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Stan Kasten leaving the Nationals

Nationals Team President Stan Kasten, the chief executive who helped the Lerner family take ownership of the Nationals, oversaw the building of Nationals Park and guided the Nationals for parts of five seasons, announced his resignation, effective at the end of the season, this afternoon.

Kasten reached his decision at the end of the 2009 season and informed Principal Owner Ted Lerner. Kasten is not retiring, but he chose to leaves the Nationals, he said, for reasons pertaining only to his best interests and not any fracture or disagreement with ownership.

"I know the stories and speculation," Kasten said. "Let me assure you, this is just about me. This has nothing to do with anybody else or anything else. This is just about me, what's good for me, for my family and my own personal expectations, goals, aspirations, purely that and nothing else. Leaving here, will I miss things? You bet. There's going to be so much that I miss."

The Nationals have not announced their plan to replace Kasten, or even if they will replace him with someone in a similar role. In January, at which point the Nationals knew Kasten would be leaving, they hired Andrew Feffer as chief operating officer. Rather than hiring another president, the Nationals could place Feffer in charge of Kasten's non-baseball duties and General Manager Mike Rizzo -- the first person Kasten hired -- in charge of the franchise's baseball operations.

"He was much more involved than most of the team presidents I've worked with," Rizzo said. "Because he knows the game inside and out. He knows players. He knows personality. And he knows talent. He was very active in our offices. We're going to have to fill a void. I'm going to have to employ the things he taught me to take over and to take on the responsibility. I think that I've been well-trained for it."

Kasten's experience and expertise will be missed. He helped build the Atlanta Braves dynasty in the 1990s and with the Nationals often advised Nationals ownership toward a less frugal approach, advice not always taken. Publicly, Kasten was an ever-vigilant guard dog for the Lerner family, defending and advocating for them at every turn.

"Over his tenure he has positioned the Nationals to become one of the most exciting franchises in baseball and we thank him for all that he has accomplished," Lerner said in a statement. "We certainly respect his decision to pursue other interests at the end of the regular season, but will continue to call upon him for his vast knowledge of the game, the league and the franchise."

Kasten declined to elaborate on his future but said, "I want to do something." His broad experience -- he has also run NBA and NHL teams -- gives him near-limitless possibilities. His name will likely surface as a candidate to replace MLB commissioner Bud Selig, who is leaving his post after the 2012 season.

Today, Kasten met with the Nationals player in the clubhouse and tears welled in his eyes as he spoke. In an 18-minute meeting with the media, Kasten wore sunglasses to conceal any tears and became most emotional when he speaking about Washington and the bond he has created with the city. He will maintain his home in the area and visit frequently, he said.

"Anything I could to continue to play a role in doing good things for the city," Kasten said, voice cracking, "I'd be thrilled to."

Kasten's last day of work will be next Wednesday, the final home game of the season. Rizzo said he has worked with him every single day of his tenure with the Nationals. "Never a dull moment," he said.

By Adam Kilgore  | September 23, 2010; 4:21 PM ET
 
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Next: More from Stan Kasten on his departure and the Nationals

Comments

"Nationals...one of the most exciting teams in baseball"???? What is Uncle Teddy smoking, anyway? Well, in fairness, it is always exciting to see whether they will turn a routine out into a triple, so there is that.

Posted by: NatsFly | September 23, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

AK wrote: "In January, at which point the Nationals knew Kasten would be leaving" So Kasten did tell the Nats a year ago that 5 years was it for him. If true, his resignation might not have anything to do with upcoming payroll decisions after all. Get Bos back on this....

Posted by: mojo6 | September 23, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

And Boz too...

Posted by: mojo6 | September 23, 2010 4:35 PM | Report abuse

The Post is quoting Mark Lerner as saying: "Stan asked for some time off. Perhaps he's not feeling well. But I'm not a doctor, nor have I seen his records. So I shouldn't say anything more about it."

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | September 23, 2010 4:39 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 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Kudos to the WaPo copy editor "who" found the typo in the lede and corrected it quickly. :-)

Posted by: Juan-John1 | September 23, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Now watch us not signing Dunn will go hand in hand with his retirement from Nats. These cheap owners better step up. They just dont seem to get it. They want big crowds and people showing up yet they arent putting a respectable team out there. Dunn wont resign. Katsen probably said screw this after he realized they wouldnt bring him back.

Posted by: dc_sports_md_va | September 23, 2010 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"bad person. . . paw the buffet. . . grimy little hands"? Maybe the Nats ought to hire Miss Manners to replace Mr. Kasten. If nothing else it'll make CiL's dining experience more pleasant.

Posted by: mojo6 | September 23, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Good riddance and thanks for nothing. Maybe the learners will see the light and get people in here who are not past their prime; people who are innovative and can think outside the diamond. 2011 mantra should be clean house - Clean slate.

Posted by: hansenjo | September 23, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

I think anytime you lose someone with Stan Kasten's qualifications and ex[erience you are losing a great asset. I think it is a loss.

We still don't know who or when will be replacing him. We don't know whether this was soley his decision or also a Lerner decision.

I don't see how anyone can issue a verdict on this (please stop with "we're doomed, doomed I tell ya"; "this proves they are cheap" crap). This could be escatly as Kasten tells it. A decision he made to pave the way for next steps and that the plans have long been in the works.

The next steps are important - very important. But I think we need to wait for the next announcements. Hope they come soon.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Wow, and just like that I got an email about 10 minutes ago from the Nats FO for renewing my ST for 2011.

Timing is everything.

Posted by: gonatsgo1 | September 23, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

Just another sniveling, two-faced lawyer we don't have to look at. 'it's just about me' - always has been, StanK.

Posted by: Brue | September 23, 2010 4:49 PM | Report abuse

re "bad person," mojo6, if you insist that I elaborate on my term, how about this: Liar, Condescending, Arrogant, Slimy, Nauseating, Insufferable, Condescending, Liar.

The thing about the buffet was a joke (though the facts are true), lighten up.

And yet I think Kasten leaving in this way is a bad thing. Which was the actual point I made.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | September 23, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Just another sniveling, two-faced lawyer we don't have to look at.

Posted by: Brue | September 23, 2010 4:49 PM

Yeah, just the Lerners left in that category

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

I heard that the racing presidents were here at the pleasure of Stan K and that they might be fired now. Also, the repainting of the stadium blue was an obvious sign Kasten's power was slipping. And that he was secretly dating Clint who is also out. And another sign that his influence had already slipped - they started selling boiled hot dogs in the stands. Really when you look back at it, the signs have been there all along.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

We still don't know who or when will be replacing him. We don't know whether this was soley his decision or also a Lerner decision.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2010 4:47 PM

It was solely his decision, but the Lerners have been indirectly pushing him out for years now. Selig forced Kasten on the ownership after they were selected. The arranged marriage didn't go perfectly and this is proof of it.

There's nothing positive about this, whether you like Stan or not. It's failure - something this club knows all too well. Do you honestly trust the Lerners with a decision on who will replace him??

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Was Clint ever in?

Posted by: thelonghaul | September 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

... and talk about reverse lock lineups. The Nats are lead pipe cinch to win tonight.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

OMG !!!!! The Reality Gods... in town for the River Ratz vs Astros series.....have once again done their job well....now if they can only keep the woeful Astros bullpen off the field today....
Kasten, the architect of:

* 3 in a row LAST PLACE team finishes along the banks of the Anacostia...
* 7 losses away from 300... over 3 seasons......
* a few days from going under .400 %%..
* ditto being overtaken by the Orioles in the winning %% column...


Maybe one day i can BE a Natz Nerd again..rather than a Hater of Natz Nerdz blind faith delusions and denial....
for that to maybe happen , they would have to jettison Riggleman, the clueless RETREAD....back to the Montgomery Co Little league, where he belongs....

Posted by: GRIMReaper55 | September 23, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

But what about Da Plan Boss Da Plan??!!

Puleeze. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Now if only Rizzo and DoubleSwitch would follow him out the door. Myabe we'd only lose 80.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 23, 2010 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Face it,baseball is a jinx in DCThey will always be aq last place team as long as they are in Washington.

Posted by: ftlmikeflorida | September 23, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

>>Do you honestly trust the Lerners with a decision on who will replace him?

Who cares. A blind monkey throwing darts at a board could win as many games as the Nats have under this current regime. That's it. Get one of those circus monkeys in here. Like we don't have that already

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 23, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm not sure what to think about this, You can look at it from some different angles and come to many different conclusions as to why Stan Kasten is leaving! I will reserve my comments until I know more about the situation. I hope it's not what I think it is .......!

Posted by: Beltwayboy7 | September 23, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

Here come the morons!

Posted by: Kev29 | September 23, 2010 5:30 PM | Report abuse

This is truely much ado about nuthin. The only thang that changes here is that Philly phans won't be as welcome. Otherwise, Lerners--Here. Rizzo--Here. DoubleSwitch--Here.
Like I said. Bidness as usual.
And the losses will just keep on comin.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 23, 2010 5:34 PM | Report abuse

It must be hard to keep finding different ways to say the same thing, over and over and over again. Boring.

Meanwhile, on the field (which is more interesting than what happens in the front office), JMax is now bringing his defense down to the level of his offense and Morse keeps hitting missiles (yes, it would have been nice to see him go wire to wire this year).

Posted by: thelonghaul | September 23, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The Post is quoting Mark Lerner as saying: "Stan asked for some time off. Perhaps he's not feeling well. But I'm not a doctor, nor have I seen his records. So I shouldn't say anything more about it."

Posted by: SorenKierkegaard | September 23, 2010 4:39 PM

No, no. The Post quoted Shanahan saying that about Haynesworth.

Posted by: prq98 | September 23, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Man, the Natinal fans are out with their pitchforks and torches. Kudos to those who are. They obviously aren't "satisfied" with not losing 100 games, aren't "satisfied" with below-mediocre play, and aren't "satisfied" with the Natinals franchise in general.

Kudos to those, which seem few and far between on here most days.

An open invite to all unsatisfied Natinal fans to jump back on the O's bandwagon and root for a professional run team, heading in the right direction.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | September 23, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to see here -- SK didn't add any value (at least positive value) to the franchise, so better for him to go. He was painful to watch though at the buffet in the President's Club. If he beat you there, no food for you.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 23, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Stan Kasten...

1.declining attendance
2. failure to get good radio stations to cover the team, failure to get radio penetration in the populous Tidewater market
3. disregarded Richmond or Tidewater when those franchises were available
4. opening day disaster

But hey we are building a fan base in New York and Pennsylvania.


Kasten leaves the job after stumbling through this one--wont miss him too much.

Posted by: driley | September 23, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Nothing to see here -- SK didn't add any value (at least positive value) to the franchise, so better for him to go. He was painful to watch though at the buffet in the President's Club. If he beat you there, no food for you.

Posted by: jwing14 | September 23, 2010 5:56 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."

Consider yourself lucky. Yogi Berra used to stand at the postgame buffet table in the Yankees locker room in the buff, and a certain body part unique to the male species would make contact with the cold cuts as he moved along filling up his plate.

:-0

Consult Jim Bouton's "Ball Four" if you don't believe me.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | September 23, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

It's time for the Lerners to step aside and let Bill Marriott buy the team. They might continue to stink but it will be entertaining as hell.


Posted by: tslats | September 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

>>Morse keeps hitting missiles (yes, it would have been nice to see him go wire to wire this year).

Yea this Morse experiment has gone terribly wrong. This guy is now helping the blind squirrel win games. You know the same blind squirrel who couldn't find Morse with a flashlight during the entire first half of the season because it was so important to get
Willie-Strike-3-Looking-Harris all those important at-bats.
Now Morse is gonna help get that same blind squirrel re-upped.
Funny how things work.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 23, 2010 6:00 PM | Report abuse

And no one should forget interleague play where the Nats were even afforded an extra bat but Riggleman still couldn't fit Morse into the lineup because well you can't sit those 2 offensive powerhouses Kennedy and Harris can you?!
And this guy is being extended? Tells you all you need to know about Mr. Mike Rizzo.

Posted by: skins_fan_22 | September 23, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Actually, it doesn't tell me anything about the GM. Can't know for sure that Rizzo has complete agency over the Riggs decision. Behind the scenes, there could be a number of things going on -- hell, he could be building up political capital w/ Ted Lerner to make an impactful managerial move in 2011. Or political capital for some other decision up his sleeve. Who knows? Seems now that Rizzo has known for some time now that Kastan was a goner. If he's got to fill in and play a more advisory role with the owner, can't be too aggressive in decision-making.

Look, I'm I'm no Riggleman fan, but I'm not ready to demonize the GM just yet.

Here's a question for the crowd ... how much longer until Mark takes over for his old man? Read Bos/z' chat ... could be good fortune when he does.

Posted by: reddog278 | September 23, 2010 6:24 PM | Report abuse

Lotta doom and gloom today!

Meanwhile, on the field HR's from Espinosa, Morse and Bernadina, a quality start from Detwiler and more good stuff from the bull pen. Excellent plays from Espinosa and Gonzalez.

Last year we were the worst team in baseball. This year we're the best last place team in baseball.

Three entertaining wins in a row.

Lighten up, people!

Posted by: nattydread1 | September 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

"Kasten's experience and expertise will be missed. He helped build the Atlanta Braves dynasty in the 1990s and with the Nationals often advised Nationals ownership toward a less frugal approach, advice not always taken."

OK, that's just false. All Kasten did was take John Scheurholz' and Bobby Cox' requests for funding for players to Ted Turner and get it approved. He's as responsible for the Braves' dynasty as, well, Ted Turner himself. Kasten was a law student who convinced Ted Turner to hire him; he's as much a baseball man as Dan Snyder is a football guy. Kasten was far more hands on with the Hawks, and they were abject failures. He also did a crummy job in marketing the Braves, the Hawks and the Nats. Lucky for him, Turner saw the Braves as cheap programming for his cable station.

By the way, Kasten worked in Atlanta and DC. Did he hire ANY blacks, except for Henry Aaron? Because he ran Frank R. out of town, and the senior executives of the Nats are whiter than the committee to elect David Duke. Maybe a couple of black hires could help market a team in an urban areas with a substantial black population. Well, like the Beatles sang, "it's getting better all the time."

Posted by: gbooksdc | September 23, 2010 6:56 PM | Report abuse

What nattydread said. That was a great win today, with some excellent defense and some timely hitting.

Also, I know it's the Internet and DC and all, but it is possible to disagree with or even criticize someone's actions without resorting to ad hominem attacks. Geez.

---

Lotta doom and gloom today!

Meanwhile, on the field HR's from Espinosa, Morse and Bernadina, a quality start from Detwiler and more good stuff from the bull pen. Excellent plays from Espinosa and Gonzalez.

Last year we were the worst team in baseball. This year we're the best last place team in baseball.

Three entertaining wins in a row.

Lighten up, people!

Posted by: nattydread1 | September 23, 2010 6:56 PM

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | September 23, 2010 7:28 PM | Report abuse

"I'd be leaving even if we'd won the Division the last two years. I've just discovered I hate baseball."

Posted by: markfromark | September 23, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

After Zimm got scratched, natsbiscuit made an astute observation.
Props.
**********************

... and talk about reverse lock lineups. The Nats are lead pipe cinch to win tonight.

Posted by: natbiscuits | September 23, 2010 5:03 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Sunderland | September 23, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

All we can really say is "Oy Vey."

Posted by: password11 | September 23, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

Harper debut, FIL
http://tinyurl.com/2aplunf

Posted by: Sunderland | September 23, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

So..after reading Boswell this morning, I now realize that Stan must have called him last night and vented.

So very sorry to see him go. The Nats have been on a slow but steady track toward getting-betteredness but losing Stan will slow that down, I suspect.

Thanks Stan for some great work that won't be seen for another year or two.

Posted by: AHappyWarrior | September 23, 2010 8:25 PM | Report abuse

With the Carnival Barker gone, maybe the Nats' marketing department will work harder on getting Nats fans in the seats at Nats Park instead of stinkin filthy Phillies fans.

Posted by: HonestBroker1 | September 23, 2010 8:35 PM | Report abuse

Just to correct;

Blue paint, instead of the red was because of the sun, which was beginning to turn a lovely shade of pink (not a good color for a traditional athletic team.)

Richmond will never get approval for a triple A franchise until they build a new stadium (approval must come from Intntl or PCL) and that is not likely under the current VA govt.

Why would the Lerners (who, by the way have done a lot more for the DC community than the Marriotts ever thought of doing) sell to Bill Marriott? What makes you think that Marriott is interested? It's nice to be able to make things up out of whole cloth with nothing but an uninformed imagination.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 23, 2010 9:36 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'll rephrase...The red paint was turning pink. The sun was not turning pink.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | September 23, 2010 9:44 PM | Report abuse

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