The Phillies released John Bowker this week to let him pursue a contract in Japan. This is not a huge deal at all. I always thought that based on his minor league numbers, Bowker deserved more of a chance with the Pirates, but it was clear both in Pittsburgh and San Francisco before that there was something about Bowker that his front offices and managers didn’t think would translate to the big leagues and that he wasn’t likely to get that shot, nor was keeping him from playing going to turn into a Craig Wilson/Freddy Sanchez situation.
The main reason that I mention this is so that I can link to Grant Brisbee’s piece at McCovey Chronicles about Bowker, because it’s just an excellent piece of sports-blogging. It’s funny how things circle: part of the reason that I liked the Javier Lopez trade so much initially (and don’t get me wrong: the Pirates got nothing from it and I still think it was a good trade) was that Brisbee hated it and the reason he hated was that he felt the way about Bowker that I was about to feel.
Good luck in Japan, Mr. Bowker.