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Stan Kasten Isn't Sorry For What He Did

(By Tom Mihalek - AP)

Nats Prez Stan Kasten was just on ESPN 980's Sports Reporters to discuss, among other things, his gushy invitation to the fine people of Philadelphia this week. (An invitation which one Philly writer described as "bizarre and damn near traitorous.") Andy Pollin and Steve Czaban wanted him to admit he had made a mistake. Nothing doing.

"Well first of all, let me say that any passion that has been brought into this conversation is fabulous," Kasten said, approximately. "I love it, this is great. They're our best NL rivals, and the more passion we can have in this rivalry is fantastic."

He said he has invited countless groups all over the country to come visit the Nats in D.C. He said he has helped countless Nats fans get tickets to games in other cities. He said he can't stop inviting people to come visit, so proud is he of this ballpark.

"I welcome any fans from any other city, and I hope they feel free to come whenever they want," he said, which still feels different than going onto two Philly radio stations to beg rival fans to come to the first home series of the year.

Czaban said as much, calling his comments "a foul ball."

"If you're telling me there's something about the city of Philadelphia....Ok, I will listen to you on that subject, but I don't agree with you," Kasten said.

"Scum of the earth," Czaban suggested.

"That's horrible," Kasten said. "What an awful thing to say. Let me say this, no matter who comes to our games, we expect great enthusiasm and [good behavior]....To just shamelessly give in to your unfair stereotype? Shame on you. I know you don't feel that way."

Well, shame on a lot of other people, then, too. Like, most of the people who are reading these words, for example. The Prez was asked whether this out-of-town pitch was really necessary to sell out Monday's opener; "Oh, we're gonna sell out on Monday. I don't have any question about that," Kasten said. "This is more a general thing....It's what I do every day, guys. I want people from everywhere to come to Nationals Park, that's how proud I am of it."

"Stan, you should be able to draw fans within this seven-million person DMA with a team that people want to see," Czaban said.

"No question about it and that's not this point," Kasten said. "My point is that everyone from everywhere is always encouraged."

We'll see what things are like next week, but there's a difference between being welcomed and being encouraged, a difference between telling tour groups in Iowa that Nats Park is a fun destination during a Washington trip and telling Philly sports-talk audiences that they'll be able to buy Phillies hats in D.C.

I assumed when I heard the original interview that Kasten just didn't understand how that would come off to longtime D.C. sports fans, and that once schooled on the matter he would sort of finesse his way out of the situation. To the contrary, he still thinks it was a wise plan to spread his D.C. pride among the people of the Mid-Atlantic seaboard, in the form of enthusiastic invitations.

"Guys, I hope this is the biggest controversy I'm ever involved in for the rest of my career," he said to close the debate, which is also a fair point.

By Dan Steinberg  |  April 10, 2009; 5:08 PM ET
Categories:  Nats  
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I just figured out how to get a DC United stadium built - we could save millions on excavation costs just by starting a small hole, then putting Kasten in it and handing him a shovel...he'll just keep right on digging. It's the least the Nats can do after fouling the local political waters for any future stadium project.

Posted by: EdTheRed | April 10, 2009 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Kasten isn't sorry and neither am I for now not supporting his lousy franchise.

Posted by: JDP_ | April 10, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse

He shouldn't be sorry for anything. He's a business man and trying to make a living. The fans in this town lost the team once, and still haven't shown they want MLB.

He doesn't have to worry about it when RED SOX Nation invades later this summer. He can just sit back and watch us take over the city!

Posted by: caphcky | April 10, 2009 7:00 PM | Report abuse

Oh. my. G*d.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 10, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE. What Stan said isn't a big deal, or a deal at all. Take the Phillie fan's money. Please, do it.

Watching what happens in the stands will be more exciting than whats on the field.

Posted by: AnonymousSources | April 10, 2009 7:05 PM | Report abuse

Judas Kasten is a used car salesman and he will do whatever it takes to make a buck. It does not surprise me in the least.

I know one thing though, Judas can kiss my big white fanny....What a dirtbag.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 10, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

I'm bring a Philadelphia native Phillies fan with me to Opening Day. I may be scum of the earth, but my friend is not. I'm also bringing some New England native Red Sox fans with me to that series. I may be scum of the earth, but my friends aren't.

The scum of the earth Phillies fans would be coming anyway, whether Stan Kasten invited them or not. That's what they do. In fact, more of them would probably come if Kasten told them they weren't welcome, just to spite him. There are some nice people and good fans from Philadelphia, and I see no problem with Stan Kasten inviting them down when we so-called Washington fans haven't stepped up to fill the park on our own.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 10, 2009 8:45 PM | Report abuse

I'm not real inclined to spend my money on the Nats when the organization is a mess.

Besides, I took last Monday off for Opening Day. I doubt my boss is going to give me two Mondays in a row off just because of baseball. A 3 pm start is just a real difficult thing to do. A 7 pm start, and I would have been there.

Posted by: RedBirdie | April 10, 2009 9:21 PM | Report abuse

"The fans in this town lost the team once, and still haven't shown they want MLB"

Dumb comment of the day. The team hasn't shown the fans anything after 4 years. I can whip out facts on how winning or expectations of winning correlate with attendance. But why bother because you still have pre conceived notions. On second thought go look at the phillies attendance figures for the late 90's. Put something on the field worth supporting and people with come in droves.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 11, 2009 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Later on the show Andy Pollin stated that the Nats are on channel 50 this weekend and therefore not being shown in HD, which is of course wrong as all three Nats are being shown on MASN HD and only Sunday's game will be on 50. So StanK was so busy defending himself he never bothered to make sure listeners knew how to tune in the games. Maybe he thinks the 8,000 viewers MASN averaged last year is more than enough. What a pompous ass that guy is.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 11, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Watching what happens in the stands will be more exciting than whats on the field.

Posted by: AnonymousSources | April 10, 2009 7:05 PM

You are talking about baseball right?

Posted by: TheVampireCorndog | April 11, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten and Devin Thomas should get together for some patty-cake. Those two clueless morons were meant for each other.

Posted by: ThisGuy | April 11, 2009 11:02 AM | Report abuse

"Oh, we're gonna sell out on Monday. I don't have any question about that," Kasten said.

You sold out a long time ago, Stan. No need to wait for Monday.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | April 11, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

What Stan Kasten did and is doing is quite similar to what Le Souz (Susan O'Malley) did for years and years as chief promoter for the Washington Wizards/Bullets. She did not run ads advertising our home team players. No, she ran ads advertising players from other teams. Come and see Shaq. Come and see Barkley. Come and see Bird. Etc... She encouraged fans of other teams to attend games at Cap Centre and later MCI/Verizon. And that's what Stan is doing.

However, the only real issue I have with any of this is Stan sticking up for Philly fans. As much as a lot of folks in this town hate Vinny Cerrato, can you ever picture him going on the radio and defending Philly fans? Zero chance.

That was the only real blunder I see here.

Posted by: Barno1 | April 11, 2009 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Is it channel 50 or 20?

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 11, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Channel 50 and MASN HD on Sunday.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | April 11, 2009 10:53 PM | Report abuse

I listened to the full Kasten interview with the Philadelphia radio station.

In the context of what was an extremely gracious and at time interview by the Philadelphia guys, who were encouraging and not dumping on the Nats, I found nothing offensive in anything Kasten said. Kasten also fully acknowledged that he doesnt like it when people from other cities seem to take over the park, as well as his role in making sure that changes.

I am more concerned about adolescents masquerading as adults who blithely call an entire group of city "scum of the earth" and appear to mean it.

Time for everyone to grow up.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 12, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Thanks, PB.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 12, 2009 10:11 AM | Report abuse

He doesn't have to worry about it when RED SOX Nation invades later this summer. He can just sit back and watch us take over the city!

Posted by: caphcky | April 10, 2009 7:00 PM

Congratulations on becoming the most annoying plague in sports. Normal people now root for the Yankees to beat you - that's how god awful you are.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 13, 2009 9:48 AM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten comes off like a sleazy used car salesman. So I'm not surprised by his antics.

Posted by: poguesmahone | April 13, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

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