Network News

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

Lerner: "Spending money is not gonna be our issue"


(By Toni L. Sandys - TWP)

Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper have brought an unprecedented level of optimism to Nats fans. They've also likely brought unprecedented salary demands to the Nats' front office. Nats owner Mark Lerner was asked about that side of things during an appearance on Sirius XM's MLB Network Radio before Strasburg's debut.

"When we bought the team, Stan said this is the way we're gonna build it, and we've stayed with that," Lerner said. "We're gonna do free agents when we feel it's necessary, as we've done with Adam [Dunn] and Jason Marquis and others. So we're not shy about that. It's just you've got to find the right guys at the right time. But certainly, spending money is not gonna be our issue. It's doing it when you have a need, and that part takes you to the next level."

Lerner was also asked the question many of us have asked: was there more excitement and anticipation surrounding this game than, say, the opening of Nats Park.

"Boy, that's a tough question," he answered. "There was an incredible excitement in this city about the new stadium, because we had so many years when we didn't have baseball here, and RFK was such a horrible venue, and to have something new and fresh was exciting. But I've never in my life seen anything like this. I think most people you talk to have never seen anything like this. The buzz has been incredible....

"Honestly, I think we could have sold over 100,000 seats tonight, easily. It's like the last game at RFK with the old Senators. There were 6,000 people there, and 45,000 said they were. But it's pretty neat."

And he was asked how much life Strasburg and Harper have brought for a franchise that has seen its share of recent struggles.

"Certainly a struggle," Lerner said. "Nobody likes to lose. I love winning as much as anybody else, but to do it the way we needed to do it, building with youth, we were gonna have some tough times....I think the benefits of having a couple of tough years are Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper, and hopefully they'll help take us to another level one day."

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 10, 2010; 11:27 AM ET
Categories:  Nats  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Livan Hernandez questions Strasburg
Next: "Stephen Strasburg, Va." plan ends badly

Comments

How about spending some money on the Championship banners that hang pathetically over the scoreboard and are barely visible? How about spending some money and getting the DC franchise history back from Texas rather than having to hear about these stupid Montreal records when the Washington Nationals are an Original American League Team from 1905. The Lerner's shortsightedness never ceases to amaze.

Posted by: mjwies11 | June 10, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Buy yourself a Nationals Media Guide. All the "Washington" records are in there.

Posted by: Cosmo06 | June 10, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Mark Lerner is a minority owner Ted approves every budget item, claims that Mark has made in the past are not followed through with. Signing draftees is expensive but not on the level of a top tier player, the total Strasburg contract is less than a single year of a multi-year deal for a superstar. Same with Dunn and Marquis, these are two year contracts, hardly blockbusters. Mark Lerner is always crying to the press about not getting credit for things his Daddy hasn't done yet.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 10, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

And they actually had media guides available in the team store last time I checked (which wasn't always the case last year).

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | June 10, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

Also, RFK was a fine venue for a fan to watch a game, maybe it was horrible from a profit perspective but I watched about 80 Nats games there and never had a complaint.

And it is false that they could have sold 100,000 tickets. They sold 40,000 and the resale market on StubHub bottomed out as the game got closer.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | June 10, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I love it when someone from the Nats organization thumbs their nose at RFK, as if it wasn't worthy of the great product they put on the field, even for the short while they had to use it. Its nice the city built them a shiny new stadium that they've managed to sell out three times since it opened.

Posted by: VTUnited | June 10, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

The Texas Rangers were the "new" Senators. The records belonging to the "old" Senators/Nationals (Big Train, Ws Championships, etc) are held by the Minnesota Twins. As for the pennents, there have been posts on NATS Journal decrying that this team has the gall to fly them. To each his own.

Sec 204 Row H Seat 7

Posted by: adhardwick | June 10, 2010 12:55 PM | Report abuse

Just a lil math...

1. Stephen Strasburg starting next year could be the starting pitcher in 32 games & we'll use 16 home game starts

2. Let's say avg draw for his starts are 30,000 people with an avg ticket of $40

3. Strasburg alone will account for $19.2 million dollars next year

4. Provided he stays healthy over the course of the next 4 seasons, his 16 home starts/ year could account for near $80 million or more depending on how his schedule plays out. Not to mention the millions of dollars his starts will make for other franchises.

5. Bottomline... Strasburg will be absolutely, severely underpaid over the next 4 years during his first contract provided he is healthy.

There would be no excuse for the Nationals to ever let him leave DC & they should take some of the dough & start a Stephen Strasburg trust fund... haha

Posted by: tony325 | June 10, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Actually, no one "owns" any records. Teams can choose which history they want to honor. The Twins, for example, don't mention anything from the franchise's days in Washington. The closest thing to a Senators reference is Killebrew's retired number. (Of course, he played a number of years in Minnesota after the franchise relocated.)

There's no 1924 pennant flown at Target Field.

The only thing the Rangers own is the rights to the name Senators. Texas couldn't object to the Nationals claiming the history of guys like Frank Howard. There's no explicit ownership.

And Washington should absolutely continue to honor the history of the Montreal Expos. There by for the grace of god go the Nationals, after all. Heck, Washington has seen two baseball teams go the way of the Expos.

And the fate of the Expos still impacts Washington to this day. Why do you think our minor league system was bereft of true talent for so long? If we want to avoid league ownership, "home" games in San Juan, and a year where a strike kills the season while we're in first place, we need to remember the Expos.

Posted by: JohninMpls | June 10, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"As for the pennents, there have been posts on NATS Journal decrying that this team has the gall to fly them. To each his own"

The city of Washington has won the pennants. While the Records may go with a franchise the city has every right to fly pennant flags in a ballpark in the city in which the pennants were won.

Posted by: JDB1 | June 10, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Tony325 - Your math is extremely flawed. You can only look at the incremental increase in attendence over the team average as the "Strasburg Effect".

Also, the increased attendence usually comes from the Upper Deck and outfield seats as those are not $40 seats so I would peg the average between $25 to $30.

Some have speculated that Strasburg attendence will increase and attendence for other games will drop below the average as families who would normally attend a series will pick the Strasburg game.

Overall, it is a good thing for the team and fanbase and MLB and MASN and the advertisers, etc.

As a Season Ticket Holder since 2005, I say it is about time. There hasn't been much to cheer about outside of Soriano in 2006 and Zimmerman. That game on Tuesday was one of the top sporting events I have ever attended next to watching the Redskins win the Super Bowl. Being there with 40,000 Nats fans was a lot of fun.

The pride factor alone is a great thing and the regional market shift away from the Orioles is great as I say that as an ex-STH of the Orioles. Just a shame that Angelo$ will profit on his majority ownership of MASN.

Posted by: dmacman88 | June 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse


Also, the increased attendence usually comes from the Upper Deck and outfield seats as those are not $40 seats so I would peg the average between $25 to $30.

Some have speculated that Strasburg attendence will increase and attendence for other games will drop below the average as families who would normally attend a series will pick the Strasburg game.
Posted by: dmacman88 | June 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse


DMac,

Your actually incorrect about increased attendance comes from the upper deck/outfield seats its actually the opposite on game day sales, its the opposite. Most days the cheapest seats go first. Heck when Craig was pitching the upper deck stuff was sold out earlier this year. Most people go to the games and buy the cheapest seats they can first.

Posted by: alex35332 | June 10, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Also, to be fair, even if average attendance is 30,000 for his starts, that's only a marginal increaseof 18k or so over a normal game (less for weekends). So you can't compare the revenue he generates against $0.

Posted by: jaycane40oz | June 10, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Tony325 - Your math is extremely flawed. You can only look at the incremental increase in attendence over the team average as the "Strasburg Effect".

Posted by: dmacman88 | June 10, 2010 3:10 PM | Report abuse
________________________________

I understand... I probably shoulda used $25 or $30... also, I understand that there would be fans at the game anyway, but I'm just attempting to show what type of revenue he could generate at the box office over the length of his contract compared to what he is currently making... You have to admit, if he stays healthy for 4 years he will outgrow the $15 million.

Provided the Nats are a .500 team & not looking like the O's... I don't see this wearing off... There are players in sports that have the "IT" factor, & SS has IT... His starts will be a fixture in this town for years to come & people will travel distances for the experience.

Posted by: tony325 | June 10, 2010 5:09 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company