I'm willing to give Bowden another year to see what he can do with better financial resources and a more settled environment than he came into with the team moving and trying to put it all together in 5 minutes.
Ok, so the Guzman signing backfired on him. 3 out of 4 ain't bad. He's not the first GM to have that happen to him. 2 years ago the Phils Ed Wade traded Johnny Estrada to the Braves for Kevin Millwood. Early on it looked like a great deal;Millwood pitched a no-hitter and Estrada wasn't really heard from. But then Millwood went in the tank the rest of the '03 season and was terrible in '04 and Estrada was an all-star. It ended up being a bum deal for Wade, but anyone would've made that deal at the time. Likewise, Guzman was a calculated gamble that any GM would've taken at the time; and by the way (this part is addressed to all) I know he's making big bucks for 4 years, but even the best players have a bad season somewhere in their careers and then more often than not, rebound strong the next year. there seems to be an epidemic this year of villifying usually solid players for a bad season; not just Guzman, but guys like Boone and Thome who have been solid for years and are suddenly getting thrown under the bus for bad 1/2 seasons. Come on already!!! Sorry if it sounds strong, but let's give Guz a shot to redeem himself next season. Also then begin to teach either Zim or Casto to play SS so that if Guzman still struggles next year, you have one of thse guys ready to plug in.
How to restock the farm system? Throw some money at the scouts working in the Kansas City Royals and Cleveland Indians organizations.
When you stop laughing and ask "Scouts from an abyssmal team that lost 19 straight?" Here are just a few names of KC prospects that came through Wilmington from '93-'04...(Those of you who have followed Potomac/Prince William know what I mean)
Angel Berroa ('03 A.L. ROY)
...and those names are just the ones I can remember off the top of my head. There are many others that have been quality players or respectable journeyman players that always seem to find their way onto MLB rosters. KC's problem is disgraceful front-office management on the big league level. I suggest Cleveland, because again for those that follow the Carolina League at all, they always seem to steamroll and find themselves in the Mills Cup series.
As far as RFK logistics, I think now with a full year in town and a full offseason to prepare, the team can make some changes to the concession situation and maybe a few more cosmetic improvements to the stadium like removing all the weathered plywood in the upper deck facing and replace it with some ads or a few mini-scoreboards.
I agree with the pox on at least the Braves and Marlins, The Braves have done it with mirrors the last 5 or 6 years. They've been vulnerable, but no other team has wanted it bad enough to hang in and knock them off.
The Marlins are paying back the devil for '03. They were a woeful team who had absolutely no business in the playoffs, that got a few breaks from the Phillies, who were expected to win the East that year . Not one Marlin player thanked the Phils in their post-game comments after winning the series.