Red Reporter has done a great job of ruining my weekend by linking to this New York Times article from 1995. Don’t go read it on an empty stomach.

Remember when Jim Bowden was GM of our beloved Reds and he traded David Wells to the Orioles for speedy center fielder Curtis Goodwin? Goodwin, of course, was the original Corey Patterson/Willy Taveras, and he was a complete flop. (And we all knew he was going to be a flop at the time; I need to go look at the Reds Listserv archives to see what the immediate reaction was to that trade.)

So, yeah, bad trade…but it gets worse. Evidently, Bowden coveted Goodwin, so he turned down an offer from the New York Yankees. The Yankees were offering a couple of their young prospects:

Mariano Rivera and Jorge Posada.

I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. Jim “Leatherpants” Bowden continues to haunt us.

26 Responses

  1. brublejr

    I saw that this morning as well, very sickening ❗

    Could you imagine if that would have went through along with drafting Jeter?

    Man, how did leatherpants keep his job so long 🙄

  2. Doktor

    Bowden had the backing of marge schott and thats why he kept his job so long. He made trades to win “now” whether for established players like Greg Vaughn or minor leaguers on verge of being in the bigs (ie Sean Casey). Trying to win now was the only thing schott understood or seemed to appreciate.

    Oh well, those days are gone with better days to come. I hope.

  3. wanderinredsfan

    @Doktor: And you do realize that the Rolen trade is a win-now transaction, don’t you? I don’t think we are anywhere closer to a front-office that is looking to build for the future. IMO, the only reason Walt and co. aren’t dealing off the farm is because they realize that it’s all we’ve got and all the fan base wants to see.

  4. Niles

    Awwww f*** are you serious, what an idiot!!!!! Sucks to be a Reds fan.

  5. pinson343

    UGH. So with two good management decisions, the Reds could have had Jeter, Rivera, and Posada.

  6. daedalus

    stomach ache…so, since Leatherpants had a good few first years (1st place 1994, 1995) and put together a 96 game winner in 1999, how do we explain that? I’ve always had trouble reconciling his success with the fact that he didn’t know what the heck he was doing most of the time. Any thoughts?

  7. JustTheFacts

    What’s worse is that even after all that, the Reds front office still did business with him. Remember the block buster trade that got us the “unmagic man”, and two other guys who can’t get out of AAA. Who did we give up? Kearns, Lopez, and washout Ryan Wagner for washouts Royce Clayton and Gary Majewski, near washout Travis Chick, and two guys who can’t get out of AAA.

  8. RedinFla

    I was hoping for something upbeat today to balance out the sad fact that Spring Training tickets are on sale and I’m not going. Rats. 😥

  9. GRF


    Doktor, in all seriousness I love your optimism and hope the off-season justifies it.

    RedinFla, I am hoping they will tender Gomes as a stocking stuffer for you (and us all).

  10. GRF

    And I may have blocked out this particular trauma, but I have heard leatherpants for years, without knowing the origin. If it is too painful to bring back up please ignore.

  11. wanderinredsfan

    @GRF: They better get it done fast, because I think today is the deadline for offering arbitration to Gomes. Walt would be silly not too, but if he doesn’t, I think it speaks volumes just how strapped by the budget Walt is and will be this offseason. There is no way a team should let Gomes go without any compensation in return. At the very least, if he accepts, the Reds could spin him by July.

  12. mike

    I’m sure there are plenty of stories like this in baseball. The trade some GM turned down for unknown prospect, those prospects eventually going to the HOF

    The problem I have is that Goodwin along with the other names mentioned, Patterson/Taveras are part of a big problem the Reds have had for nearly 30 years.
    Their love of speedy, no-hit guys

    Patterson I think is king, honestly his season was the worst of the bunch

    I can’t stand these guys
    Reggie Taylor
    Rolando Roomes
    Herm Winningham
    Deion Sanders
    Thomas Howard
    Billy Hatcher
    Michael Tucker
    Dave Martinez

    a good # of these guys were CFers……

    I’ve been hoping that Taveras isn’t our starting CFer this coming season but it sure looks like he will be

  13. RedinFla

    I’m hoping for Drew Stubbs big-time, that he continues to put it all together and will be impossible to ignore.
    “Hey, it could happen…”
    You know I’m starving for some good news when I start quoting those cute little boys from Angels In the Outfield.
    maybe I’ll watch it tonight… :mrgreen:

  14. wanderinredsfan

    @mike: I wouldn’t put Hatcher in that group. Without Hatcher, Reds don’t win it in 1990.

  15. earl

    That is very true on the Billy Hatcher, whatever he didn’t do in the regular season, he helped the Reds win a World Series, so he is cool in my book.

    If the Reds get to the series and Willie Taveras hits about .500 leading to a championship, I’d absolve him for all of his being a bum for two seasons.

  16. pinson343

    @daedalus: Marge was willing to spend money on one thing: free agents. Some of the free agent acquisitions were good. Plus it took a while for the scouting/player development system to deteriorate under her. In the meantime players like Larkin, Eric Davis, and Paul O’Neill emerged from the farm system in the mid-80’s.

    Also, Bowden did make an occasional good trade. Picking up Jose Rijo was one.

  17. pinson343

    Hey Mike, have you forgotten about Corey Patterson.

    I agree about WanderinRedsFan and Earl about Hatcher.
    Winningham was useful as a backup and role player, at least in 1990.
    Deion had a good year in strike-shortened 1994.

    Householder was a different kind of situation from the other names. He was an excellent all around player at AAA, then flat out failed at the ML level. Coming down with hepatitis (in his 2nd sesason with the Reds ?) didn’t help.

  18. Michael

    Yeah, but had the Reds had Rivera and Posada, they would have flopped and been shuttled back and fourth between AAA and Majors for a few years and then picked up by a Pirates or Royals team and run into the ground.

  19. Michael

    Oh, and as I recall Bowden was FORCED to trade Wells as Marge Schott didn’t like Wells for some reason and wanted him gone. I am not certain of that though. I also recall Davey Johnson being forced out as manager due to his personal habits (women I think). He was a solid manager, but oh well.

  20. JerBear

    Great and sad points on Bowden…but I have to say, Jim Bowden was the GM the last time the Reds were any good in 99 and 95 right?

    I always thought Bowden had some baseball smarts in a weird way, but his ego and just the lifestyle he didn’t seem to be able to handle.

    I think his personal life wrecked his baseball career as a GM which is sad.

  21. John W.

    So what if the Reds almost drafted Jeter and nearly acquired Rivera and Posada when they were all young? I’m sure they would’ve ended up leaving the Reds and signing with the Yankees sooner or later anyways.

  22. Andy

    He did the same thing with the Yankees later on with Denis Reyes. He wanted Nick Johnson and Soriano in return and they only offered Soriano….

  23. Mark in CC

    @pinson343: After reminding me of Paul O’Neill I would have to add Roberto Kelly to that illustrious list of outfielders above.

  24. RiverCity Redleg

    We didn’t want Rivera b/c we had Trevor Hoffman in our system… wait… oh, nevermind.