or quality reliever. As constructed we have lim proved our bullpen, and second is looking better than it played out last year. We’ve regressed at catcher. And will miss puig. I expect improvements from our young relievers and Pederson. Having Buehler and Urias makes me more comfy with our starters. Having Seagwr improves SS. I’d love to have Machado at 2nd or Harper I’m Left. If we signed Harper we could trade a young outfielder for SP or a true 2B. I wouldn’t mind trading Muncy for a 2B or packaging him for a very good RF or CF.

  7. Unfortunately, Bowden is right. He is saying the Dodgers are going backwards and if he is referring to the current moves that have been made as opposed to assessing the actual outcome of the offseason, then I’d also agree. You trade MLB talent for prospects? Backwards move, albeit the prospects they recieved seem to have upside. You also replace Grandal with Martin….. yea, backwards move. The bullpen got a boost with Kelly, however so that’s a plus. Call me crazy but I didnt like them keeping Kershaw either. But that’s just me.

  8. The Dodgers will be fine. As for Puig , they will not miss his antics on the base paths or licking his bat since that does not help them win. His baiting funners and missing cut off men is just as bad.

  9. I didn’t know who Jim Bowden was so I looked him up and his record as a GM. Well, I let everyone do that on their own, but he is not a person I whose opinions I would put any weight into. Unimpressive to say the least.

  10. The GM is spot on. It doesn’t take a genius to figure this out. 2018 Matt Kemp getting 85 RBI, Puig hit his usual, solid numbers. Toles, Taylor and Kike aren’t going to make up for that production loss, along with Grandal’s absence. If you think Verdugo is going to replace those kind of numbers you’re nuts. Sure, the Dodgers are ‘possibly’ going to bring in another outfielder (Pollock, Nicholas Castellanos, Adam Jones and Nick Markakis – are all decent options but not much of improvement there). You lose your #2 most durable pitcher in Alex Wood. You basically have to hope you get better pitching to make up for batting performance losses in 2019. Hoping Jansen and Seager come back strong, Muncy repeats fluke year, Verdugo is a phenom his rookie year, Urias bounces back, and the Dodgers can play better small ball, with runners on. So sure, no problem- that former GM must be bs!

  11. Roberts should have been let go after the first ws.the only thing the dodgers seem to be concerned with is the cap not going to another ws was told by Management that the fans will come regardless.

  12. Obviously incredibly biased as he is not mentioning the estimate for the Dodgers is 95 wins and I think that is actually a little low. I believe they will be close to 100 wins as they are in a very weak division and they should be actually stronger this year with Muncy, Turner, A Healthy Seager, Ryu and Kershaw in good health starting the year. Plus we will have Urias coming up. I also believe that Toles beats out Pederson for a starting slot. Toles is a very good contact hitter, has speed and a better arm than Joc…

    Verdugo may have a better OBP than Puig by end of year and also has a cannon of an arm that hopefully consistently hits the cut off man…

    My question is one that SoCalBum mentioned, does Beaty make the 25 man roster? And who plays second base? I am hoping Muncy can play second so we get Bellinger back at 1st base and play Verdugo in center.

  13. Bowden is right… today… This team is not as good as it has been the past two years… today.
    it’s really not debatable. Not Puig, No Kemp, No Macahdo, no Grandal. Time will tell…
    I’m sure the brass is working the phones, so let’s hope they put something together to offset
    these significant losses.

    • Bellinger will be better at 1st hitting over 40 hrs Muncy at 2nd 30 plus hrs 275 average and 90 plus rbis both of them Joc playing everyday will hit over 37 hrs 95 plus rbis but dumb Roberts has to stop his stupid ideas of platooning.Seager will hit over 30 hrs 100 plus rbis Turner if healthy will hit over 30 hrs 300 plus average 95 plus rbis Taylor over 25 hrs 275 average 85 plus rbis Verdugo 14 to 17 hrs 315 average 70 plus rbis and Kike filling in for almost everybody should still get enough at bats to hit 18 to 22 hrs 275 average toles enough at bats to hit 12 hrs 285 average 37 to 40 rbis Barnes playing 120 games should hit 10 plus hrs 55 plus rbis.And good pitching will beat good hitting and we have the best trio with Kershaw Urias and Buhler winning 18 plus games each but I think Clayton comes back big winning 23 or more with a 1.8 era or less Kenley goes back to being best reliever in baseball Kelly the setup guy.World Series Champs if Roberts doesn’t choke again.bowden sucks

      • And no we don’t need an overrated player like Harper especially at 300 million for 10 years

  14. I will say this, the 2006 cardinals were a team going backwards yet that was the team that finally won after 6 years of falling short. Maybe the Dodgers just need to sack up for once and win with what they got

    • FYI, The Cardinals had previously won the WS back in 1982. So by simple arithmetic, that was a 24 year WS Championship drought, not the 31 year span Dodgers are currently in. Everyone knows what this club needs before the season begins and there is still time to get what’s needed to fill holes.

      • FYI that title in the 80’s was a completely different regime and team so the fact that their drought was less means zero. What matters is how long you’ve been legitimately competing for a title and for the Dodgers it’s been 6 years not 31 under this regime. For the 2006 cardinals they were legitimately competing for a title for 6 years as well at that time and won with their weakest team. That’s all I was saying

  15. Your all overreacting to this click bait. Bowden said if the Dodgers do nothing from here till opening day they are taking a step back. He is correct. You can’t deny that. A team with Machado Puig and Grandal. Or a team with Seager Verdugo and Martin instead? Our team ended last year better than we currently are. I love the Dodgers but there’s no way any one could be happy with this off season.

    • Correct on your last sentence here. Verdugo is just one of many LH bats on this team and whether one likes Puig or not, he will NOT replace Puigs production of 51 HR’s in last 2 seasons. Yes, I realize Puig had terrible reverse splits. .So far I am not happy with this off season, and my biggest issue is that deal with the Reds where we got NOTHING in return that even remotely helps the 2019 club, but for a salary dump.

    • Have you ever listened to Bowden’s on-air reporting? I have many times and he is not nearly as harsh with any other ML team than he is with the Dodgers. IMO he has a vendetta against the Dodgers, looking for every opportunity to say and write negative comments.

      • SoCal, that I do agree about Bowden. I only say that this off season up until has been a bit less than stellar but we have plenty of time still. Believe me, I am no fan of Bowden at all and his credibility is ZERO. Hopefully Dodgers can end up with a team that IS as good as the previous 2 years, wss.

  16. Yes, we will win a lot of games – whatever that means. Hopefully enough to get us back in the playoffs. So far, I have been disappointed in the FO’s inability to pull the trigger on a deal. And if anyone is waiting for Arenado to sign with us, contain your enthusiasm. We need to win now. Our 2018 squad is one year older!!!! If the Hot Stove were to end tomorrow, I would say we failed in our mission to better our team. Right now, the ball is Friedman’s hands. Go Blue!!

  17. Who cares what Bowden says? I agree with PaulDodgerFan…”So far, I’m not happy with this off-season”. Lost some quality players and other than the addition of Kelly, we haven’t gained much. In that regard we have fallen short of our goals. Still some time before the season starts. Let’s hope everyone stays healthy in spring training.

  18. The Dodgers brass just don’t seem to think one great player is worth opening the wallet for. They let a lot of fear walk out the door with trades and the loss of Manny. I will be shocked if they match those numbers this year. Kluber should be traded for because someone will go down with an injury. I feel they aren’t as potent and will be looking for another bat by midsession because power with production is what I see will be reduced.

  19. Do your homework guys. This time last year Bowden picked the Dodgers to finish no better than 3rd in the West. Kemp was not expected to make the team (just a part of a salary dump), Muncy wasn’t a part of anyone’s major league team, Puig was under achieving in nearly every area except on-field theatrics, Kershshaw was nursing a bad back, Seager was”100%” and Hill was giving new meaning to the with “blisters”. Unexpected heroes come out of the shadows every year on nearly every team. The Dodgers fell short of winning the World Series as a team that included Grandal, Machdo, Puig, Kemp and Wood. I like all those players but none of them did anything that actually “won a game” so to speak. Each of them were a part of at least one play that “changed” the game and set a less then desirable tempo of the series. Harper and Machado are great young players. Machado’s sportsmanship is appalling but I guess is ignored as long as clutch hits come. Dodgers saw only a few of the clutch, and a free too many of the poor sportsmanship like “shots”. I would love Harper in right field but even when surrounded with quality talent in Washington he has not been able to insure a championship.

  20. Bowden WHO? He’s just trying to stay relevant. I agree with socalbum, have you guys heard this guy on air reporting? He clearly has issues with the Dodgers. He sounds like a scorned ex.

  21. If you watch a movie and it’s pretty good but can’t see the end for whatever reason. it’s not going to be a good movie. Let’s reserve the words the “Dodger’s are going backwards ” when spring training starts and nothing else has been done. Losing Kemp was no big deal. Wood wasn’t very good, sure eat up some innings but not impressive and the starters of his caliber are a dime a dozen. Puig, whatever…Verdugo needs that spot. Puiggy might hit35 home runs again in that cracker box in Cincy but who cares. Facts are they lost an average player at best. it’s not like there’s going to be a big drop off losing any of those guys.

  22. Chris Taylor needs to go to unpredictable to many strike outs Muncy will do nothing he’s been figured out Hernandez will flop Verdugo may help who knows we need Harper and a big right handed bat pitching will be fine Dave Roberts needs to quit coaching like a college coach how do you sit 100 rbis in the World Series and expect to win

    • Vedugo IMHO is over hyped and he alone won’t replace the offense Dodgers lost so far. Taylor must stay and he is a RHB that if he can cut those K’s down should be OK IF Roberts stops with this excessive platooning where most of the starting players are in and out of lineup constantly. how can any player remain consistent with that?

  23. When you have a chance to get a player like Harper and don’t t have to trade assets to get him due to he’s a free agent, you spend the money to get him if you want a better chance for a WS title. As a lifetime Dodger fan, i get the fact the top brass may not want to give up top prospects for Kluber or Realmuto and and that is debatable, why would you make a trade with Cincinnati and then only pick up Martin to bridge the gap until Ruiz is ready? Kershaw’s window is closing and what a waste to not get another superstar to carry the team when needed. Turner is by far the best hitter and he’s 34. I dont think the Dodgers will win another title anytime soon because the current brass like to shop for clearence items on sale which is good, but sometimes you have to spend money especially on a true superstar such as Harper. I’m going to be disappointed fan if they continue to be cheap when they have the revenue to get top players in their prime. I’d rather have Harper unless they trade for Kluber. You can never have enough of good pitching especially with the injuries the Dodgers pitchers have had over the last few years. If you keep cutting the payroll without making the team better, cut the ticket prices because the team is weaker offensively unless they start stealing bases and bunting runners over in scoring position which i doubt.

    • I see this as possibly being the first year since 2012 that they miss the PS.. some teams in NL West are taking perhaps a step back but they all will be playing their best against Dodgers, and with this current team, nothing is guaranteed. and you are correct as to this team being weaker offensively, at least as it appears for now.

  24. As a forever Dodgers Fan…JUST WONDERIN’….the Dodgers lost about 68 homeruns in Grandal, Puig & Kemp!…..how do they get that back…just to break even to last year….AND then what do they do to improve over last year??? I see only Kelly…I’m NOT feeling any assurances from Friedman & Friends!!! SEEMS they just did a Salary Dump!!!

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