Top O' The Order: These Nationals are a fine mess, aren't they?

A few larcenous links to start your day ...

• As if the Esmailyn Gonzalez fraud controversy weren't enough to put Jim Bowden's job in jeopardy, now the Nationals GM has to worry about an FBI investigation into whether or not he skimmed off signing bonuses for players from Latin America. The investigation goes as far back as 1994, when he was GM of the Reds and could cost Bowden a lot more than losing his perch atop the Nats. (Though I suppose some might argue prison is a far lesser penalty than helming Washington's baseball franchise.)

I don't know about you, but whenever I hear phrases like "the skim," it makes me think of the movie Casino. I also hope that this story eventually involves Bowden trying to make his getaway via Segway. []

• Speaking of the Nats' mounting problems, it appears that Odalis Perez refuses to return any calls from the team. Slowly but surely, I'm starting to drift toward Perez's side. [MLB Trade Rumors]

• Last Nats link, I promise: Some photog thought it might be interesting if he tried his "confessional booth" motif while shooting the team on photo day. Really. [Sports Hernia]

• Not everyone in baseball is a crook these days. For confirmation of that, read this great newspaper feature on Curtis Granderson, which contains this excerpt of a letter Bud Selig sent to Granderson:

"There are so many fine young men playing Major League Baseball today, but I can think of no one who is better suited to represent our national pastime than you." [Free Press via Blue Collar Baseball]

• Breaking down the Twins' weekend signing of Joe Crede. [Aaron Gleeman]

What to Read Next