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Stan Kasten is in the press box, and he is ANGRY

Some of the words uttered by Nationals President Stan Kasten just now can be printed. Others, I'm afraid, cannot.

Kasten is concerned that the Nationals are getting blamed for something that -- he said quite loudly -- "IS NOT OUR FAULT."

"I want to make sure this is heard not in a whisper," Kasten said. I can assure you there was no chance of that.

"On no occasion are the Nats responsible for which network carries the games," Kasten said. "This has happened too often. I'm damn tired of it."

Kasten said, and I do not know this first-hand, that Comcast had told some folks that the Nationals had decided to black this game out. That made him, um, well, let's see ... upset? No, I'll go with livid.

He reiterated that the Nationals don't have control over where the games are carried. Y'all know who does. MASN is owned by Orioles owner Peter Angelos. That doesn't mean Angelos is pushing a button and blacking out a Nats game. But it doesn't help perception, clearly. And it just angered Kasten, who again mentioned how the team had no control over all this. (Sense a theme?)

"I wish we did," Kasten said. "I pray that we did. Alas, we don't."

By Barry Svrluga  |  August 4, 2007; 8:13 PM ET
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Next: With 52 left, have your expectations changed?



Posted by: Sec 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | August 4, 2007 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Still no MASN2 on Verizon. I called Verizon and explained that other Cable providers, including Comcast, were now carrying the game. The service rep had no clue. That 5-4-3 double play sure sounded good. Go Nats!

Posted by: Natstivity1959 | August 4, 2007 8:55 PM | Report abuse

... I want you all to know that I understand only too well, your frustrations. I had endured more than a couple of seasons without any TV or radio broadcasts of Expos games. It is a very difficult thing to do, to be a faithful and active fan without any such respect from those who control the media.

... and let me say this: in my case, there was no one who cared. Now we at least have Kasten who is, if Barry has characterized it correctly, as pissed as all you are. There may even be an opportunity in this to have MLB itself look into the shenanigans that Angelos is up to.

... I am doing the best I can to follow the Nats on GameDay, but I would be just as pissed as all of you if it were suddenly taken away.

... you're missing a damned good game tonight.

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

We still don't have the game on Verizon-FIOS in Germantown. I called the Nats and was forwarded to JimBo's office. A nice lady named Carylon (sp) told me they were working on it. She took my phone number and said she would call back with some info. (I thought "Sure".) To my surprise, she called back and said the problem had been resolved. I informed her that I have Verizon and didn't have the game. (My mom has Comcast and got the game around the 4-5 inning). Carylon ask me how to spell FIOS and I am waiting for a call back.

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | August 4, 2007 9:08 PM | Report abuse

... in the meantime, this Nats team is Damned Good!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 4, 2007 9:18 PM | Report abuse

If I was older
Baseball radio broadcast
Brings back memories

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 4, 2007 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Memories include
Hatred of Charm City punk
Asbestos take him!

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 4, 2007 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Yet another example of why there are no acceptable circumstances for Washingtonians to support Angelo$ and the Orioles in any way.

Perhaps The Post could stand by Nats fans and black out the next Orioles home series. In a more perfect world, it would be all of them until the Nats have their TV rights back, but at least one would be a start.

Posted by: WFY | August 4, 2007 9:44 PM | Report abuse

... Ryan Zimmerman makes errors because he makes attempts on everything, even the ones mere humans would give up on. At the plate he is tearing the cover off the ball these days.

... so if Zimm were to go down and onto the DL for a while, who would play third?

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 4, 2007 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Stan the Plan has successfully completed step one, get pissed. Now he needs to do something. Buy out Angelos and get that damn Orioles truck out of DC.

Posted by: PowerBoater69 | August 4, 2007 10:04 PM | Report abuse

If the area cable operators black out Nationals games as a result of some black-box Orioles-operated MASN operation, I wonder why the DC newspapers don't elect to do the same and black-out Orioles coverage in DC?

I for one am damn tired of this bs. I am about ready to cancel my subscription to the Post; I've heard Loverro from the Times talk about the upcoming Sox and Yankees series in RFK, which shows how little he follows the team.

The only way this will be resolved is if DC area residents make their choice between teams. I respect the history in this area and what Cal and the O's did as a stop gap. But the Orioles also served to block our enjoyment of hometown baseball for at least a generation. All things considered, I'll respect Cal while rejecting the Angelos' led O's.

Posted by: MountieNatsFan | August 4, 2007 10:14 PM | Report abuse

Same problem here. I called Verizon twice and was told that the game was blacked out.

Maybe WDCA-20 is to blame. The Post this morning said that the game would be on Channel 20 and on MASN2. Did WDCA pull the plug and conveniently forget to tell anyone at Verizon or Comcast?

Someone at the Post needs to get to the bottom of this and find out who was responsible.

Posted by: Sue in Arlington | August 4, 2007 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Do you know that the Nationals are 9 games behind in the wildcard race and there are still 50 games to go?

Posted by: SF Fan | August 4, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

......and 8 teams ahead of them. I agree with the sentiment, though -- games out of the wild card is as good a stat as any in judging the success of this team at year's end. Arguably, anything under 10 games out makes Manny Manager of the Year, considering some of the 120-loss predictions froms the "experts."

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 4, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Okay, that means we need 31-19 to finish at 500 - what a game!

Posted by: Traveler | August 4, 2007 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Y'all thought I was all poem, no pop, didn't ya?

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 4, 2007 10:23 PM | Report abuse

F-ing Bonds.

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 4, 2007 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I would like to know why my message was deleted?

Is it b/c I referenced cancelling my Post subscription b/c of the O's coverage? B/c of pointing on this ignorance of the Times reporters on the Nationals?

I thought this was supposed to be a blog. I didn't levy any personal attack, I think it's bush you deleted my criticism.

Posted by: MountieNatsFan | August 4, 2007 10:35 PM | Report abuse

MountieNatsFan: I can still see your blog...

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | August 4, 2007 10:41 PM | Report abuse

I personally am hoping Bonds doen't hit another dinger tomorrow (he'll probably have the day off). With the Nats playing this well I want the whole country to be forced to watch every single at bat for Bonds vs the Nats while we pound them all week.

With the way we are playing,who wouldn't pick us to win at least 3 of 4 in SF?

BTW I was at the game, great to see, sorry so many of you missed it on TV. I didn't get a bobblehead though so don't hate me too much.

Oh yea, and I was way up in the outfield,but Zim ALMOST hit a ball to me, I'm surprised the ball still had the cover on it he hit that thing so hard!

Posted by: estuartj | August 4, 2007 11:02 PM | Report abuse

It would appear from what Verizon/FIOS is telling me tht as far as they are concerned WDCA (Channel 20 ota Channel 6 FIOS Montgomery) "blacked out the game" relieving FIOS from carrying the game on their normal MASN-2 channel (Channel 1-"FIOS 1). Comcast, apparently, when made aware of Channel 20's pefidy, downlinked the feed to another channel. However, this is all sumised on my part. The Post need report a definitve account. I am going to the Smithsonian thing at the Park tomorrow, where besides all the provided food and drink you can stomach, we will hear pregame "lectures." If some of the lectures are a Lerner or Kasten, you may count on it I will ask about tonight unless beat to the punch by other attendees (sold out event, so there will be many.) On other matters discussed above, my prediction of 71-72 games looks good, but forget the wild card. We would have to keep up this pace (not impossible but highly improbable) and too many teams would have to go on 20 game loss streaks at the same time. That's almost impossible.

Posted by: Section 417 Row 8 Seat 9 | August 4, 2007 11:08 PM | Report abuse

Police blotter: Cruised by a pair of incidents on the way back to the hutch, an apparent domestic disturbance at Florida Avenue & H Street NE and an apparent grand theft auto at Georgia Avenue & Blair Road NW. Missed the cable rage at 24th & East Capitol Streets SE, but trust that there's an APB out for P. Angelos, last known address Baltimore. And here's wishing DC's finest a safe and quiet rest of the Saturday night.

This report brought to you by Double Dactyl. Take one after every Nats win:

St. Louis Cardinals
Yield a dozen, down
Quietly go.

Washington Nationals
Earn curly-W
Six in a row.

Oh you Nats!

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Make that five. Or else pretend that I'm clairvoyant about Sunday.

Posted by: Hendo | August 4, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

I sure hope that SOMEONE (Barry?) can give us an explanation as to what happened this evening with the Nat's broadcast of the game. As I said in an earlier message, I tried to find out by calling the Nat's. They were trying everything they could to fix the problem and they were successful in getting Comcast to air the game but nothing on Verizon. At least, I feel the Nat's and Verizon and MASN OWE the faithful an answer!

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | August 4, 2007 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Get DirecTV and you can watch whatever you want!

Posted by: Arlington | August 4, 2007 11:31 PM | Report abuse

Thanks Arlington, however due to HOA rules I can't put the dish on my T-House. Before getting Verizon I carefully checked that all the Nat's games would be carried. Now I don't know if Verizon is to blame but I sure want to know!

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | August 4, 2007 11:40 PM | Report abuse

What an evening...

I was sitting in the section next to where Zim's first home run landed. Sitting in the upper deck and seeing an absolute bomb head your way is quite the sensation.

I always think seeing that we are 10 games below .500 is a little misleading. This is a team that is only 5 wins away from .500.

Posted by: Mr. 300* | August 4, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Mr. 300*,

We you wearing a save the meat t-shirt? I was sitting next to a guy on a date who had one on and I couldn't help thinking "is this one of the members of our blogesphere?"

Posted by: estuartj | August 4, 2007 11:52 PM | Report abuse

Mr. 300: I know the feeling...I remember sitting in left field upper deck when Frank Howard hit his blasts. Nothing like it! Maybe we are watching a gem in the making with Zimm.

Posted by: Nick from Germantown | August 4, 2007 11:55 PM | Report abuse

Nick whispers in wonder: "Maybe we are watching a gem in the making with Zimm."

No "maybe" about it, Nick. I about exhausted my superlatives in earlier threads -- and those for a man whose fielding and hitting are not yet quite where a lot of us would like to see them.

Absent catastrophe, these things look most likely to fall into place. We are uniquely blessed to be able to sit back, relax, and watch it happen.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 12:12 AM | Report abuse

Well, that's the great thing about living in NC -- you never miss a game. And you do get 1500 at night; ironically, when I went to sign up with MLB for day games, I found out that we are in the "local market area" so home games are blacked out.

Which segues to my great news -- I'm in DC the night of 9/5, and since it was a single ticket, I got section 111. Svrluga heads, stop by!! First time to see the Nats at RFK, although I was a regular there for farmer's market when I lived on the Hill.

I can only hope Colome pitches. Why? Abcess makes the heart grow fonder...

Posted by: David in NC | August 5, 2007 12:15 AM | Report abuse

Nick feels that "the Nats and Verizon and MASN OWE the faithful an answer!"

Considering the issue in its larger context -- for which many of us were torched on earlier threads -- this nonsense has to stop. This is DC. We have a team, a team that is building and growing and giving us all they've got, and we want coverage. Blanket, focused coverage. The hell with shutting one eye and ignoring the O's obsession on the part of still too many DC media outlets and pundits. (Barry, you're off the hook.)

Speaking for those who agree, we are pissed, and we want answers, and we want them right now.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 12:20 AM | Report abuse

Great game, but I agree with Wigi in an earlier thread. I like the close, harder working games so much better. Believe it or not, I was starting to cringe when we went over 7 runs.
Anyway, I think I can vouch for Barry and his description of Kasten being, um, a little on the grouchy side. I was in a section tonight that happened to be in full view of the entrances to the media box (high rows in 314). We saw Kasten storm out of one of the doors, went into another one, came out with some guy and although we couldn't hear him, his body language was quite animated.
BTW, saw that Barry dude (ours) and gave him a shout-out too. Barry, I CANNOT believe how much stuff you churn out in a night. Not only were you writing about Tolman, the gamer, and the TV SNAFU, but you also must have been following the blog comments in real time in order to get the SNAFU fixed. I am seriously bowing to you.

Hey does anyone get as strong a feeling as I do that our boy Lannan is being set up for the record-breaking pitch in SF??

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 12:30 AM | Report abuse

Earlier Nook Haters: How's the crow tasting?

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 12:42 AM | Report abuse

One more thing. Where's the K count at the stadium these days? CareFirst used to keep the count up by its sign but I haven't seen the game K tally anywhere. Anyone know why?

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 12:44 AM | Report abuse

Wow, glad I decided to splurge on $9 upper deck tickets for the whole family or I would have been going nuts!

Not to add fuel to the fire because I really don't care one way or the other and have great respect for the broadcasters (who I separate from the company), but I noticed the MASN trailer the last couple games and the giant Orioles logo on the side of it facing the stadium. I haven't walked into the parking lot on the other side to see if there's an equally huge Nationals logo, but it did strike me as remarkable to have your broadcast trailer with a "rival" logo emblazoned all over the side of it.

Posted by: misschatter | August 5, 2007 12:55 AM | Report abuse



If they can afford $450 million for the team, what's an extra $200 million?

Posted by: Juan-John | August 5, 2007 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Barry multitasks
homers, K's, hits, hurts, and food
Feeds us baseball love

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 1:01 AM | Report abuse

NatsNut puts it In Our Face, deservedly: "Earlier Nook Haters: How's the crow tasting? ;)"

Damned bitter, thank you. I have been a Nook basher in past posts, but given current events, both on- and off-field, I am over that.

Whatever Nook's flaws and foibles, he's our guy, and my guy. As are all our guys.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 1:01 AM | Report abuse

To Hendo:

Zimm, what can we say
Exhausted superlatives
all understated

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 1:12 AM | Report abuse

And before there's any perception of disrespect or disregard for Our Man Svrluga: Barry, this was an awesome post.

There's nothing like direct quotes to erase ambiguity. Stan is right on.

The theme to which Barry alludes is real, and deserves the exposure he gave it tonight, and further explication. May the keyboard that explicates it be his.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 1:14 AM | Report abuse

It doesn't affect me directly, because I don't get to see MASN... but I really find it annoying that the Nationals organization is subjected to the whims of MASN, which has a conflict of interest regarfing the delivery of the Nats games. I am not suggesting that there's someone in a darkened room saying "Black out the Nats game, and make it look like an accident..." But I bet the Orioles broadcasts don't suffer the same quality lapses.

The people that are looking for the game know where to look, know who to call to complain, etc.. But the people sitting at home, deciding what to watch on a Saturday night, they didn't get the choice... and on a night like tonight, where the game was as entertaining as it was... these little missed opportunities add up.

NatsNut: My glass half empty analysis is that most of those runs tonight were wasted. Hope we get some tomorrow...

Posted by: Wigi | August 5, 2007 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Okay. Enough of this nonsense. I'm going to bed.

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 1:17 AM | Report abuse which I meant *my own* nonsense, of course...

Posted by: NatsNut | August 5, 2007 1:20 AM | Report abuse

Wigi absolutely nails all the issues in all respects except one with which I have a wee quibble.

If I may express respectful disagreement -- and, having had the privilege to meet Wigi and enjoy some Nats baseball and baseball talk in his Anchorage office, I trust that I can -- not one of those runs was wasted. Every good at-bat and man on base, be it in the first inning or the last, robs an opposing pitcher of an out, and/or forces him to work harder.

La Russa was not unmindful of that contingency. Look how he put an infielder on the mound in the ninth. (Aaron Miles worked easy and fast, by the way, and put the Nats down 1-2-3, with two groundball outs yet.)

And because of all that, not to worry; the Nats are apt to get some runs tomorrow. I'm looking very much forward to another crankin' day at RFK.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 1:35 AM | Report abuse

Oops, another goof. That was the eighth. The last inning, anyhow.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 1:36 AM | Report abuse

To HaikuMan, NatsNut et al.:

Haiku's another
Understated medium
Ably expressed here.

And thanks for the contributions.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 1:40 AM | Report abuse

" not one of those runs was wasted. Every good at-bat and man on base, be it in the first inning or the last, robs an opposing pitcher of an out, and/or forces him to work harder."

And given the Nats' 9-25 start to the season, wins like these help balance out the space-time continuum for me. Still need a few more wins like that to completely balance it out, though. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John | August 5, 2007 2:13 AM | Report abuse

I agree, really, that the runs weren't wasted... That was the reason I prefaced it with my "glass half empty" comment...

I posted in a previous thread that this is my least favorite kind of win... but as I wade through the game in my mind, they really did a lot of things right... it wasn't all St. Louis' poor play... but that helped. The thing is, poor teams win games like that by a run or two.

I watched the end of the Florida - Houston game... and watching them, in contrast to the Nats game, was like watching paint dry... Florida won on a two-base wild pitch... which ended up in the dugout.

Posted by: Wigi | August 5, 2007 3:05 AM | Report abuse

Wigi -

If it makes you feel any better, it was Bill James, I think, that pointed out the following fact: When looking at the various splits in a team's record (home/road, day/night, etc.) the place where good teams really separate themselves is in games decided by 4 runs or more. Most people think it's important to have a great record in one run games. That's a fallacy. Instead it's better to pound people more often than you get pounded. 1st place teams generally are just a bit over .500 in one run games, but are usually .750 or better in blow outs.

Posted by: #4 | August 5, 2007 4:20 AM | Report abuse

Just a comment on the TV thing: When the games are on 20, they're still produced by MASN, 20 just distributes them. If the cable companies thought 20 was distributing last night's game they (Comcast, Verizon, etc) wouldn't have also carried it (right?). So it sounds to me like someone between 20 and MASN and the cable companies is having a reception problem.

Although the image of a darkened room which Wigi evokes is entertaining.

And a comment on Nook Logan. I like the guy, he's fast. He can change the tenor of the game once he's on the bases. Lately he's been better about getting there. But he has a problem judging balls hit to centerfield. He always (nearly) runs backward before he runs forward. Only his speed saves him. And as the one who is supposed to be the leader of the outfield, I think he needs a more commanding voice and more confidence in judging fly balls in order to call off the LF/RF guys.

Barry ... you get to the park for Nats batting practice. Can you tell us if Nook practices in center during BP?

Posted by: i hate walks | August 5, 2007 8:45 AM | Report abuse

My haiku power
Spreads across the Post's sports blogs

Posted by: HaikuMan | August 5, 2007 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Just a reminder (following up on Barry's earlier reminder -- thanks!): You have one extra quick stop to make on the way to the ballpark tomorrow.

Swing by your local retail outlet that carries school supplies -- the grocery store will do in a pinch -- and pick up an armload of notebooks or pens or whatever strikes your fancy. Then put them in the bins being run by the Nats' First Ladies as you approach the gates at RFK.

A local school will thank you, though they know not who you be.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 10:06 AM | Report abuse

Goof number three: That is TODAY. Sunday. Gates open at 12:05.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

... Manny looks to .500, and I like the man's style. But as a fan, I'm checking the wild card race every day to see if we're moving up that particular ladder. Will we be in that race at the end of the year? Highly unlikely, but hey lookit! We've arrived at a place where it's a dream we can latch onto. Go Nats!

... beautiful sunny day here in New Brunswick. The humidity os gone; the sun remains - a gorgeous summer day and I'll be outside enjoying it. So go Matt Chico; go Zimm, and Dmitri, and Ronnie B. Go Nook - keep it up; come on Austin: get that southern energy in gear. When I get back, I want to hear all about the second eewps in a row. Go Nats Again!!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 5, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

"I personally am hoping Bonds doen't hit another dinger tomorrow (he'll probably have the day off). With the Nats playing this well I want the whole country to be forced to watch every single at bat for Bonds vs the Nats while we pound them all week."

... one good thing for me at least, in the way this Bonds thing has turned out. One of the Canadian sports networks is playing every Giants game until he breaks the record, so I get to see the Nats play on TV, albeit at midnight, for the next three games. Please pray that Barry whiffs each time, so they show the whole series. It's a Godsend I tell you! Go Nats!

Posted by: natscan reduxit | August 5, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Barry, since you mentioned your Tolman notebook piece from this morning's $1.50 edition (remember, it's Sunday) let me ask you to clarify this bit from it:

"And [Tolman] had infielder Felipe Lopez slow up as he came into third, when Tolman was planning to send him home. Lopez was thrown out."

To me, this reads like Tolman first signaled Lopez to slow down, and then waved him home. From other accounts I've read of this play (I didn't see it myself) it sounded instead like Lopez was inexplicably loafing while running the bases, slowing down at an unexpected point, which thwarted Tolman's decision to send him home. In other words, the fault was Lopez's, not Tolman's, whereas the way you wrote it makes it sound like it was all Tolman's doing. Could you clarify this, please? I have personally seen Lopez loafing on the basepaths several other times, so I'd be willing to believe that he was doing it again in this situation.

Posted by: Section 419 | August 5, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

I like how Logan is playing lately, he is making a good case for being the 4th outfielder next year. I think he will make a great PR and defensive replacement for Young in LF late in games next year.

He would also make a great back-up to Aaron Rowand if Jim Bowden can make that miracle happen.

Posted by: estuartj | August 5, 2007 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Natscan entreats: "Please pray that Barry whiffs each time, so they show the whole series."

For Natscan's sake, extending the span of Nats visibility is a worthy hope.

But you know what? I really don't give a rat's if a Nats pitcher does pull an Al Downing in SF. Because you know what else? That unlucky man is gonna climb back up the hill, and he's gonna try to get the next batter out, and the Nats are gonna battle on.

That's the way our guys have been working this season. That's as it should be. The lesson may be lost on those who gape at gaudy numbers, and to whom Bud and the Lords have been pandering in the post-strike years.

Too bad for them. It ain't lost on us. Thanks, guys.

Posted by: Hendo | August 5, 2007 11:07 AM | Report abuse

We don't have cable and look forward to the games on Channel 20. WDCA did not broadcast it and there was no explanation on WDCA and noone answering the phones there. I called the Nats who said they would call back though they did not do so (it is now the next day).

I know most people have cable or satellite but if you want to build a loyal fan base you need broadcast coverage. And when a game is supposed to be on, it should be on. If it is not, the responsible party should apologize. Whether the Nats misreported info, or Channel 20, or what have you, there is some real amateurism in not being able to get a game on when it is advertised to be on.

Posted by: How will I become a fan . . | August 5, 2007 12:48 PM | Report abuse

People don't get MASN 2 around here?

Posted by: Will | August 5, 2007 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Next time you talk to Stan, tell him the new programs/scorebooks are horrible! For the second game in a row mine fell apart as soon as I folded it open. It's bad enough that I have to pay $5 every game to get a scorecard. Some teams sell programs with all the info for $5 and simple scorecards for less.

Wish the Post was handing out papers with scorecards like they did in 2005

Posted by: Sec 515 | August 5, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

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