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Stan Kasten and the Player to Be Named Later

Stan Kasten just completed his conference call with reporters about the Esmailyn "Smiley" Gonzalez mess. With about a dozen reporters crammed into a small office on the third floor of Space Coast Stadium, and with a few others on the line from elsewhere and a phone pressed up to the speaker for an out-of-town TV network, Kasten delivered about a 10-minute opening statement about the issue, with plenty of background, and then answered some questions.

From a throwing in the bullpen to light running drills to batting practice to a conference call about "premeditated fraud," it all makes for an exciting day at the ballpark, I guess. Colleague Chico Harlan will post the full transcript of Kasten's remarks pretty soon on the Nationals Journal, but for now, observe Stan Kasten, seething mad but with very particular sense of humor intact. There was lots more context I didn't include, including Kasten saying he knew about these rumors for years and that he specifically asked Major League Baseball to come up with a name and an age for this prospect several months ago.

"I've known about this coming for the last couple weeks, I got a heads-up a few weeks ago. I received confirmation from MLB yesterday formally that the player that we thought was Esmailyn Gonzalez was not, he has some other name. And I'm not exactly sure how to refer to him so for now I'll just call him The Player To Be Named Later. But his birthday is November 1985, and he's not Esmailyn Gonzalez, 19, he's someone else. I think he will go by Carlos Alvarez, but I'm not sure, and he's 23.

"To say I'm disappointed doesn't begin to describe how I feel. I'm angry. I am very angry. We've been defrauded. And make no mistake, this wasn't a college kid with a fake ID to come in and do this. This was a deliberate, premeditated fraud with a lot more to this story, and we are gonna get to the bottom of it. There were many many people involved in this premeditated fraud....

"Now this is very important, you need to know this, this was not a teenager who walks in with his college ID and lays his card on the table and signs a contract. This was an elaborate, premeditated scheme no teenager concocted, and no teenager executed this fraud. There were a number of people involved in it. When you guys learn--you won't today, but soon you will--when you learn the length to which these participants went to perpetrate this fraud, you're gonna be amazed. Falsified hospital documents, falsified school documents, other family members changing their identities, bribes were paid, really elaborate stuff....I can assure you, this is gonna have serious repercussions. I have people examining all possible avenues of recourse, with regard to any legal and financial concerns."

By Dan Steinberg  |  February 18, 2009; 5:39 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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Holy jeez, it has officially hit the fan. Stan sounds pissed, as he should be. In this case, if the Nationals were defrauded to the extent that he says, it's absolutely in their best interest to entirely expose the perpetrators, in an effort to a) recoup any losses from that incident (although that seems highly unlikely, although jail time could be involved for any perpetrators, if the DOJ or someone else gets interested enough), and b) attempt to reform their own or MLB's system so that this doesn't happen again.

Posted by: faNATic | February 18, 2009 5:54 PM | Report abuse

start rolling heads, Stan.

starting with both Bowden and Rijo.

stop the embarassment now, before it gets much much worse.

Posted by: MrMadison | February 18, 2009 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Yea. This sounds BIG.

Posted by: NatsNut | February 18, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

Cheating and fraud in baseball? I'm stunned.

Posted by: disgruntledfan | February 18, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the update. I could almost see the steam coming out of Stan's ears. Will look forward to reading the full transcript on NJ. Now go get a cheese panini or something.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | February 18, 2009 6:55 PM | Report abuse

Fire Bowden!

Posted by: Lindemann777 | February 19, 2009 7:48 AM | Report abuse

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