Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: dcsportsbog and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

This Was a Pretty Good Year For the Nats


More exciting than watching paint dry. Unless it's really glossy paint. (By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)


Because 100 losses, a public spat with the District government, empty buildings, below-average attendance, the loss of their first-round draft pick, the worst television and radio ratings in the Majors and the worst athlete blog in modern American history weren't enough, the Nats decided to add "disgruntled, miserable employees" to their list of 2008 accomplishments.

The Washington Times lit into the franchise this morning, and while the key quotes are mostly anonymous, they don't make things look too bright and cheerful on Half Street. Although it would seem that Ted Lerner's pockets are straight as they come.

Among the highlights from this morning's Times story:

* "Every decision they make is about money," one former member of the organization said. "You just can't run a ballclub like that."

* "People are just miserable," said an industry source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he does business with the team.

* As one disgruntled team employee put it: "Everyone wants out, and it's entirely because of the Lerners."

The Times used the word "Crisis" in its headline, while Times columnist Thom Loverro called the season a "train wreck." Fun!

All of which leaves only one sensible course of action: Charlie Slowes needs to come up with a derogatory nickname for the Times beat reporters, the Lerners need to turn Nats320 into an official house organ and buy WFED, Jim Bowden needs four hours of weekly radio on which to defend the Washington Nationals from these outrageous personal attacks, and Nationals.com needs to launch a new "Unfiltered" mission. Hopefully starring Elijah Dukes.

(PS: Did I mention that Mark Zuckerman, one of the authors of the Times piece, writes something called the Nationals Insider?)

(PPS: Ten months ago this would have been literally absurd, but right now, of the six major professional sports teams in this area, the Caps front office would blow the others away in fan approval ratings, and the Redskins might not be last. Seriously. That sounds like a poll question, actually.)

By Dan Steinberg  |  September 23, 2008; 11:20 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Gilbert Got Engaged
Next: Larry Michael Sides With Vinny Cerrato

Comments

Start a poll Dan!

Posted by: joeblazin | September 23, 2008 11:39 AM | Report abuse

It's going to happen, but could you at least wait until the team actually gets to 100 losses before calling it?

Posted by: NTPNate | September 23, 2008 11:55 AM | Report abuse

Anyone who did business with the Lerners over the years knows two things:

1. They are TOUGH, very tough, in business. If they don't think you're getting the job done, you're not on probation, you're out the door, and sooner, rather than later. They will squeeze the last dime out of the deal.

2. Personally, they're generous, if quiet about it.

They're viewing the baseball team as a pure business play, and I think that's a mistake. Public perception matters in professional sports, and they're losing that war, because they're not accustomed to fighting it.

Posted by: TMU | September 23, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Worst front offices in DC:

1) Dan Snyder's Redskins
2) Ted Lerner's Nationals
3) Marion Barry's Ward 8
4) George W Bush's United States of America

Best to worst: 1, 3, 4, 2

Posted by: bryc3 | September 23, 2008 12:19 PM | Report abuse

"Ten months ago this would have been literally absurd, but right now, of the six major professional sports teams in this area, the Caps front office would blow the others away in fan approval ratings, and the Redskins might not be last. Seriously. That sounds like a poll question, actually."

Which is proof that things can turn around quickly and if the Nationals win 90 games next year, many of the problems will disappear or be forgotten. The chances of that happening are close to zero, though.

Posted by: Fingerman | September 23, 2008 12:20 PM | Report abuse

i already have a bet going with a Post staffer that the Rays will outdraw the Nats next year. i don't know what sort of odds Vegas would give me on that, but i'll take them.

the Nats franchise is doomed unless they can get a couple people in there who have a clue. Manny Acta can't do this on his own.

Posted by: jamie | September 23, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Everything about the Nats reminds me of the 90's era Bullets. Losing teams can be profitable for a long time with low risk and low front-office overhead. How many Susan O'Malley clones work for the Nats? Their promotions and gimmicks are very similar along with the placement of the opposing teams' stars in their ads.

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Nice post, LaCaSteinberg!!

Posted by: Anonymous | September 23, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

"If they don't think you're getting the job done, you're not on probation, you're out the door, and sooner, rather than later."

I see no evidence of this whatsoever. And I'm not just talking about Bowden. this team's going to lose 100 games and it would appear that there is no accountability what. so. ever.

Posted by: Steven on Capitol Hill | September 23, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg hates the Nats!*


* So does Thom Loverro, Mark Zuckerman, the viewing public, the listening public, their season ticket holders, the DC Council, the DC taxpayers, Felipe Lopez, Chad Cordero, Peter Angelos, Frank Robinson, Jesus and their own employees. But mostly Dan.

Posted by: Kev | September 23, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I went to the last game of my partial season ticket plan the other day and overheard someone a nationals employee working in guest services, fielding a complaint. You could really tell from the employee's comments that she wasn't happy with the team either, saying she knew the nationals "really messed up this year." Such high hopes - its really disappointing. I dont think me and the mrs are going to be renewing our tix.

Posted by: Jimmy 106 | September 23, 2008 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Dan Steinberg hates the Nats!*

* So does Thom Loverro, Mark Zuckerman, the viewing public, the listening public, their season ticket holders, the DC Council, the DC taxpayers, Felipe Lopez, Chad Cordero, Peter Angelos, Frank Robinson, Jesus and their own employees. But mostly Dan.

Posted by: Kev | September 23, 2008 12:40 PM

==============

Don't forget about me. Oh wait, I love the Nats. They make me so much extra $$$$$.

Posted by: Peter Angelos | September 23, 2008 1:05 PM | Report abuse

The Nats year got even worse yesterday, when they signed a AAA affiliation deal with Syracuse. That's pretty low, I should know, I live in the hole.

Posted by: Mike | September 23, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

The Nats won't truly hit the bigtime until a Post columnist based in New York only writes columns on them when they lose, but is eerily silent when they win.

Posted by: Naptown Nate | September 23, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

This just makes me sad.

Posted by: misschatter | September 23, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Is this a Bog ?!!

Or just Dan's Snark Shack

Posted by: CBinDC | September 23, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

The Nats were a disaster in Montreal as the Expos. They were a disaster in RFK and blamed it on the stadium and MLB. Now they are a disaster in their own stadium that they got for free and don't pay rent on. They will be a disaster in Portland, Las Vegas, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Tiajuana, Mexico City, Monterrey, China, Japan, Yankees Stadium, Wall Street, and the Lawn of the White House.

Baseball is the Yankees, the Red Sox, Chicago, St. Louis, the Dodgers, Baltimore, Philadelphia, the Mets, and that's it.

The rest of America is not entertained by their version of the product.

I'm really glad everyone felt that another go-round of stick ball in DC was what the former National Passtime needed.

Posted by: Virginia Blue Blood | September 23, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

I wrote a very critical email to the Nats a few months ago. It was very professional and I voiced my concerns about how the team had handled things this year. I did not hear a word back from them. I even challenged them to respond, something to the extent of I don't expect a response from you because you have done nothing for the fans all year. I went to more than 15 games before July 1, was planning on buying season tickets next year. I have not been to a game since.

Posted by: RC | September 23, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

I feel like Stan cares. But can't really do much about it.

Posted by: MDG | September 23, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

First-to-worst FOs (Baltimore teams not included, because I cannot even subjectively rate anything to do with Peter Angelos, never mind rate it objectively):
1) Caps (some really, really nice moves lately)
2) United (imminent move to PG dragging 'em down)
3) Les Boulez
4) Skins

Posted by: EdTheRed | September 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Note to the Lerners:

Please learn valuable lessons in how NOT to run a franchise from the Danny. It may save you a lot of time, and fans, in the end.
Thank you.

Posted by: Arlington Pimp | September 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

...and, coming in at number 5, so far below the rest that they're down in their own post, it's YOUR WASHINGTON NATIONALS!

Posted by: EdTheRed | September 23, 2008 3:12 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure anybody can feel as miserable as the "cheerleader" who was filling in for one of the ball girls last Friday for that 14-inning game. She hated being there and having to fetch jackets. Watching her was nearly more depressing than watching the game. If she hadn't been cute and fun to talk to I... what was I typing about?

Posted by: sitruc | September 23, 2008 9:35 PM | Report abuse

the Nats decided to add "disgruntled, miserable employees" to their list of 2008 accomplishments.

Posted by: Perhaps they're trying to keep up with the Post? | September 23, 2008 10:27 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company