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Stan Kasten announces resignation as Nats president

Updated at 3:26 p.m.

Nationals managing principal owner Theodore N. Lerner has issued a statement about Stan Kasten's resignation as team president:

"Stan Kasten will always be an important part of the history of the Washington Nationals. He was vital to ownership winning its bid from Major League Baseball and his agreement to serve as the team's chief executive for the last five years has been critical to building the Washington Nationals franchise."
"Over his tenure he has positioned the Nationals to become one of the most exciting franchises in baseball and we thank him for all that he has accomplished.
"We certainly respect his decision to pursue other interests at the end of the regular season, but will continue to call upon him for his vast knowledge of the game, the league and the franchise. He will remain a friend and valued partner of the team and ownership group."

Updated at 3:05 p.m.

Nationals president Stan Kasten is talking to members of the media now about his decision to resign at the end of the season and says, Adam Kilgore reports, that he made this decision a year ago and that he'd committed to working for the Lerners, the Nats' owners, for five years.

"This is just about me, what's best for me," Kasten, 58, said. "I don't feel like I'm retiring. I want to do something. I think it will be a while before I do."

Updated at 2:46 p.m.

Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten will leave the team after the season, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman is reporting.

Fox Sports has confirmed the report as well and Jon Morosi writes:

One source said Kasten wants to take time away from the game for personal reasons. However, another person in the industry believes a "lack of commitment from ownership" to spend on upgrading the roster was a factor in Kasten's decision.

We'll have more on the story shortly; Kasten has indicated he will speak to the media before the Nats play the Astros at 4:30.

Boz's take: Thomas Boswell wrote yesterday: "My preference for the Nats' sake: He stays. My firm opinion: He's gone."

Boz's chat: Boswell chatted earlier today about Kasten and the Nats (as well as other things).

Poll: Vote now on Kasten's resignation

By Cindy Boren  | September 23, 2010; 1:39 PM ET
Categories:  Nationals  
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Comments

Oh crap. If Kasten is jumping ship, that's a sign that things are getting worse, not better. I hoped he could help the Lerners become better owners, but it looks like we've got another terrible owner to add to the collection of Danny boy and Angelos. Looks like I'll be going to even fewer Nats games next year than I went to this year.

Posted by: futbolclif | September 23, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

Maybe this is a good thing since 'his' plan hasn't materialized like he said it would.

Posted by: NatsSince1967 | September 23, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Good bye season tickets.... I will just buy tickets for less than 50% on stub hub next year.....

Posted by: Y2kob | September 23, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

This is NOT good!

Posted by: dph60 | September 23, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Good bye Season Tickets...I will just buy tickets for 50% less than face value on Stub Hub next year.


Posted by: Y2kob | September 23, 2010 2:06 PM | Report abuse

I am happy. Kasten has done a horrible job overseeing the marketing of this team. He is way overrated. It will be interesting to see who they bring in.

Posted by: brothbart | September 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

All you can really say to this is, "Oy Vey."

Posted by: password11 | September 23, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance. He's a dick with no understanding for the common person and how they don't want to spend 8 bucks on a beer when the stadium is empty and the team sucks. All they'd have to do to fill the stadium is make concesssions dirt cheap--it'd be full every night. People in this town like to drink--they don't care about the Nats.

Posted by: noahjacobs | September 23, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

This is a huge problem. Kasten stabilized a franchise that was on life support.

Posted by: Aerowaz | September 23, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

I guess Philly fans just lost their best friend.

Posted by: NatsSince1967 | September 23, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

My opinion, FWIW:
This was a marriage conceived by Bud Selig and appeared to be uncomfortable from the start. I think that the Lerners were given the message that, if Kasten wasn't part of the ownership group, MLB would award the team to another group.
With Kasten moving on, maybe the Lerners will replace him with a baseball person of their own choosing. If nothing more, we may see if Kasten was part of the solution or part of the problem.

Posted by: TimDz | September 23, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Look on the bright side, maybe he'll take Clint and the Nat Pack with him.

Posted by: blankspace | September 23, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Well another disapointment... (Working for the Lerners must be very frustrating) Stan did bring in Rizzo (that I really believe was the right hire) but overall I don't think he did much to change the culture of losing. YOU DONT INVITE PHILLY FANS TO OUR GAMES!! PERIOD. I'm also tired of hearing about "The Plan". That got old this year... We need to add payroll "big time" but that isn't my call. I will support them but it's very frustrating to see this team "going in circles".

Posted by: timb67 | September 23, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Opinion? Riiight, sure Boz. I'd say it was more than just "opinion," but when your primary source tells you something off the record, you gotta honor that.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 23, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

As a season ticket holder, this concerns me greatly - not so much Kasten leaving, but the reason, at least according to Bos. It sounds like DC has two "bookend" owners. Danny boy spends lavishly with poor advice and turns the Skins into losers......the Lerners won't spend the money needed to turn the Nats around despite having one of the best advisers in the business. Either way, DC fans lose.

Posted by: eurekaj | September 23, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

What a joke if anybody believes Kasten stabilized a franchise that was on life support. MLB paired Kasten with the Lerners because they didn't want the Nats new owner to spend money on players. I hope with Kasten leaving it's a signal the Lerners are tired of losing and ready to spend money acquiring players.

Posted by: 4U2Know | September 23, 2010 2:39 PM | Report abuse

People saying this is a good thing for the Nats really are idiots. No, seriously...you're idiots.

Stan Kasten is among the best in business and one of the most respected front office people in not just baseball, but all of sports (he has been a GM in 3 different professional sports MLB, NBA, and NHL).

Posted by: Barno1 | September 23, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

I'm not disappointed at all. We're year six into the return of baseball, and the product is as shoddy as ever. The "PLAN" has not worked...who, exactly, is in the system right now that gives you goosebumps? Harper? That's about it. And he was a no-brainer of a number one pick anyway. There's no dominant pitcher or position player in the minors that will help this team in the next three years. The team swings and misses on the best free agents, and settles for the Jason Marquis' and Lousy Esteban's of the world. The ballpark is nice, but not spectacular. The neighborhood around it still stinks. The fan experience at the game is meh. The dang PA announcer does his "LETS GET READY TO RUMBLE" routine for EVERY batter...clue phone, you don't need to pump up the crowd when Willie Harris is batting in the bottom of the 8th inning in a blowout loss. The beer is too expensive. It's like Riggleman said the other day, the honeymoon is going to be over at some point. I personally think its over already. So what if StanK leaves? The team stinks, and will continue to stink going forward.

Posted by: trezmartin | September 23, 2010 2:46 PM | Report abuse

"People saying this is a good thing for the Nats really are idiots. No, seriously...you're idiots.

Stan Kasten is among the best in business and one of the most respected front office people in not just baseball, but all of sports (he has been a GM in 3 different professional sports MLB, NBA, and NHL)."

and has had little success in 2 of the 3. Further, the 3rd, the Braves, he takes way way too much credit for.

Posted by: JDB1 | September 23, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I don't know if kasten leaving is good or bad for the Nats. I do know the learners as owners is bad for the Nats. The learners need to learn that in todays sports world it takes money to build a championship team which should be the goal of every owner. Every season they ask the fans to be patient the Plan will work, meanwhile they charge a fortune to eat at the partk, a fortune to park, and lets not talk about the ticket prices for a basement team. I do not plan to attend another Nats game until they put a competitive team on the field.

Posted by: aviator3 | September 23, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually really excited about this. This year, as I was about 6 Bud Lights deep, I ran into Stan (club level elevators), and I asked him point blank; "When will we be a winning team Stan? At the very least, when will we be a product worth watching?" Granted, no team president should ever really have to listen to, or even respond to a gentleman who is double fisting and looking for answers, so his brush no answer didn't concern me. What did concern me was his general demeanor. Stan isn't really an affable guy, he isn't really even controversial. He's what I call vanilla. I am a big believer that teams reflect their leadership. I keep saying that this team has been vanilla for quite some time. Perhaps new leadership will bring us another flavor. I'm hoping for something/someone with some pizazz!

Posted by: NatsandSkinsareclassclassclass | September 23, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

StanK resigning amounts to about as much as throwing some chaise lounges off the Titanic.

The problem isn't purely StanK - even for all his nonsensical bombast about The Plan and his p!ssing on Nats fans by inviting Phillies fans down and all that jive.

The problem IS, HAS BEEN and always WILL BE the money-grubbing Lerners. Until they are gone, everything else is simply applying cosmetics to an ugly sow. At the end of the day, nothing will change.

Enjoy your mostly empty stadium.

Posted by: medic2010 | September 23, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea is Kasten is really as good as claimed, or if he's just another blowhard like Syd Thrift whose chief talent was taking credit for work done by others and coasting for years on his bogus reputation. I do know that if ownership wasn't willing to spend the money necessary to improve things, he could be a modern day Branch Rickey and it wouldn't have made any difference. Also, whoever replaces him is bound to want his own person working as GM, so it's highly likely that Rizzo will be leaving as well. Either that or getting shifted into a position with just about no responsibilities.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 23, 2010 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Coukd he take Riggleman with him????

Posted by: Dog-1 | September 23, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Could he take Riggleman with him????

Posted by: Dog-1 | September 23, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

I predict Mark Lerner will take over as president, and hire VPs of marketing, etc., under him. Rizzo stays.

I don't think it matters much that Stan departs. What matters is why. If it's true that the Lerners have been unwilling to invest in the team, that's a serious problem no matter who runs the operation day-to-day.

If, on, the other hand, it's just a personality difference, or Stan wanting to go back to Atlanta, or whatever, it may not be such a terrible thing. Stan was not a good public face for the franchise, though the Lerners themselves have been worse. A group of senior management with worse marketing and PR sense I cannot recall in professional sports (and yes, I am including Snyder), with the possible exception of Peter Angelos. (Bob Irsay and Walter O'Malley may be hated more in the towns they left, but they were heroes in their new homes.)

I suspect we will learn quite a bit over the next few days. And a big clue will be what happens with Adam Dunn, how it happens, and why.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 23, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Way to go Lerners. We know Stan didn't want Bowden but was overruled by the Lerners. We know he wanted to spend on free agents before the park opened so the team would be more attractive to the fans and was overruled. We know that he's wanted to do more things but has been overruled from day 1.

All I know is I won't be spending another dollar at that park until they make a serious effort to upgrade the team. One run at Teixeira (which everyone knew was a one in a million shot) doesn't cut it. Nor does getting Dunn on the cheap.

I went to 15 games this year and spent plenty of my money on a bad team. Won't happen again next year.

Posted by: JDR1970 | September 23, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners are just another real estate development family like the Pollins that bought a Washington franchise and then kept it hostage, trying to manage it as if it were a grocery store or a Wal-Mart.

Lerner is just as reluctant as Pollin was to spend any money on players.

The big difference seems to be that Pollin at least put his money where his mouth was in financing his own stadium in DC.

Lerner had the city give him a stadium for free and still refuses to invest in the team.

Can you believe it?

In a time where you see owners like Snyder, Paul Allen, Jerry Buss, Mark Cuban and others that are WILLING to spend in sports that have salary caps, in the one sport that doesn't Washington is saddled with a cheapskate owner.

Posted by: RoyHobbs4 | September 23, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

Mr. StanK's Top 10 List:
(1) Fired F Robby and offered him a humiliating job doing nothing for no one.
(2) Hired JimBo Bowden
(3) Hired Manny Acta
(4) Hired Manny's twin, Jim Riggleman
(5) Went on Philly sports talk radio and invited fans to the Nats home opener.
(6) Conceived of "The Plan."
(7) Lost 103 games
(8) Lost 102 games
(9) Brought in Elija Dukes and his entourage of bodyguards and handlers
(10) Convinced the Lerners he is a buffoon.

And why will we miss this guy????

Posted by: howjensen | September 23, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

OMG !!!!! The Reality Gods... in town for the River Ratz vs Astros series.....have once again done their job well....now if they can only keep the woeful Astros bullpen off the field today....
Kasten, the architect of the 3 in a row LAST PLACE team along the banks of the Anacostia...and 7 losses away from 300 over 3 seasons......a few days from going under .400 %%..and ditto being overtaken by the Orioles in the winning %% column...

Maybe one day i can BE a Natz Nerd again..rather than a Hater of Natz Nerdz blind faith delusions and denial....for that to maybe happen , they would have to jettison Riggleman, the clueless RETREAD....

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | September 23, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Everyone thinks Rizzo is so brilliant, I'm sure he'll just move up. Maybe, he has a relative that can come in and GM. Or even better...just get rid of the GM position and save even more money.

Posted by: starsky13 | September 23, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

This is truning into another great franchise. I heard Montreal is looking for a team.

Posted by: hersheyman | September 23, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Think of all the great ways baseball has graced this city:

- Given us a lousy owner
- Given the team a lousy tv contract that gives most of the revenue to an out of town team owner. Fortunately, he hasn't been able to collect any revenues at this point.
- Given us a lousy team, and consequently, lots of losing seasons
- Given us a lousy new stadium. Yea, I'll say it. Nationals park isn't that picturesque in comparison with all the over new parks. DC has tons of beautiful scenic views, but the only view you see out of Nationals stadium is that of an office park.
- Lastly, the stadium has failed to revitalize the area around it.

Thank you baseball!


Posted by: niceshoes1 | September 23, 2010 5:29 PM | Report abuse

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