Network News

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

Mark Lerner on Stan Kasten, Stephen Strasburg and the Phillies

Earlier today, Mark Lerner and Ryan Zimmerman joined representatives from the Capitals, Mystics, Redskins and Wizards at an event to support the program "Live Positively: Get the Ball Rolling," which promotes active, healthy living among local youth. It's a good cause, and you can read more about it here. (It's sponsored by Coca-Cola, which is odd considering one step toward active, healthy living would be drinking less Coca-Cola. But good job by them to sponsor it.)

At the event, Lerner spoke to a handful of reporters. One of those reporters was the great Rick Maese, the Post's Redskins beat writer. He listened to Lerner's comments and passed them along. Lerner talked about his respect for Stan Kasten, the Nationals' plans without him, the recovery of Stephen Strasburg and the coronation of the Phillies. Here are his comments in full:

On Stan Kasten:
"Stan is an incredible man. He's a great mentor, personally. He's my friend. I support him 100 percent. I know he'll be successful at anything he touches. He's an amazing man."

On whether Kasten will be replaced:
"We haven't made any final decisions. We're going to look to see him for his help. And we're going to take it one step at a time. But it's not something that we've really focused on this month."

On Stephen Strasburg:
"I haven't spoken to him. But my father spoke to him. They had a great conversation just a week ago. He's very positive about his comeback. One of the things that was really great, just before he left Washington: the same day the Cardinals were playing here, Cris Carpenter, Albert Pujols both sat down with him, told him to take advantage of this opportunity, build your core up, come back and you'll be surprised at how big of a difference it can make in your career. And also, the other thing that's incredible: seven pichers in this year's all-star game had Tommy John surgery. It's almost a situation where you can make yourself better than what God gave you."

On Philly celebrating at Nats Park:
"I've just soaken [sic] in the footage in the back of my mind. We'll have our own champagne one day."

On Mike Rizzo:
"Mike, I think, has the respect of everybody in baseball. He's one of the best there is. ...I think he's become one of the great general managers. We have total confidence in him. We hope that he's here for a long time to come."

By Adam Kilgore  | September 28, 2010; 3:05 PM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Today's lineup
Next: Stephen Strasburg's elbow rehab, in a word: 'Boring'

Comments

Do you get the sense that Mark Lerner would be working on the sales floor of some retail establishment if not for the fortuity of having been born to Ted?

Posted by: flotsam3 | September 28, 2010 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Agreed, flotsam.

This man is so stupid, he was born on third base but goes through life thinking that he hit a triple.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Do you get the sense that Mark Lerner would be working on the sales floor of some retail establishment if not for the fortuity of having been born to Ted?"

Yes. A used car dealership. And he'd be hard pressed to keep his job.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 28, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

With his winning personality, CoverageisLacking will be lucky if he ever gets to third base.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"And we're going to take it one step at a time. But it's not something that we've really focused on this month."

Adam, I hope you're going to try to do some actual reporting and dig up the real story about Kasten leaving. Based on comments like this, it is so clear that Kasten didn't make his decision "a year ago," as he claims. It's like they're not even pretending--or alternatively, that Mark is too stupid to keep up the charade, per above.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

With his winning personality, CoverageisLacking will be lucky if he ever gets to third base. The good news in that is we'll not have to worry about any little CoverageisLackings bothering the next generation.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

The Lerners don't realize how angry this fanbase is. They just don't have a clue. If they don't invest heavily in this team this offseason then they will see first hand just how bad it will be next year.

Good luck attracting fans without Dunn & Strasburg. You think it's bad now? Just wait. Spend some money this offseason and don't give us the excuse of "we tried". Maybe if you had built a competitive team over the past 5 years you could attract some free agents. The Lerners have made their bed now they have to lie in it.

I sent an email last week saying I wouldn't spend another penny in their stadium if they don't significantly upgrade their roster. Do I get a response? No. Do I even get an email back? No. Just a stupid confirmation that my message had been received.

I send Leonsis messages and he actually responds. I hope and pray that the media actually starts hammering them as they hammer Snyder. They deserve it just as much.

Posted by: JDR1970 | September 28, 2010 3:33 PM | Report abuse

There is no angry fan base because there is no fan base. There are a few geeks out there that will support anything because it is the "home" team for some reason, but not a significant number by any means and no one watches their games on TV either. They should move.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 28, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

JDR1970 - I agree with you 100%. I have had full season tickets since the team came to town. $4K a year for my 4 seats in the outfield. I am on the fence about next season. I don't feel like spending my hard earned dollars - to watch a minor league operation, and to be continuously heckled in my home ball park by fans of the Phillies, Braves, Mets and Marlins. The Red Sox money grab exhibition game was awful too. This whole operation is disgraceful. We can thank Selig for saddling this town with cheap a$$ owners like the Lerners. I am so bummed out. The plan is to make money on the cheap - just like the Pittsburgh Pirates. Ugh.

Posted by: tylerdurden1 | September 28, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

The season ticket holder questionnaire was a good place to point out the deficiencies of this franchise, both on the field and off. However, it's limited only to season ticket holders. (I had a good time venting, myself.) But I wonder if the Lerners, and Rizzo, will really take note of what people have to say, both the STHs and everyone else who wants to see the Nats do well but are consistently thwarted each year.

Posted by: samantha7 | September 28, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"We haven't made any final decisions. We're going to look to see him for his help. And we're going to take it one step at a time. But it's not something that we've really focused on this month."

Not replacing Kasten is yet another way the Lerner's will save money. I bet they get the guy running the costume shop in one of their malls this month to be the next team president. His story is always busy and must be doing a fine job.

Posted by: Batboy05 | September 28, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

"There is no angry fan base because there is no fan base. There are a few geeks out there that will support anything because it is the "home" team for some reason, but not a significant number by any means and no one watches their games on TV either. They should move"

_______________________________________


You obviously don't know this town. See the Caps and Wiz. The Caps disappeared when they stunk.

Posted by: JDB1 | September 28, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Mark Lerner will likely be the next team president, if indeed they even name one. It's pretty clear that a transition has been conducted over the past year since Kasten told them he would be leaving. Mark Lerner has assumed an increasingly large public role, speaking to the press, being seen sitting with Rizzo in the stands and at events, etc. Did he do any of those things a year ago? No, Kasten did. And while Mark Lerner gradually became more visible over the past year, Kasten correspondingly was fading away. Kasten did his job of mentoring, and has left the team to Mark Lerner, who is now on an equal footing with his buddy Ted Leonsis. Do the Caps have a team president? I don't think so. Mark Lerner is now clearly running all non-baseball aspects of the team, with Mike Rizzo handling the baseball side of the operation. That's a solid working model going forward.

Posted by: FeelWood | September 28, 2010 4:02 PM | Report abuse

>There is no angry fan base because there is no fan base. There are a few geeks out there that will support anything because it is the "home" team for some reason, but not a significant number by any means and no one watches their games on TV either. They should move.

Posted by: jwing14

You ain't seen nothin. The people around here love to punish cheap billionaires as much as the next city. And punish they will. mwaaaahaaaaaahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

I agree completely with JDR1970. And I think there is a fan base- we all saw it in 2005 when all those folks with tears in their eyes welcomed baseball back to DC. But it's been eroding over the past few years. I was willing to stick with the team even through the 100 loss seasons (I've also been a loyal Texas Ranger fan for at least 20 years, so I've been well-schooled in supporting losing teams) but this year has been the toughest yet. What I've been most disappointed with: the team keeping Riggleman, when it seems like they could have/should have gotten someone with more credibility and backbone (I think the team manages him more than he manages the team - and he's a Front Office stooge); firing Dibble, most especially the way they went about it - Kasten especially showed himself to be vindictive & petty; not re-signing Dunn (so far). If they don't re-sign Dunn, that will really be the final straw for me - no season tickets next year & no single game tickets either, as far as I'm concerned. Lerner needs to pick up some tips from Ted Leonis on many fronts & he needs to fatten up that paltry payroll that is really an embarrassment in a market this size.

Posted by: PostIDJYP | September 28, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

What else do they have to think about this month? And, to echo an earlier comment, if he told them a year ago he was leaving, why haven't they been thinking about it for a year? Why are their thoughts about the future of the team being conveyed through the football beat reporter who heard them at a charity event? Why am I acting surprised? My word or phrase to describe managment on the STH poll was "contemptuous of the fans."

Posted by: markfromark | September 28, 2010 4:15 PM | Report abuse

>Kasten did his job of mentoring, and has left the team to Mark Lerner, who is now on an equal footing with his buddy Ted Leonsis.

Posted by: FeelWood

You can't possibly be that dumb. Come back when you've done more living.

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

"With his winning personality, CoverageisLacking will be lucky if he ever gets to third base. The good news in that is we'll not have to worry about any little CoverageisLackings bothering the next generation."

Well hello to my old friend An Briosca Mor, whom I know and love and have missed so dearly. Thank you so much for your concern about my personal life. While you have misunderstood my use of the term "third base," let me take this opportunity to assuage your concerns and assure you that I am doing great, in all senses of the word. And yes, there are indeed 2 little CiLs, who are both big Nats fans.

So, ABM, how are YOU doing?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 28, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

My comment: raising mediocrity to a new level.

Posted by: JohnRDC | September 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the Lerners are unaware of the disaffection in the fan base. Even if they are in a total bubble and read nothing in the media, they can read the numbers on their own spreadsheets: STH down from 22,000 to below 10,000.

Whether they agree with some of us on how to remedy the situation is another matter. But they have to be aware of the unhappiness.

Mark Lerner has to do the following:

1. Become a more public figure and absolutely convince fans he wants to win as much as they do.

2. Make it clear they are making every reasonable effort to retain Adam Dunn.

3. Be a visible presence in the offseason both with respect to the pursuit of free agents and in interacting with fans at every opportunity.

4. Mend relations with season ticket holders and former season ticket holders who feel they have been ignored and abused.

5. Do the same with the rest of us who may not be STH's but who go to plenty of games. Our money is green, too.

6. Increase the team's downtown presence with a highly visible retail store and regularly scheduled events throughout the off-season.

It won't propel the team into the 2011 World Series, but it would be a start on repairing the damage.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 28, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

>So, ABM, how are YOU doing?

Posted by: CoverageisLacking

It all makes sense now. I forgot about that twit.

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

What do you make of Ben Goessling's citing this comment on signing Adam Dunn? ""I can tell you the only person in the front office who wants to resign him is the owner," said one scout for an opposing team who covers the Nationals regularly." Read it all here:

http://www.masnsports.com/the_goessling_game/2010/09/sources-nationals-unlikely-to-resign-adam-dunn.html

Can that be true? Why would Rizzo and Riggleman hate Nats fans so? And while we're at it, Riggleman makes baseball decisions? Yikes. But seriously, Rizzo wants to let Dunn go???

Posted by: gonats3 | September 28, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow talk about wasted space. What insight. What breaking news.
This ranks up there with some of the dumbest stuff Kilgore has written. Seriously. All that was missing was:
"And what do you think of your Mom and Dad?"
"Well they're swell. Really great parents."

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

@gonats3: What's interesting about it, if it's true, is that (1) it undercuts the "Lerners are cheap" explanation for everything, and (2) underscores the point that there is a legitimate baseball argument over Dunn, with reasonable and knowledgable people lining up on both sides.

But I would almost guarantee you that the marketing people want him re-signed. They may not know how to build a winner in the long term, but they know what sells tickets in the short term.

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 28, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

It all makes sense now. I forgot about that twit.

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 4:27 PM

The number of brain cells you've killed with alcohol, Brue, it's amazing you remember anything.

Posted by: nunof1 | September 28, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Interesting story in NY Times on how even contenders have struggled to fill seats this month, and not just the usual suspects like Tampa Bay. It includes Atlanta and Cincinnati.

"But attendance has fallen conspicuously this month, even among pennant contenders, where excitement should be building. Part of the problem is that children are back in school and less likely to attend weeknight games. The quality of the opponent and the chillier weather dampen enthusiasm as well.

But baseball officials and analysts say that many fans are still pinching pennies, even if economists have declared the recession officially over. With more games broadcast in high definition and the price of flat panel televisions declining, more fans are content to watch their teams at home and perhaps save their money for playoff tickets."

So let's put the small crowds this month at Nationals Park in perspective.

Full article at http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/29/sports/baseball/29attendance.html?hp

Posted by: Meridian1 | September 28, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

>The number of brain cells you've killed with alcohol, Brue, it's amazing you remember anything.

Posted by: nunof1

Thanks, ABM.

Posted by: Brue | September 28, 2010 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I would as soon Mark Lerner become less public because he annoys me with his utter cluelessness. I would like him to hire a competent company president who, unlike the last one, does not feel it is important to make clear to the fans at each moment how really really much smarter he is than they are, and then to retire to private life.

And re-sign Dunn.

Posted by: markfromark | September 28, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

Didn't Stan say he told the Lerners in January that he was leaving at the end of the season? How can Mark Lerner say that they haven't made replacement plans? Either they are idiots or he is not being forth right.

Posted by: cabraman | September 28, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company