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Just think of the number of 20-year-old Americans who could benefit from four years being shaved from their birth certificates. The benefit could be enough to prompt a team to award a youth a $1.4 million signing bonus.

And the four-year difference in the 16 to 20 age group is vast. It is as vast as a junior in high school competing against a junior in college.

But Bowden knows nothing about how baseball business is conducted in Latin America; knows nothing about the allegations that are engulfing the Reds, White Sox and Nationals, linked as they are all by Jorge Oquendo, Jose Rijo and David Wilder.

Rijo has taken an indefinite leave of absence from the Nationals, Oquendo is singing to the feds and Wilder is out of baseball, just chilling in Puerto Rico.

Bowden, meanwhile, is in Viera, Fla., evaluating the prospects of a team that lost 102 games last season, drew a disappointing 2.3 million to its new ballpark and elected not to fix that which is broken in the offseason.

In a positive development, the Nationals have the No. 1 pick in the draft in June.

Fans of the Nationals are left to hope the team resists the urge to draft Danny Almonte, the infamous pitcher from the Dominican who drove to the Little League World Series in 2001.