Washington Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden said yesterday that the opportunity to interview with the Boston Red Sox presents "a real chance to win a World Series, and that's what we're all in this for," and that the Nationals' uncertain position -- still owned by Major League Baseball more than a year after moving to Washington -- dictates that he pursue the Sox' GM position.
"I was born in Boston," he said by phone from the general managers' meetings in Indian Wells, Calif. "I grew up in Massachusetts and Maine. I've never had a [large] payroll in my career. I owe it to myself and my family to at least explore the possibility."
Bowden will interview with Red Sox Chairman Tom Werner and CEO-President Larry Lucchino today. The Red Sox will talk with Jim Beattie, the former co-GM of the Baltimore Orioles, on Friday in Boston , a spokesman said.
Bowden, 44, spent yesterday conducting business for the Nationals. He met the representatives for right-hander A.J. Burnett, formerly of Florida, and Hector Carrasco, who pitched well for the Nationals in 2005. He also had trade discussions with two clubs.
"I'm loyal to the Washington Nationals," he said. "I still believe they can be one of the best organizations in baseball. And my personal situation isn't going to affect how we do business."
Yet the uncertainty surrounding the Nationals' entire situation will affect their offseason maneuvering, and Bowden's state of flux can only add to the turmoil. "There's uncertainty there," Burnett's agent, Darek Braunecker, said by phone. "There's going to have to be some resolution to the ownership situation, and, I guess, to Jim's situation, before anybody can go forward."
The Red Sox asked permission to speak with Bowden on Monday. With team president Tony Tavares out of the country, they contacted Kevin Uhlich, Washington's executive vice president.
"We don't want him to go," Uhlich said. "But with our situation, we have to let him talk."