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Kasten to resign at end of season

3:19: Washington Nationals President Stan Kasten will step down at the end of the season. His decision was first reported by Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman.

Adam Kilgore is at Nationals Park, where Kasten told reporters that he made the decision a year ago. "This is just about me, what's best for me," he said. "I don't feel like I'm retiring. I want to do something."

Check this blog and Cindy Boren's Early Lead for updates.

In this morning's newspaper, columnist Thomas Boswell said he expected Kasten to resign.

Boswell pointed out that In the past, Kasten has never publicly said the Nats should increase payroll or be aggressive in free agency. Now, he's changed his tune.

"This is the time to act. We are close. This is how it felt in Atlanta just before we turned it around. Once you've laid the groundwork and improved the farm system, you need to add some pieces. That's where we are now."

By Alexa Steele  | September 23, 2010; 2:41 PM ET
 
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Next: Poll: Reaction to Kasten's departure

Comments

All I can think of is Mark Lerner, the guy who got hit in the face at batting practice, choosing the team's next president. I'm sadder than when 37 went down.

Posted by: softballgirl | September 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Excellent, maybe now Nationals Park can stop trying to pretend it's Turner Field and get rid of all that stupid between-inning kitsch and replace it with baseball-relevant entertainment.

Posted by: zaph | September 23, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Re-posted from the other blog:

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

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 23, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Yet another setback, in a very long line of them, for the Washington Natinal franchise.

Don't see the Natinals getting out of the NL East cellar anytime soon.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 23, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

If Kasten's stated position is that this is the time to spend $$, and that's an exciting time, then how can one interpret his decision to leave as anything other than a sign the spending ain't gonna come?

Glad this has happened before the last few ST standing are asked to re-up for next year.

He leaves a fine legacy: Busloads of Phillies fans for the foreseeable future at Nats Park.

P.S. -- Please do not feed the troll. Its irrelevant commentary will go away if people stop reading & responding to it.

Posted by: SuzNats | September 23, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

I like how I'm labeled a "troll" even tough all I do is point out FACTS about the Washington Natinals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 23, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

Wrong:

---------

Yet another setback, in a very long line of them, for the Washington Natinal franchise.

Don't see the Natinals getting out of the NL East cellar anytime soon.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 23, 2010 2:54 PM

---------

I like how I'm labeled a "troll" even tough all I do is point out FACTS about the Washington Natinals.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 23, 2010 3:01 PM

--------

There is nothing factual whatsoever about your first post, which makes your second post an abject lie. The first post is entirely opinion ("another setback" - clearly some others disagree with you) and/or conjecture (your personal prediction of future team performance and/or lack thereof). If you're going to annoy many and/or most of the posters or readers, at least be honest about your intentions to do so and the methods that you are utilizing.

Posted by: faNATic | September 23, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

It remains to be seen what will result from this, but it's fair to assume that Nots ownership is going to be even stingier than it is now. I keep thinking of Boswell's column published two weeks ago saying the team wouldn't resign Dunn, and planned to replace him with either Derrek Lee or Carlos Pena. Both are older than Dunn (Lee by almost 5 years), and the ballclub is too old as it is. The Opening Day 2011 lineup could include Livan (claiming to be 36, who knows really), Lee (35 with a September birthday), Pudge (39), Morgan (30 with a July birthday), and Willingham (32).

What a Youth Movement.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 23, 2010 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Just returned from vacation. This news is such a buzz kill! I'll be able to deal if it's promised that the Nats will also not sign Clint, the gal with the Screechy voice, and the rest of the crew that torture us between innings.

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | September 23, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

People, the only way to kill a troll is to starve it for attention.

Capisce?

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

Aw, c'mon. McPoop isn't a troll. He's more like the mangy stray that you let into your house, and you keep feeding him even though he bites you. It's sad, really. We can only hope that someday he'll find his way to an O's blog, where there will be people who will love him for who he is, and he won't have to come here anymore to be bitter and angry. He'll be happy and content in O's land. God Bless you, Poopy McPoop, and good luck.

Posted by: TomServo | September 23, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow. I see this as really bad news for baseball in DC. Kasten is a smart guy who knew from the get-go that the Lerners were not going to be big spenders. I think Kasten mapped out a course that called for moderate increases in payroll where appropriate. Kasten's resignation tells me that he has given up in his attempts to coax even moderate spending increases out of the Lerners.

If the reported resignation is true it says the Lerners are adopting the Pittsburgh Pirates business model. Why increase payroll by $20-$40 million when that's just money the owners won't have in their pockets at the end of the year? In most businesses you have to spend money to make money. That's not really true in MLB.

Posted by: gonats3 | September 23, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Evidently it is true. Sigh. What a lot of turmoil around this organization.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and you can feed him and take him out for walks, TomServo, as I don't intend to do so. ;-)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

Well, let's hope the 11,000 in attendance today give Stan a rousing send-off. Or maybe we can wait until next week, when 35,000 Philly fans will be on hand to honor their NL East champs

Posted by: NATurallyYours | September 23, 2010 3:43 PM | Report abuse

Unless I missed the memo where MLB changed the rules for 2011 to only allow teams to field 5 players, not sure we need to really debate the argument that the Nats are too old, particularly when 30 and 32 are defined as "old".

Posted by: thelonghaul | September 23, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

I'm sad to see Stan Kasten go, but not surprised. Supposedly he was hired to do here what he did and did brilliantly in Atlanta--completely rebuild an AWFUL franchise. I thought the Lerners had finally seen that he was right...but I guess I was wrong. I love my Nats, but this is really bad news.

Posted by: wocoliz | September 23, 2010 4:01 PM | Report abuse

This can be interpreted in one of two ways:

"This is the time to act. We are close. This is how it felt in Atlanta just before we turned it around. Once you've laid the groundwork and improved the farm system, you need to add some pieces. That's where we are now."

1) This team *still* needs to act. Go ahead and push full-steam ahead into building a good team. You never did that while I was here and I doubt you will now, but if you did you would have a shot at competing.

2) There is a glimmer of hope for you Nationals people, but there is more hope for Stan ... because he is going somewhere else to do something better.

Either way, I don't see a of optimism. I don't hear "the recent steps and direction strengthen the team." I don't hear "this will be a good team next year."

I see actually nothing on the whole team that gives me any reason for optimism. It isn't even supposed to rain for today's game.

Posted by: ihatewalks | September 23, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

I can't stand Stan Kasten. I think he is a bad person. And I certainly won't miss seeing him paw the buffet in the Presidents Club with his grimy little hands.

But still, I don't see how this can be interpreted as anything other than a bad thing. If even Kasten wants out, how bad must things be on the inside?

The only way I could see this as being a positive step is in the unlikely case that this is actually a forced resignation by the Lerners, because they are not satisfied by the team's progress.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 23, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

It's neither a good thing or a bad thing.
Keep in mind, it was never Stan's desire to be president of the Nationals.
He wanted to be owner. He had an investment group competing with the Lerners for the bidding of the Nats.
Now the Rangers have been sold, and who knows what's going to happen to the Dodgers.
Kasten is not the ultimate boss here and never will be.
Perhaps he wants another shot at being the owner. I'm betting so.

That said, it is hard to believe that the Lerners are going to invest more into their "public trust".

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

Another reason to be pessimistic -- virtually the only communicating the owners have done since they took over was through a guy who specialized in stonewall, insult, and snark. Now he's leaving, and they stil aren't saying anything. Why isn't the news coming from them, as part of an announcement of what they intend to do in the future? Especially if he really told them a year ago he was leaving. Either they're doing a bad thing, or they're going out of their way to create the impression they're doing a bad thing. The Expos must have done something in a prior existence to give them all this bad Karma.

Posted by: markfromark | September 23, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

thelonghaul:

"Unless I missed the memo where MLB changed the rules for 2011 to only allow teams to field 5 players, not sure we need to really debate the argument that the Nats are too old, particularly when 30 and 32 are defined as 'old'."

My comment said the Nots lineup would "include" those 5 players, not that it would consist solely of them, so that part of your complaint is due to your deficient reading comprehension skills. As to 30 (about to turn 31) and 32 being old in ML baseball, yes it is the point at which players are considered to be getting old (as it is in all sports), particularly when a team has been advertising its alleged commitment to youth.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 23, 2010 6:05 PM | Report abuse

@Sunderland:

My read on Kasten is different from yours - He wanted to have a vested share of the team, not ownership. Selig more-or-less brokered the deal to bring Kasten over to the Lerner group as a 'partner / chief executive', so they could have a solid, respected leader within the MLB community. The other owners bought off on that & awarded the franchise accordingly.

The Lerner / Bowden combo completely bungled the respectability quotient with the fans through questionable trades & spotty drafts from 2006-2008, imo, not Kasten. However, once the DR scandal broke, Kasten certainly seized the moment to toss Bowden aside & promote Rizzo to GM. While Rizzo isn't perfect, he has definately put more capable players in the system pipeline than Bowden did.

I won't personally put all the anger / hate for the teams' disfunction on Kasten; He had the perfect owner in Ted Turner (willing to spend $$$ to grow a winner), and one of the least perfect owners with the Lerners (seemingly more concerned with immediate profit than long-term viability).

Posted by: BinM | September 23, 2010 8:06 PM | Report abuse

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