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The Stanifesto

Here is the full transcript, as promised, of team president Stan Kasten's address to fans yesterday at the NatsFest.


You see my friends here, you see Manny Acta and Mike Rizzo and Jim [Bowden] or, as I like to call them, 'the guys that get the blame for everything' -- so, thanks, but they've had their time to talk all day, and I want to talk to you a little bit today about how I see stuff and what I see for the franchise and what I see for the upcoming season. And I'm gonna try to be candid today. I hope that's OK with everyone. It isn't always OK, because sometimes when people are candid you don't get what you would like to get. I tell people the story -- during the 1999 NLCS I was with the Braves then and we were playing the Dreaded, Hated New York Mets. That's what we used to call them, the Mets, down there. It's also what we call the Mets here, by the way. But they were less dreaded then because in the '90s we always beat them. But, we were in the NLCS together, and the worst thing about playing the Dreaded, Hated New York Mets was we also got to contend with the Dreaded, Hated New York Media, who follows them everywhere.

And it was during this season that we had a young emerging star becoming a media sensation. He was our closer. Someone named John Rocker. You've all heard that name. Well, this was before he became really, really famous. (Laughter.) OK? It was like a month before he became really, really famous. So during the games there is always a media session beforehand, and John was just beginning his celebrity, and he was spouting off about New York this and New York that and just killing people -- and of course the New York media loves nothing better than this. And so the next day there's a column about what a great young face for baseball this is. What candor! What refreshing candor! This is just what baseball needs.

And so the writer, the columnist for the New York Post, was a friend of mine, and I went over to him because we saw a trainwreck about to happen. We knew this was riding off the rails in the not too distant future, and this was the last thing baseball needed. So I went to the writer the next day before the game and I said, 'You're out of your mind.'

And he said, 'No no, Stan, this is the best thing for baseball. Candor. Candor is great; we love candor.'

I said, really, 'You like candor?'

He says, 'Yeah.'

'You want some candor? I think you're an idiot.'


And a month later I was proven right when he did that famous story in Sports Illustrated. Anyway, I am gonna try to be candid to you and tell you what I see for this team, because I couldn't be more optimistic about where we are and where we are going. Just from my perspective you try to put things in context. Last year by the time the year ended we were the youngest team in baseball. By the time the year ended we were the most injured team in baseball. Now, young teams always have a problem winning -- not just in this league but in any sport. Injured teams always have a problem winning. And so when you're the youngest and the most injured, let's face it, you're gonna have a problem winning. And that's what we experienced last year.

But we've had a very productive offseason. I know maybe we haven't yet had the headlines you wanted us to make -- yet -- but we still have had a very productive offseason. The injuries, you know, we haven't talked a lot about this but we took it very seriously, and without pointing fingers or blaming one, we have completely revamped our strength and conditioning program. We have completely revamped our medical staff -- again, without blaming anyone, but taking a hard look at the things we could fix and we set out to do that. On the playing field, again without blaming anyone, we felt we needed some changes, some new blood on the coaching staff, and we completely replaced the coaching staff except for Randy St. Claire. Those are the subtle things we have done. But that young team and that injured team is now coming back a year older, a year more mature, with a lot of good young talent. And that team that was injured last year -- they're all healthy. They're all coming back healthy. Though I do have to tell ya: Tommy Glavine, back in Atlanta, once said to me -- and he couldn't have been more right -- that no matter how hard you train all offseason, after the first workout on the first day of spring training, nobody is ever 100 percent anymore for the rest of the year.

So, but we all have to endure that and young players typically can endure the marathon much better than older players. So, we're a little older. We're a little more experienced. We're quite a bit healthier. In addition we've made some pretty good changes to our team. I was very pleased that we could add a young, proven veteran like Josh Willingham, and now we have I think the makings of a very good offense. The team last year that was last in the National League in runs now has a chance to be very good offensively. That excites me. The other additions we've made -- Scott Olsen, Daniel Cabrera -- you can think of us as having replaced Tim Redding and Odalis Perez with Scott Olsen and Daniel Cabrera. I like those moves. Not that Tim didn't do a good job for us; not that Odalis didn't do a great job for us. But where we're going, I feel much better giving the shot to two young pitchers in our rotation so that we can all grow together. So I'm feeling very good about that.

And, we're still working on stuff. I don't know where we're going to wind up, but I do know we're still working, and as Jim has told you he works every day to talk to the free agents that we're interested in, he talks to teams about the trades we're interested in, and I don't know that the team is going to be much different between now and Opening Day, but we all want it to be. We all want to continue to supplement what we have, and we're all working hard at it.

We also have an awful lot of depth, though, at least position-wise, so we know we're going to have some competitions on the diamond all through our extra-long spring training this year -- because of the World Baseball Classic it's longer than usual, so we have more time for more competition for more jobs. So, I know we're going to be better than last year already. I'm optimistic about it. And I can't wait to get started.

Your experience at the ballpark is gonna be better. Many of you know we're putting in our three statues that will be our in the centerfield plaza either by Opening Day or shortly thereafter -- Josh Gibson and Walter Johnson and Frank Howard. They will be out there. Big changes to the Red Porch right behind you. People don't know, I think, that the Red Porch was the last thing built in this stadium. The stadium was built starting from the right field bullpen and working around. And so the last thing completed was the Red Porch. We got it literally the day before the season opened. So all year long it was really just a shell. What's gonna happen there is the walls you see now out there where it says Red Porch are being blow out, and it's going to open up right into the ballpark with tables out into the stands. The other wall into the plaza is being blown out; we're having the patio with seats on the plaza with a firepit out there. And of course we're changing the floors and the walls and the menu, so it's going to be a much different experience.

We're also putting a stage in centerfield so that we can have even more pre-game activities and continue to make this a great place to come to three hours before the game, which is when we open up. It's a great place to watch BP, and if you don't want to watch BP there is plenty of other things you can do out there. Also new this year: We're gonna have the MASN pre-game show live from center field every night. And Johnny and Ray will be there and also -- there are still some surprises we have to announce about that; that's gonna be happening in the plaza before every game this year.

We have some changes coming in the food preparation and service and quality area I can't talk about yet, but we are going to make some announcements soon -- not just in the food quality, but also in the way we try to reach out to fans. We're going to have more in the way of value meals this year, because we know the budget is something everyone is worried about. (Applause.) We're gonna tinker with some all-you-can-eat sections on certain nights; this has become popular in other cities. We're going to try experimenting with it ourselves this year. You know that we've decreased the prices on season tickets on so many seats in the ballpark. We've decreased the prices on individual game ticket prices on so many seats this year. We're going to be announcing, I think soon, as soon as we can work it out, more of the packages that some of you have been asking about -- some of the specialty packages in certain sections, because it's something you have asked for. So we're gonna be doing that. We're trying to reach out in a hundred different ways to make what has always been true even more true in '09, and that is the very best [experience? value?... kind of inaudible, sorry] you can have, anywhere ever, to spend your three or four hours in the evening or afternoon at a major league ballpark. That has never been more true than it is today. Those who are watching their budget, you can't have a better time than coming to a ballpark. Irrespective of what that evening's score is, I know people have a great time coming when they come here, and they're gonna have a better time in '09.

Couple other things people ask me when I talk to them that I wanted to address here. First, payroll. 'Stan, what is the payroll gonna be?' I get that question a lot. I've always had it for all of the years I've been in sports, any of the sports I've been in, and I am bewildered why fans ask me that. Because first of all, I don't know. Second of all, if I knew I wouldn't tell you -- because I've never talked about payroll, and you know why? It's because you really don't care. You think you care. I know you don't care. And here's why: You don't care about payroll. Who here wanted us to sign Mark Teixeira? Show of hands. Anyone? OK. Me, too. But let me ask, do you care -- do you care -- if we paid him $180 million or $18 million dollars? You don't care what we're paying. You just want him here. I get that.

Another question. Do you want last year's -- I won't name the teams in the American League that had payrolls all over $100 million that ended up last -- do you want those $100 million teams? Or do you want the $40 million team from Tampa that went to the World Series? OK. You don't care about payroll. What you care about is your team. Payroll is not a guarantee of success, and it is not an excuse for losing. So don't be distracted by it, no matter how much the media wants you to be distracted by it. OK? Care about the team. Care about the moves we're making, care about the progress we're making. That's what you should be demanding. Be demanding that the team is aggressive, the team is making moves, the team has a plan -- and that is building toward the team that you want, not the payroll number that you want. Because that doesn't matter. Get the team that you want here. That is what you should always be focusing on. So that is my answer to that question.

And finally, a little philosophy. People ask me, 'Stan, how is the team gonna be in '09? How many wins are we gonna have?' And I don't -- it's impossible to predict, particularly because of injuries and particularly because we're a young team and the pace of development is something you can't know. And I also can't know how my competitors are gonna be. So you never can know. But I feel very good about our team across the diamond because we have young talent and even an excess of talent at all of our positions now. But the reason I really can't know about our team is because we could have the best offense in the league, and it still all comes down to pitching. That is just the way it is. It's always been that way. It's always gonna be that way in baseball. And for me, that is the big unknown about our team. We have at least five young guys that we're thinking will be in our rotation. I'm excited by that, because a year from now we may very well say, 'Wow, those were the five guys.' I think so. I hope so. I'd like that to be the case, because let's face it -- this is a personal philosophy of mine: I don't believe in signing free agent pitchers, at least not big ones.

I have this debate with people from time to time, usually also with agents for pitchers. I don't believe in signing -- I know [inaudible] will remind me that in my career I have signed big, successful free agent pitching contracts, and I'm sure I will again someday, but in my mind that really is a final piece in the puzzle. Before you spend money on a pitcher which is so expensive and so risky, I'd much rather go the way we're going, trotting out the young guys because not only are the young guys we have penciled in now really projecting to be big-time starters, but we also have a crop right behind them. So I like the way we're developing. If we get the five, or five of the eight, to turn the corner and become major league pitchers then we're off to the races -- right now, this year. If not, we have to keep working on it. But because you can't really buy pitching -- look at the contracts in the last five years of free agent pitchers; it's impossible to figure -- so because you can't buy pitching, I just believe in building our own... and I do feel it is happening. And I can't tell you which will be the final four or five pitchers that helps us cross the finish line, but I believe they're here, or I believe three or four of them are here and we can go get one more if that's what we need. So because I don't know how our pitching will be, I can't tell you how our season will be. But I feel good about our offense. I feel good enough about our defense out there. It will all turn on pitching.

I hope you're going to be patient with me as we watch our pitchers develop. I would rather do that than go out and make a very risky free agent pitching acquisition. Maybe that's too candid for some people. But that is how I feel about that. Anyway, that's all I have to say for now, and my time is starting to run down, so I do want to open this up and we'll now take questions.

By Chico Harlan  |  January 26, 2009; 12:43 PM ET
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Stanifesto - I like that!

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 26, 2009 12:57 PM | Report abuse

thanks Chico. know of anyone that had the Bowdenifesto?

Posted by: bottomfeeders10 | January 26, 2009 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for taking the time to transcribe that. Good reading.

Posted by: Aterio | January 26, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

The Stanifesto had a mine Planifesto in it, didn't it?

Honestly - although I know it's important - I don't give a flying crap about hot dogs or stages. That's like getting excited over the peas on your Thanksgiving plate.

I tend to agree with Stan on pitching. But on the notion of the Nats having an excess of talent at all positions, well, let's just say we'll agree to disagree.

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 26, 2009 1:35 PM | Report abuse

Can you transcribe the Acta "small ball" blow-up @ the luncheon?

Posted by: jctichen | January 26, 2009 1:39 PM | Report abuse

sincere thanks for the effort that took, Chico. Please know that it is appreciated.

Posted by: nats24 | January 26, 2009 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Let's see...the medical staff, the food offerings, new statues...

Somehow I don't think this is what they were focused on in similar events for the Mets, Braves, and Phillies.

In short, the pitch is "you'll pay less to see us lose, while having better food than last year. Not very uplifting.

Posted by: baseballindc1 | January 26, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I couldn't make the event. Can someone explain the 'small ball blow-up"?

Posted by: soundbloke | January 26, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Wow. After reading that, I felt like I was trying to buy a used car.

Stan "The Plan" has to be the ultimate BS filled used car salesman of all-time.

This team has so many holes, it's ridiculous. LH power bat, solid veteran starter, Closer (sorry Hanrahan), lead off hitter, just to name a few.

Yes, they are young and talented in some areas but, we have some huge problem areas.

Last year was bad in talent level and injuries so, odds are we will be better. After 102 losses there really is no where to go but up.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 26, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I was there with my daughters. We arrived via metro around 2:00 and there was no line to get in. We walked into the club just in time to hear Bowden, who was pretty engaging. One interesting thing he said was that signing an older free agent to a short-term contract (1-2 years) and then receiving picks once he left as a free agent was consistent with The Plan.

The lines for the autographs and the pictures were too long (they should have had more players in more places), but it was nice to see the President's Club, the batting cages and the view from the $300 seats. The Kids Zone was well done, with the four presidents, face painting, balloons, a moon bounce and other games. I agree with those who have said that the staff was engaging. Aside for an inexplicable delay at the nacho counter I thought everything was handled fairly well. My tickets were free, but the event was worth ten bucks.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 26, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Soundbloke, it wasn't really a blowup, more like a minor-league rant. He was asked why he doesn't like to bunt runners over and generally play small-ball. He said the concept of small-ball had expanded so much in recent years that it now covers a lot of things that are just good baseball, such as getting on base, moving runners over, etc. and that he generally supports playing good baseball. With respect to bunting in particular, he cited stats that show that a runner on first with no outs stands a better chance of scoring than a runner on second with one out. He said something like "I'm not afraid of math. I'm not good at it, but I'm not afraid of it," meaning he wasn't afraid to study and learn from sabermetrics. I guess you could say he was slightly argumentative, but it was more of a rebuttal than a rant, and certainly not a blow-up.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 26, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse


Thanks. And thanks to Manny, because that is a damn good answer. Gives even more faith in him.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 26, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

A Washington Post competitive paper in New York, which I will not name since this is Post blog, reviewed a new book by Joe Torre and Tom Verducci entitled "The Yankee Years."
To those of you and Tom Boswell who are yearning for Free Agent signings, this quote from the review merits reading:

Torre and Verducci note that as the core of the old guard from the championship years dwindled — Tino Martinez, Scott Brosius, Chuck Knoblauch and Paul O’Neill were all history by 2002 — the front office tended to turn to imported All-Stars, who failed to congeal into an effective ensemble. The farm system, which had produced the likes of Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada, Bernie Williams and Rivera, was increasingly neglected, and Steinbrenner began to indulge his taste for what Torre calls “big boppers” like Jason Giambi, who the manager felt “wasn’t part of what we prided ourselves on: playing well defensively.”

Perhaps Torre and Kasten deserve more credence than Boswell.

Posted by: kecoh | January 26, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

I, for one, agree with almost everything Stan said. I like the look of the future and, generally have liked what has taken place relative to the team on the field. For geographical reasons I don't know much about stadium, accomodations, etc.
The Rays have become the flavor of the day, but I'm fairly certain that practically all pundits had them picked fourth in the NLE. Interestingly, the offensive production of the team individually was mediocre at best. Even Crawford was hurt and much less effective than usual. The bull pen went from one of the worst to one of the best in one year. Granted the starting rotation was very good too, but the year before only Kazmir and Shields were effective. Now, of course, they're the team to emulate and the Nats will do that sooner than later.
You know, I think I'm just as much a homer as nun, well, if the fact I live on Prince Edward Island, Canada, isn't considered.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | January 26, 2009 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and, I don't see why Dunn is such an attraction. Cincy hasn't looked backwards about their decision. Arizona didn't even try. Noone else is jumping up and down to sign him. He's in the low 200's batting with men on base, and is poor defensively. Yeah, he hits a lot of home runs, but...
I would much rather give Maxwell a chance . If he's healthy, he'll be good in all areas.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | January 26, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

All of you who are up in arms over Kasten's payroll Stanifesto have it all wrong. You're playing his comments as if he was offering a choice between emulating the Yankees or emulating the Rays. But that's not what he said. Read it again.

"Do you want last year's -- I won't name the teams in the American League that had payrolls all over $100 million that ended up last -- do you want those $100 million teams? Or do you want the $40 million team from Tampa that went to the World Series?"

I don't believe any of the teams in the AL that had $100 million payrolls and ended up last play in New York. One of them plays in Washington, though (the other Washington). Stan is offering you the choice between emulating the Mariners or emulating the Rays. Now which one do you want?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 26, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse


I don't believe anyone is asking that the Nats become the Yankees. But what a lot of people are asking for is that they spend some like the Red Sox or the Phillies.

I totally agree with building up the farm system. But, it is not realistic to think that you can do it all that way or get close that way and add one or two pieces at the end.

That's pie in the sky type stuff.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 26, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

There was a link to a radio interview with Strasburg on the MLBTR site. I listened to it. He was asked what kind of pitches he threw, and said mainly fastballs and sliders, to "come right after you, put it out there and see if you can hit it," but he also said he had a change to keep hitters off balance, and that he had "worked in" a slider.

The interviewer noted that the Nats had the first pick, and that they had failed to sign their last first-round pick, and asked whether the Crow failure concerned him. He said no, that he would just "let the dominoes fall," he said something like "wherever you go, there's no guarantee you will reach the majors" (he might have meant "with that team").

He said the pitchers he's modeling himself after are Beckett and Peavy.

Speaking of Strasburg, somebody asked Bowden whether he was good enough to go straight to the majors, and JimBo's answer was that he never liked to rush guys like that, but that Strasburg just might be ready.

There, that's your mini-Strasburg-fest for the day.

Posted by: BobLHead | January 26, 2009 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"But, it is not realistic to think that you can do it all that way or get close that way and add one or two pieces at the end.

That's pie in the sky type stuff."

Isn't that pretty much what Kasten and Scheurholz did in Atlanta 15+ years ago?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 26, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

I actually have a lot of faith in Stan as a manager. And he's right, dumping free agents into this team will make very little material difference. Until we have the ability to rely more heavily on our farm system we are going to be scraping .500 at best.

I favour trades for filling our need for a 1st basman, natural cf although I wouldn't mind having a pitcher off the market.

The thing is that we have gone after both Barton and C. Gonzalez and it strikes me that the reason we haven't signed them simply that we don't have enough worthwhile pieces to move. We can't afford to move a genuine prospect like J. Zimmerman because we just don't have that many and, other than that all we have is worthless assets like Belliard or Kearns who nobody wants.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 26, 2009 3:06 PM | Report abuse

"But, it is not realistic to think that you can do it all that way or get close that way and add one or two pieces at the end.

That's pie in the sky type stuff."

Isn't that pretty much what Kasten and Scheurholz did in Atlanta 15+ years ago?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 26, 2009 3:03 PM

Well, let's hope he can do it again. But we certainly aren't 'at the end' just yet.

But the braves are a great organization to model ourselves after.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 26, 2009 3:10 PM | Report abuse

soundbloke, if you take a look at the transcript of the STH Hot Stove luncheon on the Nats320 site, Acta pretty much said the same thing as is noted there. (You'll have to scroll down a few posts or search the page for "small ball.")

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 26, 2009 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Kasten is as proven as you can get. If he's really calling the shots and I think he is, then this team will win soon. I trust him.

He's right on pitching. If our pitching can be decent, we'll be decent. If it stinks again, we'll stink again. You can endure below average offense if you have good pitching. Last year we were lousy at both but that's w/ massive injuries.

If we have average injuries and the pitching is average, we could easily be a .500 club which would be big progress.

Posted by: Avar | January 26, 2009 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Reading the transcript has me looking at the season with optimisim. I've always been in the tank (mostly) for the plan, though confidence in it has sometimes wavered. Still, all in all, building through the farm is the most promising way to go. As a fan though, patience does wear a bit thin at times.

Posted by: cokedispatch | January 26, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

Just in case I was misconstrued. I'm not saying the Rays are the team to emulate per se. I used them as an example to suggest that we really don't know how good or how bad the Nats will be next year. Many are saying how terrible they are, how it will be years, at this rate, before they will produce. I'm saying, like Kasten was suggesting,that we're not that bad and I think we fans are in for some pleasant surprises this year.
But to emulate the Yankees! Well, if one gets pleasure supporting a team, that year after year is bought and feel some pride in that, then so be it-for them-but not for me.

Posted by: jcampbell1 | January 26, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

"But, it is not realistic to think that you can do it all that way or get close that way and add one or two pieces at the end.

That's pie in the sky type stuff."

Isn't that pretty much what Kasten and Scheurholz did in Atlanta 15+ years ago?

Posted by: nunof1 | January 26, 2009 3:03 PM

True, to some extent, but I give more credit to Schuerholz for that than Stan. Schuerholz was a baseball guy and knew talent. Stan is a used car salesman who was more involved in the "ballpark expierence" side of things. Stan gets credit for letting Schuerholz do his thing though, I'll give him that.

Does anyone believe that Bowden can be mistaken for Shuerholz? Bowden is not the worst GM in the world but, come on.

Having a strong farm system is the way to go, I said that and believe it but, you must open your wallet at least a little.

If they sign one of two FA's to mix in this offseason, I will be happy that they have made an effort. I'm not talking about bargin bin guys like Estrada or A. Boone.

Posted by: Section505203 | January 26, 2009 4:10 PM | Report abuse

I have faith in Stan the Plan Man but the biggest difference is that in Atlanta he worked with John Schuerholz, a World Series winning GM in Kansas City before taking over the Braves.

Posted by: leetee1955 | January 26, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, it's not as if the negative effect of Jim Bowden hasn't been widely documents and discussed.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 26, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Dunn lover here - the main reason that I'd LOVE for the Nats to sign him is that I think that he could be the feared bat in the middle of the lineup that the Nats lack. Additionally, the way that he takes a walk and see a lot of pitches mean that he would be a positive influence on our young hitters. And he's young enough to help for 3 years.

Understanding the attraction, let me help out. Batting average is an outdated measure. Let's look at DUNN's OBP and Slugging Pcts.

Yes, he bats .241 with Runner in Scoring Position (RISP), but he gets on base at a .418 clip and slugs .511 in that situation. His .929 OPS. is better than most Nats - if not all in that situation.

With 2 outs, and RISP, his BA drops to .208. But his OBP rises to .468 and he slugs .623 for a 1.095 OPS in that situation. He's a professional, patient, powerful hitter. Dukes is the only guy on the roster even close to Dunn - talent wise. Nick Johnson is pretty good - just not a healthy player to count on.

Posted by: comish4lif | January 26, 2009 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Speaking of transcripts (nice Segway, uh, segue, eh?), just noticed that the P-Nats site has audio of Frank Howard's speech at their hot stove banquet:

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | January 26, 2009 4:57 PM | Report abuse

I think even the people who disagree with you abut signing Dunn comish (I'm one of them), mostly agree that he is better than the choices we have right now.

Posted by: soundbloke | January 26, 2009 5:07 PM | Report abuse

The ultimate of Stan-Speak. I was there yesterday and it took me 24 hours to digest the BS that continues to flow from "the planners" mouth. Thanks Chico for the enlightened edition.

So true, winners worry about winning, while the folks over at the used car lot have to pitch 10000 other things at you so that you will forget to look under the hood.

After watching the Nats drop 10 in a row, Stanley can stand in front of the revamped Red Porch and scream

"are you not entertained"

Posted by: TippyCanoe | January 26, 2009 5:21 PM | Report abuse

coupla cute Nat entries on the Bog:

Posted by: NatsNut | January 26, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Show me the beef...

Posted by: muddapucker | January 26, 2009 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"The team last year that was last in the National League in runs now has a chance to be very good offensively."

Actually, even without Dunn or Hudson, this is not BS. They were last in the NL in runs before the All-star break, and 12th after. After the AS break, they average 4.48 Runs Per Game while the median team, LAD by my calculation, was around 4.63. That 4.48 came about with Boni in the line-up for 40+ games, and statistically, he was the worst offensive 2d baseman last year (this is not an issue of what he could be, just what he did). Regardless of who plays 2d, we should get an offensive upgrade over what happened in the 2d half. We can expect this team to either have a healthy Nick Johnson or Josh Willingham at first. Johnson would be an upgrade over all the 1st basemen from last year; Willlingham an upgrade over all but Belli (who hit well last year). As for the hitters who surged in the 2d half (Dukes, Milledge, and Zimmerman), they are young enough that that level may be close to their normal. Perhaps Guz slips, but short of that, I see this offense in the middle of the pack, even without Hudson or Dunn (or Hinske).

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 26, 2009 5:35 PM | Report abuse

New post.

And I thought Stan didn't like FA pitchers...

Posted by: JohninMpls | January 26, 2009 5:42 PM | Report abuse

What a patronizing ---hole. I want a good team. We do not have a good team. We do not have the players in the minor leagues to make us a good team in the immediate future. The only way to make us a better team right now is to sign free agents, which means spending money and increasing payroll. So I actually do care about the payroll, Stan.
And don't give me the "signing free agents isn't part of the plan" spiel. You can turn free agents into prospects (via trades) and restock the farm system that way too, especially since restocking only through the draft hasn't gone as well as hoped here.

Posted by: Offense-offensive | January 26, 2009 7:53 PM | Report abuse

Good one, offensive.

Why don't the Nats get supplemental picks in the draft--the sandwich picks between the first and second rounds and extra first and second round picks? Well, it is because the Nats never sign anyone another club wants. That takes money. If you sign a player who makes good money, that means the player has value to another team. The player can be turned into prospects. Or when the player plays out his contract and another team signs him, you get the extra picks.

And if you don't sign anyone of value? What happens then? What happens is you save money! You get a very short-term profit. But you don't build your club via the prospects and extra picks you get when you move your player of value.

Posted by: EdDC | January 26, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

STANIFESTO - Good one Chico!

I went up after the talk to try and get a word in. I heard him discuss a possible Name Change to the park. One guy said how he enjoys the name NATionalS PARK and hoped it wouldn't change.

His view was something like this: Changing the name allows a lot of money to pay back the rent and such. So the idea to NOT change the name is not a good idea. I asked him 'what about _________ field at Nationals Park?" He said all possibilities are there! Take that at what you will.

I also asked him about opportunities to work. He told me to call HR! So much for influence!

Posted by: CALSGR8 | January 26, 2009 11:41 PM | Report abuse

How can someone say so much without really saying anything? Oh...wait a second...I almost forgot Joe Gibbs 2.0.

Posted by: mcwop | January 27, 2009 6:00 AM | Report abuse

did any one hear when Bowden said if we didnt see #11 retired on the centerfield wall, it would be a disappointment?

not sure if I misheard this, but if he really said it, its pretty upsetting.

Posted by: sect104 | January 27, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Way to pick out the outliers, Stan. Do I want the TB Rays of last year? Why certainly. Do I want the TB rays of the past 15 years? F no! TB caught lightning in a bottle after 15 years. I dont want that plan.

Do I want the $100 million last place team from last year? No. But I'll take the 100 million dollar team that plays meaningful games into July at least, if not September, most seasons.

Stan is a glorified used car salesman. As far as payroll, we wouldnt care about it if we had good f-ing players. We don't and the most likely way for us to get good players is to increase payroll. Sorry if we use it as a metric. I would say it correlates well with talent, except in the odd case you get a good player with less than 3 years experience. I doubt we are willing to part with any prospects for one of the those.

Another thing: this team has good young talent according to Stan-bag, but he wants the roster to look different between now and opening day.

Even reading this, I hate the sound of his voice

Posted by: makplan20002 | January 27, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

One more thing, we might as well have a 100 million dollar payroll since I dont see the ticket prices of a 40 million dollar team at the stadium. What a jack-off. Where is the benefit to me of succeeding once every 15 years with a cheap payroll if I still pay as though I were seeing a 100 million dollar loser year after year?

Posted by: makplan20002 | January 27, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Sutton begged out of his contract. With a little luck, maybe StanK will too.

Without question he is the biggest source of natural gas east of the Mississippi. Light a match to his mouth and the energy crisis is over.

What a load of bull jive.

Posted by: howjensen | January 27, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

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