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Lerner says Nats are "almost there"



There are still symbolic achievements at stake for the Nats -- getting to 70 wins, for example, or finishing ahead of Manny Acta's Indians -- but with the home schedule over and the vague contours of the final record already visible, the 2010 retrospectives have begun.

Mark Lerner added his own to the mix Wednesday evening. Before the home finale kicked off, or tipped off, or whatever you say, Lerner sat down in the dugout with MASN's Debbi Taylor to discuss what comes next. (Watch it here.)

"Mark, I asked one of the players a couple of minutes ago to describe Mark Lerner and the Lerner family," Taylor said. "His answer? Committed. And I think that says it all. You really are committed to bringing a championship here to Washington, aren't you?"

(Somebody put that question in the journalism textbook under the "hard-hitting interrogations" chapter.)

"Well, this is our home town, and it all starts with my dad," Lerner said. "He wants to see a winner as much as anybody. He's gonna be 85 years old, he's in great shape, but I would love to see a winner, certainly while he's around. And there's not a minute that goes by where I don't think about getting a winner in this town, but we've got to do it the right way. We're gonna continue to do it the way that we set out in 2006, and the way Stan envisioned it, and the way we envision it. And we've just got to stay on course.

"And we're almost there now. You've seen it with Danny and Ian and Stephen and everybody who's coming up, and we had an unbelievable draft this year. Second year in a row we've spent the most of any of the teams....We really got two or three guys who could be considered No. 1 draft choices this year, so we're gonna to continue to pursue that, and we're gonna get the free agents where necessary. And we're gonna be active this winter, I can assure you."

Will that activity include a certain No. 44? Well, Lerner's heard the chants, too.

"Mike [Rizzo] has been trying since the summer time to work with Adam and his reps, and we continue to work with him and try to make a deal," Lerner said. "But at the end of the day, Mike has to do what he thinks is right for the club, and we've got to get better. And if it's not Adam, we'll find somebody to replace him. But we all are hopeful that we can make a deal with Adam, we all love the guy a lot, and we'll just see what happens."

Before the interview ended, Taylor got especially tough with one final question.

"I have to say, too, before we let you go, that the makeup of the players, it's so impressive to me, the guys that you have signed, the guys that you have brought in and the guys that you have drafted," she said. "So congratulations to you and to everybody that works under you in doing that."

"Thank you," Lerner answered. "I don't think a lot of people realize how important the clubhouse atmosphere is. And over the last few years we got rid of some people that really shouldn't have been in there, nd I think this year we had an awesome clubhouse. I think you could ask any player and they will acknowledge that fact. But it is a key thing in building a winner."

By Dan Steinberg  | September 30, 2010; 10:03 AM ET
Categories:  Media, Nats  
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Comments

"Almost there"?

That's like the Redskins saying their games are "sold out"...

hahahahaha

Posted by: capscapscaps2 | September 30, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

Not real happy about Ray Knight pissing all over Adam Dunn's final home at-bat rambling on about how the Nats have spent a ton of money the last two years.

Pretty hollow claim, anyone who signed Harper and Strasburg would have spent that money and the only way to be in position to draft both was to be monumentally awful.

If they choose not to resign Dunn, they better not only replace him, but fill the other holes on the roster too. Don't replace Dunn and then feed us a line about not being able to replace him _and_ make the necessary improvements to the major league roster.

Posted by: tha_prophet | September 30, 2010 10:33 AM | Report abuse

The Lerners are CHEAP and that is why Kasten left IMHO and that is why the team has no hope of becoming good any time soon.

Posted by: poguesmahone | September 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Pleeeaase MASN, get rid of Debbi Taylor. I'm tolerant of young reporters learning the craft, but Nats fans deserve far better than this. But then again, I liked Rob Dibble so what do I know?

Posted by: theblitz | September 30, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"You really are committed to bringing a championship here to Washington, aren't you?"

Call the Pulitzer!!

Posted by: mkim424 | September 30, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Totally agree with tha_prophet...Ray was speaking kindly about Dunn, then out of nowhere he offers a 2 minute soliloquy about the Nationals spending the last two offseasons...Weird and annoying.

Honestly, I've watched or listened to all of or part of 95% of Nationals games this year. I follow the Journal, Bog and Mark's Insider religiously. If Carlos Pena is manning 1B next year, I honestly don't think I'll watch nearly as much. Having a sub .200 hitter with 10 fewer home runs doesn't seem like much progress to me. I understand he is a better defensive first baseman, and I understand they want to go with pitching and defense, but let's be honest in assessing the starting pitching...It still isn't great. They are still going to need to score runs...UGHâ„¢

Posted by: dclance | September 30, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Spend money? Will believe it if the Nats get Crawford and/or Werth. Not try to get but actually get.

Posted by: boyn4884 | September 30, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

hey theblitz

I completely agree! I CAN'T STAND debbie taylor. I change the channel whenver she speaks...ugh, she makes me cringe

Posted by: Nats1924 | September 30, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

I want Crawford.

Posted by: jpfterps | September 30, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Heard Pena's name come up and Boz metioned Konerko as replacements for Dunn. Sure, they've got better gloves but I'd take Dunn's bat any day of the week over those two. He's one of the few DC FA success stories, which makes me leary of going after a big name guy. Looks at FA history in this town, DC is where FAs go to die.

Posted by: teamohall | September 30, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Heard Pena's name come up and Boz metioned Konerko as replacements for Dunn. Sure, they've got better gloves but I'd take Dunn's bat any day of the week over those two. He's one of the few DC FA success stories, which makes me leary of going after a big name guy. Look at FA history in this town, DC is where FAs go to die.

Posted by: teamohall | September 30, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

My problem with Taylor isn't her looks so much as her vocal tone and the silly/softball questions she asks. I feel like I'm watching a mockery of a bad sports reporter or a college kid in Journalism 101.

Posted by: theblitz | September 30, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

MASN just canned Dibble for making statements that management disagreed with, asking dopey Mark Lerner hardball questions would get Taylor fired faster than if she ripped her top off on live TV.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | September 30, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I thought Lerner was referring to "almost there" in regards to paying back the 600mill for the fvcking satdium. Cheap bastards.

Posted by: vmrg1974 | September 30, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Cheap Bastards...I will stop saying that when they sign Adam Dunn. Screw Konerko and Pena. We are NOT THAT STUPID Lerners!

Posted by: frediemac1 | September 30, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Between Debbie Taylor on TV and Clint at the park, tough to find times when we get actual insight from interviews in Natstown.

Posted by: souldrummer | September 30, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

>>"We're almost there."

This doesn't bode well. Means the dude is either delusional or dishonest. Either way it aint a good sign. What are they gonna say next season after the Nats lose 90+ again? Just wait for Bryce etc....And also gotta love a company that keeps Debbie Taylor and gets rid of Rob Dibble.
Insane in the membrane.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 30, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

The idea of the baseball TV sideline reporter is idiotic. Debbie Taylor just makes it clear how unnecessary the job is. Seems like a nice mom chatting up the principal on Back to School Night. Snore. At least she doesn't scream "LOOK AT ME" every time she opens her mouth like the late grating Nasty Boy Dibble. If you want good broadcasters, listen to Charlie and Dave on the radio.

Posted by: UrbanShocker | September 30, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Debbi Taylor clearly majored in Sycophancy at the Ahmad Rashad School of Journalism.

Posted by: Kev29 | September 30, 2010 12:27 PM | Report abuse

Almost there my azz. Go F yourself Lerner, you cheap jackass.

Posted by: Section505203 | September 30, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

""Mark, I asked one of the players a couple of minutes ago to describe Mark Lerner and the Lerner family," Taylor said. "His answer? Committed."

Actually part of that got left on the cutting room floor. Nobody's fault really, it happens in showbiz. What he really said was "They should be committed."

Posted by: FeelWood | September 30, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Section505203 - Well Said!

Posted by: tylerdurden1 | September 30, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

The Nats had a total of 3 hits last night, and 3 hits the night before.

I don't know where Mark thinks 'there' is, but it must be somewhere around 4 or 5 hits a game.

And great work Debbie, you'll get that Pulitzer soon enough.

Posted by: tystoneman | September 30, 2010 1:04 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to pile on this Debbie Taylor love-a-thon. She is without a doubt a kind and caring woman, mother and humanitarian. NOW GET HER OFF THE AIR!!! She makes Nats broadcasts a true joke. Even my wife - who told me to chill out when I screamed every time Debbie came on - now turns the sound off whenever her insipid, grinning pie hole appears on the screen. PLEASE DEBBIE - RUN AWAY WITH CLINT! I hate the Zeros, but give me one Amber Theoharis for 10,000 Debbies. As Oliver Cromwell said: "You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately ... Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!"

Posted by: Natstoyou | September 30, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

PLEASE MASN IF YOU DO ANYTHING THIS OFFSEASON, GET RID OF DEBBI TAYLOR!! She is the worst reporter I have ever seen! Her voice, her tilted head when she asks those "hardball" (LOL) questions, and her ability to not even "hear" and comment on the answers as evident the other night when she "interviewed" Dunn after the game is unbelievable! Dunn made a great joke about Pudge and it went totallly unnoticed by her, and yet Carpenter and Knight were cracking up in the booth! She is a total loser and makes me turn off the TV whenever she starts talking! PLEASE STOP THE MADNESS AND GET RID OF HER!!

Posted by: larmur57 | September 30, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Please Stan, as you pack up your office, please take Clint and Debbie with you. ARGH!!!!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | September 30, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

I overlook the commentators, be it Debbie Taylor, Bob Carpenter, et all, I don't care, I just watch the game for the game and make my own judgements as to what the team is doing, what its all about. I care less about what any of them say. Seeing the product is all I need, turn the sound off!!

Posted by: cokedispatch | September 30, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Hey Natinal fans. There's a team about 30 miles up the road that has a much brighter future in MLB. They have a REAL manager who has managed his team to a 32-21 record.

Get on the Fighting Showalter's bandwagon before it's too late and you're one of 5 remaining fans rooting for the Expos, I mean Senators, I mean Natinals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 30, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

That still photo tells you what you need to know about the Nationals' commitment to excellence. Crap lighting, no backdrop, indifferent blocking. Looks like a public access show.

At least the Lerners are equal opportunity skinflints: they don't spend any money to make themselves look good, either.

Posted by: hubcap | September 30, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Even if Lerner's to-be-expected robot answers were news, we could count on Debbi Taylor, a pox played on us by the Angelos-owned MASN, to breathlessly mispronounce half of her words and nod with wide-eyes at how AMAZING those robot answers are. She's embarrassing to women, the station and the team.

Sign Dunn. That is all.

Posted by: katekirk | September 30, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I can't imagine why Stan Kasten or anybody else would want to leave this utopia

Posted by: pstotts15 | September 30, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Screw the Debbi Taylor haters! I LOVE DEBBI TAYLOR! She is smart, knows the game and is really hot. You all just want another brainless 28 year old blonde like the dork who does hO's game. Amber hasn't earned a real job in her life. Pretty easy to move up the ladder when all you have to do is throw your hair over your shoulders.

I LOVE DEBBI!

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04 | September 30, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

It's great that Mark Lerner wants to win now.

Too bad he doesn't own the team...

Posted by: noslok | September 30, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Poopy, you're an idiot with all your 'Buck Showalter is God' comments. (Well, you're an idiot with your other comments too, but that's a topic for another day.)

Check out his record: Helped improve the Yankees, but they couldn't win it all until he left. Helped improve the D'backs, but they couldn't win it all until he left. Now helping improve the Orioles...

So fine, love the guy for helping to get the O's out of the basement -- though you should love McPhail more. But don't think Buck will get you to a title, because he's just not that good.

Kind of a shorter-tenured version of Bobby Cox, though at least Cox managed to stop screwing up enough to win one title.

Posted by: spunkydawg1 | September 30, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Kind of reminds me of Rolling Stone's interview with Obama.

Posted by: guest1 | September 30, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I HATE all this talk about how "close" the Nats are. Close to what? Certainly not close to being a .500 ballclub. To do that, you have to spend money, and spend it wisely. Boy, Maya sure looks like a keeper, doesn't he? And Marquis has really been a revelation! Listen, I know that every club has these kind of problems, it just seems that the Nats have more than most.

Please, no more BS about how "close" the Nats are until they can field at least 2 starting pitchers that could make the rotation of the (hated) Yanks or the (beloved) Red Sox. And please, no more talk about how great SS will be when he comes back. This BS is just pandering, and taxes everyone's patience. SIGN DUNN!!

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | September 30, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I HATE all this talk about how "close" the Nats are. Close to what? Certainly not close to being a .500 ballclub. To do that, you have to spend money, and spend it wisely. Boy, Maya sure looks like a keeper, doesn't he? And Marquis has really been a revelation! Listen, I know that every club has these kind of problems, it just seems that the Nats have more than most.

Please, no more BS about how "close" the Nats are until they can field at least 2 starting pitchers that could make the rotation of the (hated) Yanks or the (beloved) Red Sox. And please, no more talk about how great SS will be when he comes back. This BS is just pandering, and taxes everyone's patience. JUST SIGN DUNN!! That would be a good start; the rest is just (empty) words.

Posted by: nyskinsdiehard | September 30, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Dunn for 2 years at $17 per.
Crawford for 4 years at $15 per
the pitcher from KC for 4 years at $12 per.

3 MAJOR issues resolved...its just money.

Posted by: outrbnksm | September 30, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

Oh, oh! Another Dan Snyder and Vinnie act. It looks like the Greater Washington Area is in for a long, long dry spell with yet another weak owner and executive.

Posted by: Watching41 | September 30, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, oh! Another Dan Snyder and Vinnie act. It looks like the Greater Washington Area is in for a long, long dry spell with yet another weak owner and executive.

Posted by: Watching41 | September 30, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh, oh! Another Dan Snyder and Vinnie act. It looks like the Greater Washington Area is in for a long, long dry spell with yet another weak owner and executive.

Posted by: Watching41 | September 30, 2010 9:47 PM | Report abuse

TOO LITTLE TOO LATE...

should have thought about it when you told the city you were going to make a free agent splash in the off season before the move to the new stadium...

YOU LIED

and now a 3x LAST PLACE team can't sign anything but DREGS....HAS BEENS and DAMAGED GOODS FREE AGENTS

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | September 30, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse

The CHEAP LERNERS have shown ZERO indication that this franchise will be any more competent than the Pirates....

You get what you pay for .....LAST PLACE x3 and a lock on the basement in 2011......

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | September 30, 2010 10:04 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE DEBBI!

Posted by: MACCHAMPS04
=========================
she's ANNOYING and not even remotely close to being "eye candy" to offset the Annoying sounds coming out of that mouth of hers......
=======
Once again..... you get what you pay for and with her and that shill Knight.....there has been NO SOUND coming from that LCD since Dibble got the boot....

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | September 30, 2010 10:10 PM | Report abuse

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