Network News

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

Bog: Kasten on the Philly fan takeover

From Dan Steinberg's D.C. Sports Bog:

Stan Kasten has offered a few comments on Monday's Philadelphia takeover; you can read some on Mark Zuckerman's Nats Insider, for example. The Post's Adam Kilgore also e-mailed with Kasten on the issue; here was the team president's initial response.

"We sell season tickets and book groups all winter long. For every game of the season. All of this is before any individual tickets go on sale. Most of our groups are local. Some are from out of town. It's really that simple."

Read Dan's entire item here.

By Alexa Steele  |  April 6, 2010; 3:06 PM ET
 | Tags: philadelphia phillies, stan kasten, washington nationals  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Phillies beat John Lannan, again
Next: Some final thoughts on the Phillies fans from Nationals opening day

Comments

"It's really that simple."

Really?

Stan doesn't understand why Nationals' fans are so up in arms? Money is money and that is that?

I'm not going to go to any home games and risk being surrounded by the opposition, especially in those numbers.

Keep this up and you'll be selling most of your tickets to your opponent's fans.

Posted by: rushfari | April 6, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

I have been a staunch supporter of Stan and the Lerners in the way they've tried to build this franchise. I really thought that the Lerners, being native Washingtonians, understood the importance of recultivating baseball in Washington. But it is clear that they simply do not get it. This is stunningly wrongheaded. And I was wrong. And it's really that simple.

Posted by: mojo6 | April 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Stan is clueless. It's really that simple.

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | April 6, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

You know it is bad when the chant of "suck" goes up after home team players are announced on opening day.

Posted by: Tom8 | April 6, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Hey StanK, You Suck!

This town waited 34 years for baseball to come back and when it finally does we end up with StanK and the cheapass Lerner's. I'm convinced DC is cursed when it comes to baseball and its owners.

Posted by: Section505203 | April 6, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Rather than a regulatory approach of limiting ticket access to Philly fans for Nats' games, what about this strategy: build a good team that can beat Philly, so that their fans' ride home is long and painful.

Posted by: EdDC | April 6, 2010 3:54 PM | Report abuse

A few points:

1) The Lerners and Kasten clearly wanted to guarantee a sellout on Opening Day and they did it at the cost of a PR nightmare. Classic short term thinking.

2) On the other hand, without Phillies fans, would the game have turned out to be a sellout?

3) To avoid this, it would help to do a better job of pushing tickets to the locals first, especially for Opening Day. Then, offer the remaining tickets to out-of-towners (aka Phillies fans) but put them on a waiting list. Set a deadline for selling tickets to your fans first. Make a big deal out of the deadline. Once the date passes, sell the rest to the out-of-towners.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 6, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The sellout to the Phillies fans was a MUCH bigger scandalous news story than the signing of McKnob or whatever. Why wasn't THAT on the front page of today's print Post?

Posted by: poncedeleroy | April 6, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

The club cannot get out of its own way sometimes. I bought 4 tickets for Opening Day at the STH presale (I have a partiaal plan). Best seats available (other than Diamond Club or the like) for me were halfway up Section 420 (view to the field cuts off deep right field). Stan is selling the good seats to Philly while I have to take the worst seats in the house?

Posted by: dfh21 | April 6, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

At the risk of old codgery, the expansion Senators, regardless of how lousy they were (and they were almost always lousy) managed to sell out RFK every year on OD. Even knowing that what would follow would be a season of abject misery, opening day was something to look forward to and savor. The president, spring weather (not always warm and sunny) and a huge crowd were the one highlight of the season for long suffering Nats fans. I refuse to believe that Nats Park, with 7,000 fewer seats, couldn't sell out on opening day, given the proper marketing, without resorting to group sales to Philly. Got to be a way to do this. The grief that the Nats are getting from fans over this can't be worth it.

Posted by: mojo6 | April 6, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

"We need to learn more about why Phillies fans were able to buy bus trips with opening day tickets in January, but Nats fans (non-plan holders) were given 7 minutes of general sale months later."

This from Kev29 on another thread. No Post reporter will look into it, of course, but it looks like the Nationals are deliberately offering out-of-town fans special rates and bookings not available here at home.

By the time Stan and the Lerners are through, they will be the objects of scorn and ridicule from Upper Marlboro to Fairfax and points in between. Plus every other MLB town and ESPN.

And deservedly so.

Posted by: JohnRDC | April 6, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

I don't understand the expectation that Nationals fans should be buying group packages. Why? We should be able to buy tickets when they go on sale, not have them already sold to Phillies fans. I would bet money that no other team's fans have to buy group tickets so that their opening day game is not overrun by the opposing team's fans.

Posted by: lordscarlet1 | April 6, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Kasten can just replace "It's really that simple" with "I'm an ass." He'd come off sounding the same way. Thanks for talking down to us, big guy.

205 losses over the last two years. It's really that simple.

I didn't think I could find another way to be embarassed to be a Nats fan, but Kasten just found another!

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 6, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

koff...Koff...KOFF....Bu** Sh!t !!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | April 6, 2010 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm actually from Philly...born and raised. I moved to DC in 2001 and became a Nats fan when they moved here to start fresh with baseball.
Reading these posts and listening to DC Nats fans made me realize WHY the fans are outnumbered in Nats park almost every game.
In Philly, you show up to games to cheer, to boo, or just to have a few brews with friends. In DC, you ONLY show up to games when you're winning...and then we complain when we have more opposing fans in the stadium? Interesting.
You all are part of the problem...nothing but complaining and negativity...you don't deserve to be fans. If you are a true fan...you'll show up...regardless of how you feel. You SHOW UP! Boo, Cheer, whatever…BE THERE. Players don’t respond well to fans who sit on their couch.

Posted by: parksndc | April 6, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm with you mojo6, but there was some difference in that we could count on the Senators opening at home, and a presidential first ball was an expectation.

Posted by: KenNat | April 6, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Parksndc

Would you like to see the Phils attendance Numbers when they sucked? You won't like what you see.

Posted by: JDB1 | April 6, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Parksndc: were you actually AT the game yesterday?

If not, you can't really speak. It was literally 90-95% Philly fans in the upper decks. The line outside the south gate was just as bad. Perhaps the season ticket holder sections in the lower deck were better, but if I didn't know any better i would have thought I was at an away game.

The outrage we feel as Nats fans is thus; it is obvious now that the team sacrificed any semblance of home team feel at the alter of the almighty dollar. The guys sitting in front of us said that FOURTY FIVE buses left from south philly. Another 20 are known to have come from their ball park, and he came in a third group from north philly. I wouldn't be surprised to find out if a good 20% of the park (8,000) were sold in this fashion.

They booed Zimmerman, chanted as if they were at the home stadium, created chants of "a**-hole" in my sections (224) and generally acted as if they owned the place (probably since they had been drinking since 8am).

It was a f*cking embarassment, and the team
should be ashamed of themselves for allowing it to happen. In front of the President and the Commissioner no less.

Posted by: tboss | April 6, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

I can also pull up the attendance for the sixers and even at the vet when the eagles sucked. The one constant has been the flyers because for the most part they've been good or an expectation of being good

Posted by: JDB1 | April 6, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

Not to defend the Nats organization, but it seems to be untrue that Opening Day tickets sold out in 7 minutes. I have heard that some singles and expensive seats were available on the day of the game and that a better choice of tickets for this game were available for some time.

It would be one thing if there were not enough tickets available to meet demand on the day that tickets first went on sale, another if demand - for obvious reasons - were higher among Phillies fans who wanted to see their new ace than Nats fans. I passed on Opening Day due to a conflict but will see the game on Thursday afternoon.

I'd like to see a bit more reporting on how many tickets went to groups and brokers and how many were available on the individual market. In the past, the Nats have held off making Opening Day tickets available in hopes of boosting Season Tickets and packages. This year they seem to have tried other incentives to STH (of which I have a share).

I can vouch from personal experience that Philly fans - in all sports - are the most unpleasant of any that I have encountered. But to blame that on Stan without more specific information about how tickets were marketed and where seems to me to be jumping the gun.

Posted by: luxetveritas | April 6, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

@parksndc: I am not sure WHEN you were living in Philly, but in todays day and time, when you are charged MAJOR league prices and given a MINOR league product, even the biggest baseball fan is going to stay away.
If I charged you for a caddy and delivered you a used-yugo, would you just smile and drive off the lot?

Posted by: TimDz | April 6, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Parksndc - you need something else to encourage lots of fans to spend money to watch crappy baseball. If you've had generations of baseball experiences or remember hanging there with your buddies, it's a lot easy to support a losing team. For a city that hadn't known MLB for 34 years, they needed some wins or excitement to hook them. There are just too many other distractions in a busy metropolitan area. By the way, I'm not selling my tickets. They're still the only baseball game in town.

Posted by: LandoverHillsBoysClub | April 6, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

"koff...Koff...KOFF....Bu** Sh!t !!!!!!

Posted by: TimDz | April 6, 2010 4:30 PM"
-------------------
So Stan as Dean Wermer?

I think it is one thing to sell tickets to groups - maybe there is some practicality in it - it is quite another thing to tolerate loutish behavoir by those groups at the expense / frustration / disgust of your prime audience.

Stan's got a great reputation in baseball from his days building the Braves, but the Lerners ought to reflect on the fact that his Braves were not much of a box office success relative to their performance on the field. Great teams still led to unsold playoff seats and plenty of good seats available during the regular season. Next time he says "win and there will be fans," someone ought to ask "how'd that work for you in ATL?"

One thing the Nats should do is, if they are going to sell bulk tickets to out of town groups, then insist on the tour packager policing the fans he brings down. Tell them that if we have to arrest anyone in your group, you will not be allowed to buy tickets again. If any of your group blows a .12 (1.5 times the legal limit), you will not be able to buy tickets again. If any of your group uses foul and abusive language (like chanting "S[tan]Ks" during introduction, you lose your right to buy tickets. It is a reasonable rule. Mensches like Bob Kraft used it to turn around an unpleasant atmosphere, then box office success followed even when the team drifted down in the late Pete Carroll / 1st eyar Belichick erea. Time to stop being guniffs and taking every dollar without thinking about the consequences.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | April 6, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Everyone do yourself a favor and bookmark this page. You'll need it every time a Philly fan tries to tell explain to you what a diehard they are.

http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/PHI/attend.shtml

Short version, here's how the Phils rank in attendance over the last 15 years:

2009 (2nd of 16 in the NL)
2008 (4th of 16)
2007 (6th of 16)
2006 (7th of 16)
2005 (9th of 16)
2004 (2nd of 16)
2003 (10th of 16)
2002 (14th of 16)
2001 (14th of 16)
2000 (13th of 16)
1999 (12th of 16)
1998 (14th of 16)

I'll let you guess how those numbers correspond to wins and losses.

Posted by: bryc3 | April 6, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Pretty simple, if they win then Nats fans will fill the seats.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | April 6, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Carrying forward a bit:

- It was nice to meet you as well, JiM.

- Can't recall which day it was but not too long before OD I received a Nats Insider email inviting me to visit StubHub to purchase tix for the game. I'd already had the opportunity to purchase them as part of a plan (although I didn't do so), but I went to the link out of curiosity. They started at $95 for an outfield upper deck and went up from there. After watching the game on tv, I wondered to myself how upset a Nats fan might having paid that much to experience yesterday's wretched game and Phoolies Phan infestation? And that was before I learned about the winter group sales to said fans. Sorry Stan, but that's bogus.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 6, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I like how Kasten is effectively blaming his own fans for this, when management itself is responsible for the lack of enthusiasm for the team.

It's like when Leonsis said, "The market has spoken" when MCI Center didn't sell out an Easter Sunday playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

It's a slap in the face.

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 6, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the info on behavioral rules for tour group outfits, jca. Very interesting (and it was nice meeting you this weekend as well, btw).

bryc, good work on the attendance stats. I had a vague memory that was the case but didn't have data to back it up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 6, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Also, I agree re. Stan's stance and comments. I am reminded of the immortal of a (former?) NJ commenter: Joe Bleaux me. (did I just type that out loud?)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 6, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

Parksndc: AMEN!

Posted by: nunof1 | April 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

immortal *words*

I probably shouldn't submit when I'm in a hurry or POed.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 6, 2010 5:00 PM | Report abuse

immortal *words*

I probably shouldn't submit when I'm in a hurry or POed.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 6, 2010 5:00 PM |
___________________________

God only KNOWS what you'd type if you were in a hurry AND POed...

Posted by: TimDz | April 6, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

I intend this question in all honesty:

So if I had called the Nationals ticket office in November and said, "I would like to buy 20 tickets for Opening Day," then I would have had no problem buying them as a "group" (actually individual,) before Opening Day tix went on sale to the public.

That seems to open the door wide to scalpers in addition to visiting fans, but it is good to know for 2011.

Posted by: MinorLeagueFanatic | April 6, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the post jca-CrystalCity. You make several good points.

I grew up in Atlanta as an avid Braves fan even in the worst years - they had some atrocious teams in a ballpark that was modeled after RFK. I am a fan of Stan's and the Plan and am reasonably happy with the way things are going. But the major reason for the Plan's success in Atlanta was that Ted Turner realized that his only job was to write checks and sit next to Jane Fonda and Jimmy Carter during games.

He also had the revenue stream from his cable network. Braves games were an essentially free source of programming - and income that he plowed back into the team. Things are different with the Nats. It seems to me that attendance at games and concessions is a much more important source of income for the Nats under the Lerners than it was for the Braves under Turner.

You also make a good point about the Braves not doing that well at the gate, even during playoffs. The Braves are HUGE in the Southeast, but people don't watch the games live. People will watch on television almost every night but go to a game in person maybe once a year. Perhaps it's the hot Georgia summers.

Posted by: luxetveritas | April 6, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Hope something comes from the efforts to get behind some of the Nats ticket policies and practices and we find out exactly what happened with the group sales, the parameters involved, dates, how many sold, to whom, what was available on the web site, etc. You know - Posties, like real journalism. Think you could work on that? I think there’s a story there but what do I know? But based on Stan’s Sphinx-like act on giving out the barest details on ticket numbers of any sort in the past, I’m not holding my breath.

Might as well add to the chorus – lifelong D.C. area resident of 50 years + and baseball fan going back to Griffith days. Yesterday was by far THE WORST in terms of visiting fan behavior I’ve witnessed, in and out of the ball park. An absolute disgrace.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | April 6, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm not going to go to any home games and risk being surrounded by the opposition, especially in those numbers.

Posted by: rushfari | April 6, 2010 3:34 PM
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Surrounded? By opposing team fans? We're talking baseball -- no need to go all Glenn Beck on us.....

You guys ever been to Camden Yards when the Yankees are in town? Or, the Red Sox?

I will say that this was even more one-sided than anything I'd seen before. If this is due to massive group sales, then I'd say the team does need to do something different on Opening Day. That's a game they can sell out, even by offering tickets in this order: Season tickets; individual sales via Ticketmaster; and, then finally, and only then, offering them up to groups.

I totally get the desire to cater to large groups -- but for a game like Opening Day, it's unnecessary. The rest of the year, do what it takes to get fannies in the seats. This was our Opening Day. Philly's home opener is later.

Posted by: fischy | April 6, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten could care less what Nat's fans think he and the Lerners care about one thing PROFIT that's it,I said this once and i'll say it again when you hire a Manny Acta to replace a Frank Robinson not only are you stupid but you don't care about your fanbase then Rizzo and Riggleman compound that idiocy by cutting the only legit RF'er they have on the team without so much as a reason or a viable replacement i mean really you're going to keep a Wily Tavares over Elijah Dukes this flies in the face of any common basball sense. The Mock over Olsen move makes me want to scream what's the point of spring training if you're going to give the spot to a player who has no business on the team, unbelievable just freakin unbelievable!!

Posted by: dargregmag | April 6, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The players aren't the problem. The neurotic Philly fans aren't even the problem. It IS a business, and if the "fan experience" or the on-field inventory isn't worth the price of admission, folks won't go. Simple as that.

That said, as my currently-strawberry-blonde Cubs fan wife told me, "You don't like hitters showing you up? Don't hang sliders."
***********
Boo, Cheer, whatever … BE THERE. Players don’t respond well to fans who sit on their couch.
Posted by: parksndc | April 6, 2010 4:34 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

This whole concept of "front-runner" as an insult seems kind of odd, really. Where else would you brag about spending top dollar for a lousy product?

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

But I digress.

The problem is still mostly Stan and the Lerners, and maybe just the teensiest bit of a baseless sense of entitlement among a few dozen blogerati.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

As was pointed out elsewhere, the group sales to brokers are probably predicated on getting opening day tix as part of the deal. So there's that.

Suppose, just for the sake of argument, several hundred Nats fans got together and tried to buy tickets to a Phillies home game, and were told "No. You're not from here. Go away." (Which the Phillies don't do, either, apparently.) Can you hear the howling in here?

I guess they could forego group sales altogether for the home opener, or only sell in person at the park, but that seems ... drastic.

[Poop] doesn't just happen, it evolves. This is how it goes, now: it's easy for visiting fans to get tickets online. That's the "give"--what's the "take" going to be? Better enforcement of in-park rules on language and drunkenness? Loss of "home field advantage" for the fans, as well as the team? Yankee, Red Sox, and Cubs fans supporting all 30 teams? We'll see.

*************
I totally get the desire to cater to large groups -- but for a game like Opening Day, it's unnecessary. The rest of the year, do what it takes to get fannies in the seats. This was our Opening Day. Philly's home opener is later.
Posted by: fischy | April 6, 2010 5:21 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

I agree with fischy. Opening Day is different and should be treated that way.

BTW, any doubt now about the Nats' top rival? Of course, we'll have to start beating them occasionally. I'm looking at Sept. 27-29. Three games here. It would be nice to do some damage to their post-season hopes that week.

Posted by: baltova1 | April 6, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

If Kasten had shown even a modicum of understanding instead of the condescension he continues to evince, I might be convinced to get a group together to buy a block of Opening Day tickets in 2011.

And I'm not travelling from Philly.

But his attitude is just unbearable. From hawking tickets on the radio in Philly to this nonsense. He really has no understanding of the fan experience.

Look, I can see how a business-minded person may not care about such things as ethos. But he's also hurting his chances of building a local market.

And you can't rely on local bandwagoners forever, can you? What if Atlanta or Florida start winning? Are they going to make the trek up 95? Of course not.

Why not simply invest in your local market instead of blaming them for problems you've created?

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 6, 2010 5:58 PM | Report abuse

Baseball has spent nearly 100 years turning a disreputable enterprise into a family event. Philly fans aren't the only ones who or throw beer, flashlight batteries, or worse at players and visitors (although they are probably the only ones who do it consistently to their own teams), but the harshness and incivility has a price.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

Disco Demolition Night was also a sell out and it nearly sank the franchise. It was just that simple.

What I love about Kasten is that he presides over the consistently worst team in baseball, but he acts like he's a cross between Billy Bean and Theo Epstein, offering the 27 Yankees to a bunch of dim-witted fans who are too stupid to appreciate a quality operation.

Posted by: markfromark | April 6, 2010 6:06 PM | Report abuse

"I'll let you guess how those numbers correspond to wins and losses"

Phils w/l record was the same in 2001, 2003 and 2004, but there were big swings in attendance rankings. The move to Citizen''s Bank Park in 2004 caused a huge uptick. In 2005, the Phils won 2 more games than in 2004, but attendance dropped. Is there really a nexus between w/l record and overall attendance when three of the years- 2007, 2008 and 2009- include the postseason games? Add three to seven more games or so to 2005 and 2006 and the attendance would be in the range of 2007, 2008 and 2009.

No argument from me fan that the wins drive attendance, but the move from the tired old Vet in 2004 is also a major factor.

Posted by: docisin | April 6, 2010 6:16 PM | Report abuse

I looked forward to Opening Day for weeks and weeks and weeks. And I had did not have a good time. The product on the mound was bad enough, but the real reason I went from "oh, hell, we lost again" to "I am really not liking this experience" was the presence of huge numbers of boorish Phillies fans. "Sucks" after every home intro? Booing Zim as he received his awards? You don't treat your players that way, or your home town fans either. Its really that simple.

Posted by: NatsFly | April 6, 2010 6:25 PM | Report abuse

"I totally get the desire to cater to large groups -- but for a game like Opening Day, it's unnecessary. The rest of the year, do what it takes to get fannies in the seats. This was our Opening Day. Philly's home opener is later."

Hmmm looks like Stan or Mark or both may not see it as special? I am still waiting for the imminent increase in payroll Stan promised now that the best in class front office is in now in place. And the imminent, and surprising major International signing he mentioned?

Posted by: periculum | April 6, 2010 6:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm gonna have "It's really that simple" added to the back of my Natinals tshirt. Right up there with Gary Gilmore's "Let's Do It" and Bush's "Read My Lips."

Posted by: markfromark | April 6, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I looked forward to Opening Day for weeks and weeks and weeks. And I had did not have a good time. The product on the mound was bad enough, but the real reason I went from "oh, hell, we lost again" to "I am really not liking this experience" was the presence of huge numbers of boorish Phillies fans. "Sucks" after every home intro? Booing Zim as he received his awards? You don't treat your players that way, or your home town fans either. Its really that simple.

Posted by: NatsFly | April 6, 2010 6:25 PM

Perfectly put, NatsFly... "I did not have a good time". That is the exact sentence that Stan Katen and Ted Lerner needs to see. Not so much the other things we've all been saying today like "I hate Philly" and "our low budget team stinks again".

"I did not have a good time" is the LAST thing that a modern day baseball executive wants to hear - and they should.

Posted by: Kev29 | April 6, 2010 6:54 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, any doubt now about the Nats' top rival?"

I just want to point out that I've been on this for four years already.

Posted by: Section506 | April 6, 2010 7:00 PM | Report abuse

You were definitely ahead of the curve, 506. :-)

---

I just want to point out that I've been on this for four years already.

Posted by: Section506 | April 6, 2010 7:00 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 6, 2010 7:06 PM | Report abuse

WOW you have really hit a nerve when you get someone to remember GARY GILMORE.

How is that for fan relations STAN!!!

People are going home thinking about GARY GILMORE.

Posted by: CBinDC1 | April 6, 2010 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Martin was the the International signing and yes I was surprised at how weak Stan can go in that market and still try to sell it to fans as a major deal. Stan has lost all creditability in this town.

Posted by: JayBeee | April 6, 2010 7:36 PM | Report abuse

Given Flores issues maybe someone ought to be thinking about the guy from Goessling's home town: Wilson Ramos? Norris may still be a long way off and Harper may not even end up catching. This guy is ready now.

Posted by: periculum | April 6, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

I think Kasten knows that when the team is winning, the fans will come to the park. That's true in every city, I would think, and I'm guessing the idea of fans coming out even for persistent losers is a myth. So I don't think he much cares about all the bloggage. But I agree with the commenters who say Opening Day is different. Diehards come out on Opening Day. Casual fans - who are potential diehards, after all - will come out on Opening Day. The disaffected will come out on Opening Day, if only to see if things have changed. Being out-cheered by fans who actually know the game and know when to cheer is a little embarrassing (someone's going to have to tell the Nats fans it's okay to raise your voice and yell ridiculous things at the players); being surrounded by the opponents fans in such great numbers on Opening Day is insulting because the team's owners actually invited them. It's really that simple.

Posted by: 24thStNE | April 6, 2010 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Didn't go to the game but from a viewing perspective it was just as bad. The booing of the Nats came through loud and clear, Obama with that stupid White Sox hat adding insult to injury. And Charlie Slowes admonishing fans to "do something about" all the Phillie fans taking over our stadium.

Stan needs to have a press conference and explain what took place. From reading what you guys have written, Opening Day sounds like a sickening experience.

That being said...can't wait until we can go into Phillie and sweep a series on our way to the playoffs.

Posted by: thegraneys | April 6, 2010 8:37 PM | Report abuse

That being said...can't wait until we can go into Phillie and sweep a series on our way to the playoffs.

Posted by: thegraneys

You are talking about hockey are you not?

I had hope that the Nats fans retort was

LET'S GO CAPS

but I could not find anybody with a curly W sitting near me to start the chant.

Posted by: CBinDC | April 6, 2010 8:53 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten is president of a franchise that has finished in last place for 5 straight years and has an excellent chance of making it 6 straight in 2010. 2 years in a row with the worst record in baseball. Embarrassing scandal in the Dominican. Embarrassing loss of 1st round draft pick. 3 managers, 2 front office turnovers... it's that simple, Kasten has been a failure in Washington to date.

A dad can't take his 5 year old son, whose eyes are just getting opened to the world of baseball, to Opening Day because the seats were sold to some random louts from Philly before said dad even had a shot at them. Dad and son are lifers in the Washington area, love baseball, love the Nats, and think it would have been beneficial for the Nats to try and love their potentially core fan base back... that is the life blood of a proffesional sports franchise, building and holding on to a core fan base... they can take money from me and my son our entire lives, and we will give it gladly hoping it helps pay for exciting, competitive baseball teams... those two louts from Philly who took our potential seats stopped giving money to the Nats right around the 7th inning on Monday, when the "last call for alcohol" signal went out...

Nice work...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 9:27 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten is president of a franchise that has finished in last place for 5 straight years and has an excellent chance of making it 6 straight in 2010. 2 years in a row with the worst record in baseball. Embarrassing scandal in the Dominican. Embarrassing loss of 1st round draft pick. 3 managers, 2 front office turnovers... it's that simple, Kasten has been a failure in Washington to date.

A dad can't take his 5 year old son, whose eyes are just getting opened to the world of baseball, to Opening Day because the seats were sold to some random louts from Philly before said dad even had a shot at them. Dad and son are lifers in the Washington area, love baseball, love the Nats, and think it would have been beneficial for the Nats to try and love their potentially core fan base back... that is the life blood of a proffesional sports franchise, building and holding on to a core fan base... they can take money from me and my son our entire lives, and we will give it gladly hoping it helps pay for exciting, competitive baseball teams... those two louts from Philly who took our potential seats stopped giving money to the Nats right around the 7th inning on Monday, when the "last call for alcohol" signal went out...

Nice work...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten is president of a franchise that has finished in last place for 5 straight years and has an excellent chance of making it 6 straight in 2010. 2 years in a row with the worst record in baseball. Embarrassing scandal in the Dominican. Embarrassing loss of 1st round draft pick. 3 managers, 2 front office turnovers... it's that simple, Kasten has been a failure in Washington to date.

A dad can't take his 5 year old son, whose eyes are just getting opened to the world of baseball, to Opening Day because the seats were sold to some random louts from Philly before said dad even had a shot at them. Dad and son are lifers in the Washington area, love baseball, love the Nats, and think it would have been beneficial for the Nats to try and love their potentially core fan base back... that is the life blood of a proffesional sports franchise, building and holding on to a core fan base... they can take money from me and my son our entire lives, and we will give it gladly hoping it helps pay for exciting, competitive baseball teams... those two louts from Philly who took our potential seats stopped giving money to the Nats right around the 7th inning on Monday, when the "last call for alcohol" signal went out...

Nice work...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten is president of a franchise that has finished in last place for 5 straight years and has an excellent chance of making it 6 straight in 2010. 2 years in a row with the worst record in baseball. Embarrassing scandal in the Dominican. Embarrassing loss of 1st round draft pick. 3 managers, 2 front office turnovers... it's that simple, Kasten has been a failure in Washington to date.

A dad can't take his 5 year old son, whose eyes are just getting opened to the world of baseball, to Opening Day because the seats were sold to some random louts from Philly before said dad even had a shot at them. Dad and son are lifers in the Washington area, love baseball, love the Nats, and think it would have been beneficial for the Nats to try and love their potentially core fan base back... that is the life blood of a proffesional sports franchise, building and holding on to a core fan base... they can take money from me and my son our entire lives, and we will give it gladly hoping it helps pay for exciting, competitive baseball teams... those two louts from Philly who took our potential seats stopped giving money to the Nats right around the 7th inning on Monday, when the "last call for alcohol" signal went out...

Nice work...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Was at Saturday's and yesterday's games. Neither was great, aside from being back in the ballpark, but the difference between the behavior of Sox vs. Philthy fans was stark. Sox fans clap and cheer for their team, enthusiastically, but they also clap and cheer for most stadium audience "events", for lack of a better word. I noticed this last year, too, during their series here. They participate, they're very civil and polite to their hosts, and they only wear boorish t-shirts about the Yankees, instead of being generally boorish in everything the way Philly fans are. Mets fans were pretty lousy, too, like their 95 cohorts to the south, until they started to lose their lustre. But they did clap loudly for Frank Robinson at his last game.

Posted by: samantha7 | April 6, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I wonder if Stan Kasten was president of a club that finished last place for the last five years. Who would know that?

Posted by: Section506 | April 6, 2010 10:22 PM | Report abuse

(Hint: it's not Ghost7)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_Washington_Nationals_season#Season_standings

Posted by: Section506 | April 6, 2010 10:25 PM | Report abuse

I stand corrected... great job, Kasten... somehow the wonderful 4th place finish in 2007 escaped me...

Although, I do have to say, that 2007 ballclub did have some fight in it... and that was about the last time I remember witnessing any kind of sustained fight in Nats baseball... so, that 2007 club should get some credit... and 73 wins and 4th place would seem pretty sweet in 2010...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Forgive me for asking a stupid question. What do you expect the Nats to do, refuse to sell tickets to fans from Philly? It's not the Nats fault if there are more people from Philly who would rather attend the game then people from Washington. If the team was able to sell out every night, to fans from Washington, there wouldn't be any problem. Therefore, my attitude is that this isn't a team problem at all. Not in attitude or execution: the fans have to step up, buy tickets, and out number the fans that come from other cities. If the fans in Washington are too cheap to support their team, how is this Stan's fault?

Posted by: grforbes | April 6, 2010 10:43 PM | Report abuse

And I can't wait for Game 2... need something to wipe the taste of an embarrassing 11-1 opening day loss out of the mouth...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Well, 2005 wasn't on Stan's watch, but the first half was pretty good. And in all fairness, I don't blame him for 2006. 2007-2010, yes, but not 2005-06.

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 10:52 PM | Report abuse

OOOH OOOH I KNOW I KNOW!!!

**********
If the fans in Washington are too cheap to support their team, how is this Stan's fault?
Posted by: grforbes | April 6, 2010 10:43 PM

Posted by: Sec3mysofa | April 6, 2010 10:54 PM | Report abuse

Pop Quiz -

Who is less boring at being a color comentator?

A. Ron Darling
or
B. John Schmoltz

Posted by: boricuabopper | April 6, 2010 10:56 PM | Report abuse

But, it would be kind of a give and take situations... fans have to put their money where their mouth is and support the team financially... and in turn the team needs to put a product on the field that the fans feel it is worth paying to see play...

There will always be devoted fans who will loyally attend games, watch tv broadcasts and listen to them on the radio, and purchase team merchandise (I count myself as one of those folks)... but, in large part, the fan base has been steadily dwindling since Opening Day 2005, despite a new stadium... which has a lot to do with all the losing the team does... despite a valiant 2007 4th place finish, the organization has so far failed to put a quality product on the field that the average or casual fan is going to pay to see on a consistent basis...

Hopefully that is in the process of changing! I stay loyal, I can't help myself... but, to date, the size of the fan base is contracting... which reduces profits... which makes it harder for the organization to put together a quality product... which makes the size of the fanbase contract more... and so on and so on.... they need to break that cycle, or better yet reverse the cycle... but at this point that is probably only going to happen once a quality product is in place... then the Nats fanbase will start to grow again...

And I can complain about not being able to get tickets because every seat in the house is taken up by a loyal Nats season ticket holders...

Posted by: Ghost7 | April 6, 2010 11:04 PM | Report abuse

"and the imminent, and surprising major International signing he mentioned?"

Posted by: periculum | April 6, 2010 6:29 PM
------------------------------------------------------

That's soccer talk. Maybe Stan could whisper those kinds of sweet nothings in the ears of DC United GM Dave Kasper. We need at least one -- I'm holding out hope for two -- surprising major international signings....

Posted by: fischy | April 6, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

I was disgusted yesterday, too. I've been to several Phillies-Nats games the past few years and one of the Red Sox games last year. None of them was remotely like Monday. My line to get in was at least 80% Phillies fans, most of whom were complaining about security taking too long (sorry, folks, the Secret Service was in charge, not the Nationals, and if you hadn't spent two hours getting drunk outside you would have been inside sooner).

And I agree with those who've said Stan is an moron. I think in his ideal world, the crowd would be primarily Nats fans, but in the end, it was a sellout; they made money, regardless of which team was rooted for. He doesn't care where the money comes from. Ditto for the Lerners.

I haven't read all the comments, so sorry if this has been mentioned already. I wonder if it would have been different if the game had been at night. Washington doesn't really have a culture that is one in which going to sporting events during the workday is common. I guess it's because we didn't have baseball for so long. It was easy for Phillies fans to take off the day and come to a 1:00 game; if it had been at 7:05, that might mean taking off two days. Although, their unemployment rate is 11%, so perhaps it's a moot point.

Regardless, this is going to take a LONG time to change. Bringing up Strasburg will help, but to attract the casual fan, the Nats can't keep getting humiliated like they were.

Posted by: natsfan2010 | April 7, 2010 12:35 AM | Report abuse

Well, my enthusiasm and desire to go to any games at all this summer is officially crushed. Keep up the good work Stan.

Posted by: futbolclif | April 7, 2010 12:56 AM | Report abuse

Hey parksndc, I don't think you get the point. Nats fans were not given a chance to get these seats and Philly didn't draw flies when they were losing. I had no problem buying tickets to their 2nd Opening Day in the new Citizens Bank Park.

Posted by: smirkman | April 7, 2010 7:54 AM | Report abuse

My wife said, "Oh, they're just trying to make as much money as they can.' I said, "Well, nobody's going to the games so they can cheer the owners making money. It's about more than just the bottom line, but the front office doesn't seem to know it."

Posted by: poncedeleroy | April 7, 2010 8:12 AM | Report abuse

In fact, the Phillies sold tickets to some groups coming from Washington, and the place was crawling with Nats fans. It was a great day, and we were well behaved.

----------------
smirkman: I had no problem buying tickets to their 2nd Opening Day in the new Citizens Bank Park.

Posted by: KenNat | April 7, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

All I can say is that I've been attending MLB games since 1956 and I've never seen anything remotely like the "invasion" on Opening Day. I've been reading Stan Kasten's explanations about group sales, and so forth. Mr. Kasten would have made Richard Nixon seem like a warm, forthright person. I've held my season ticket plan every Nats' season, but if this turns out to be the rule at the home games in 2010 --having to sit among hoards of opposing team fans -- I won't be renewing my season tickets in 2011.

Posted by: fluffy4 | April 7, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

OK, here's the plan! Lets buy up a block of Phillies tickets and roadtrip up there and return the favor!! Now who's with me?


Posted by: trezmartin | April 7, 2010 10:15 AM | Report abuse

>

Posted by: trezmartin | April 7, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

chirp chirp crickets chirp

Posted by: trezmartin | April 7, 2010 10:17 AM | Report abuse

@ smirkman - You did have the chance to buy the tickets...are you telling me you were out-smarted by Philly fans? Interesting.

@ Other responders - Attendance in Philly may have been lower prior to this great team's play over the past three years, but I can sure as hell tell you...NO ONE takes over their stadium...ever. I have been going to Phillies games since 1985...I still go but with a different affection now.

Posted by: parksndc | April 7, 2010 11:20 AM | Report abuse

By marketing to the Philadelphia fan base Stan might've done irreparable damage to Washington franchise. I know my kids never want to go to a Phillies game. We have been to 7 in the last two years and enough is enough. If Nationals park administration, which can't handle
traffic and concessions, is asked to handle security with drunken Phillies fans; they will constantly fail. Eventually there will be only them left. Way to go, Stan.

Posted by: tc411 | April 8, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company