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10/27/2005 9:24 AM ET
Nationals Extend Contract of Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden Through April '06
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The Washington Nationals today extended the contract of Vice President and General Manager Jim Bowden through April of 2006. Nationals President/CEO Tony Tavares made the announcement.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed working with Jim this past season and look forward to working with him over the next several months," said Tavares. "Jim is one of the hardest working General Managers in the game and I have every confidence that he will improve our team this off season while continuing to build a solid foundation that will yield a perennial winning franchise worthy of the great city of Washington."

Hired on November 2, 2004, when he was appointed Washington's interim General Manager, Nationals went 81-81 (.500) and won 14 more games than the season prior in Bowden's only season with the club. The 14-game improvement matched Milwaukee for the third largest in baseball, as only Arizona (+26) and the Chicago-AL (+16) fared better compared to 2004. In Bowden's first season the nation's capital, the Nationals spent 63 days either in sole possession of first place, or tied for first place, in the highly competitive National League East. Prior to his appointment in Washington, Bowden served as the Vice President/General Manager of the Cincinnati Reds from 1992-2003. In 1999, the Reds won 96 games and Bowden was named "Executive of the Year" by numerous organizations.

The Nationals today also appointed Bob Boone as interim Senior Director of Player Development/Assistant General Manager, Andy Dunn as interim Farm Director, and Scott Little as Field Coordinator. Jim Bowden made the three announcements.

Boone was hired by Jim Bowden on December 11, 2004 as Special Assistant to the General Manager. Since joining the Nationals, Boone has worked closely with Bowden on every aspect of the Nationals' baseball operations department. One of the premiere catchers of his generation, Bob was named to four All Star teams (1976, '78-79, '83) and won seven Rawlings Gold Gloves (1978-79, '82, '86-89), including two at ages 40 and 41, during his 19-year career. Boone has managed both Kansas City Royals (1994-97) and Cincinnati Reds (2001-03).

Dunn recently completed his fourth season with the Nationals, his first as Vice President of Ballpark Operations. Dunn spent the previous three seasons the Expos' VP of Brevard Operations, where he oversaw all aspects of Expos' Spring Training in Viera, FL, as well as serving as the General Manager of the Brevard County Manatees of the Single-A Florida State League. Prior to joining the Expos, he was a member of the Florida Marlins from 1997-2002, serving as Vice President of Sales and Marketing from 2001-2002 as well as the Director of Brevard Operations from 1997-2001.

As the Nationals' new field coordinator, Little will draw on 10 seasons of experience as a minor league manager in the Dodgers and Pirates chains. A former infielder who played for Pittsburgh in 1989, Little returns to the role of field coordinator, a job he held in for the Pirates in 1998. At various times, he also served Pittsburgh's and Los Angeles' minor league systems as hitting coach, roving hitting instructor and roving outfield instructor. Last season, Little guided Vero Beach of the Single-A Florida State League to a 77-56 (.579) record and a first-half East Division championship. Little is currently managing the Phoenix Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League.

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