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Stan Kasten's final news conference: the highlights

Stan Kasten met with the media for roughly half an hour this afternoon at the Presidents Club in Nationals Park. Kasten was comfortable and casual, though not "excessively emotional" as he worked his final, official day for the Nationals.

For now, here are some quick hits from the news conference:

>> Kasten will maintain control of his ownership stake "for at least the time being," he said. He does not see himself starting a new job until next spring training at the earliest, so he can hold on to his share of ownership.

>> While saying the question flattered him, Kasten expressed the belief that he will not become commissioner because he doesn't believe Bud Selig will actually step down in 2012. "I know no one is baseball who thinks Bud Selig is stepping down," he said. Kasten called the questions about his taking the job, "kind of silly."

>> Though Kasten will stop working for the Nationals on a day-to-day basis today, he will continue to be officially employed by the team until the end of 2010 and said he will offer his expertise when called upon. "I'm devoted to this franchise in anyway that I can help them," he said.

>> Kasten mentioned several objectives he wants to accomplish before the end of the year: negotiating a radio deal, making more progress on cleansing corruption from the Dominican Republic and figuring out where the Nationals will hold spring training in the future.

>> About spring training, Kasten said he expects to have resolution by this time next year about where the Nationals will train. They have run into scheduling problems since the Dodgers left Vero Beach for Arizona, which is near Viera, Fla., their home since the franchise moved from Montreal. The Nationals have a lease that ends in 2017, but they could wrangle out of it.

Kasten has toured every site in Florida, and he mentioned the possibility of the Nationals become the first East Coast team train in Arizona. He said he has visited all but two facilities in the Cactus League, and Mark Lerner has visited those two himself. "I wouldn't rule anything in or out," he said.

>> Kasten said the Nationals "could have done smaller deals" in receiving payment for corporate naming rights for Nationals Park, but the Lerners decided the prudent move would be to wait until the economy improves and strike a richer, longer term deal. Kasten called Nationals Park "the most important venue in the most important city in the word."

>> Kasten said he hopes Adam Dunn stays with the Nationals, something he has expressed both inside the organization and to Dunn himself. "It would be the right thing not just for us, but for Adam, as well."

>> Kasten believes the Lerners will make the financial commitment necessary this offseason to push the Nationals forward. "When I talk about an active offseason, that's what we all talked about," Kasten said. "The desire is there. The willingness is there. I think the follow-through will be there."

By Adam Kilgore  | October 6, 2010; 3:49 PM ET
 
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Comments

"Kasten believes the Lerners will make the financial commitment necessary this offseason to push the Nationals forward. "

Did anyone ask him if he also believes in the tooth fairy?

Posted by: NatsFly | October 6, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Good to know that the spring training site deck chairs on this Titanic loser Stan captained for years of last place losing are getting a lot of attention on his way out.

Stan Kasten might be the biggest sports bust to hit this town since Kwame Brown. Great expectations, awful performance. I sure hope we find a way to finish last year after year without Stan at the helm to guide us. Ahhemmm, yeah something like that.

Anyway, the Lerners will no doubt spend more money this off season than they ever have -- but that is not saying much, and they have huge money coming off the books, so an active off season seems assured. Whether they spend well and enough is another issue.

Stan's talk about Lerner family desire, willingness and follow-through for an increased financial commitment? Stan, why'd it take 5 years (presuming they actually do follow through)? Where was this stuff up until now and why should anyone buy what you're selling as you quit the club?

Happy trails, Stan. You failed miserably at the most important part of your job, delivering a quality baseball product. Though, I am sure that when the Nats have a nice ST facility deal in 2018 I will be glad we had you; it will all have been worth it.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 6, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the only highlight for Natinal fans is that Kasten is gone.

Now the Natinals have to start, yet again, at square-1. Not that they're really progressed that far from said anyway.

And the idea of the Natinals spending money this offseason? Thanks for the knee-slapper.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 4:41 PM | Report abuse

Congratulations and thanks to Stan Kasten. Although all managmene tand ownership of a losing franchise is destined to become whipping posts for the fan base, I truly believe that Stan Kasten has done a good job of a tough assignment - stand up a professional baseball team in a new market with few talented assets on day one. Many, many potential alternatives could have done much worse.

Thanks for helping to bring baseball back to DC. (but please keep spring training in Florida).

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 6, 2010 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Natbiscuits -- Stan did not help to bring baseball back to DC. he came after the fact.

Stan was long on promise and short on delivery. The club was not good at PR, not good at promotion, not good at building a front office, not good at building a farm, not good at building a MLB roster, all under Stan's watch. What did this guy do so well that many, many alternatives would have done much worse?

Stan was the picture of classic DC sports decision making -- if we get a guy who did it someplace else no matter how different a situation, no matter how different a time, but a name guy who has produced -- a Norv, a Jagr, a MJ executive, a Spurrier, a second run Gibbs -- it will work; it has to work. Stan did not get the job done. It did not work.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 6, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Stan was good.......good at letting Phillies fans invade Natinal Park and turn it into Citizens Bank Park South.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"Kasten mentioned several objectives he wants to accomplish before the end of the year: negotiating a radio deal..."
---------
As long as Charlie and Dave continue to be the radio voice of the Nats, I don't care what kinda deal he negotiates.

Posted by: Juan-John1 | October 6, 2010 5:05 PM | Report abuse

"Kasten mentioned several objectives he wants to accomplish before the end of the year: negotiating a radio deal..."
---------
As long as Charlie and Dave continue to be the radio voice of the Nats, I don't care what kinda deal he negotiates.


Well, J-J1, I for one would like it if Charlie & Dave could be heard outside of about a 10 mile radius...

Posted by: NATurallyYours | October 6, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Why in the world would the Nats want to move out of Fl. to Arizona. Don't they realize many fans plan their vacation to see some exhibition games down there. Since the Nats are involved it must the $$$.

Posted by: boyn4884 | October 6, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Maybe Florida doesn't want the Natinals, which, going by how the Natinals have played since they were stolen from Montreal, would be understandable to Floridians.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Watching the Rays/Rangers game today, I was reminded once again how great a difference there is between a major league baseball team and the bush-league Washington Nationals.

Each team went with their aceā€”genuine aces, not Jason Marquis or John Lannan. There was crisp defensive play that went along with timely hitting (for the Rangers).

And narrating the TBS broadcast was a professional crew consisting of a pro play-by-play guy and Buck Martinez, who is as good as they get for color. Contrast this with the MASN TV crew who (I'm guessing) could not get employment in any other major league city worth its name, Dibble or no Dibble.

The Nats are so far beneath the professional baseball level on display this afternoon it's obvious we are in for years of mediocrity. I'm afraid a lot of the fault lies with Stan Kasten, who seems to have had the instincts of a minor league owner. Hiring Mike Rizzo, for example, who's turned out to be a company yes man who is taking the Nats nowhere even while repeatedly claiming he's putting the best MLB players on the field for good old DC's fans. What a crock.

Etc., etc.

Posted by: JohnRDC | October 6, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

Is Poopy an adult? All of his comments sound like a 12 year old. I'm not sure I've every read an insightful comment from him and I'm not sure what thrill he gets from his comments.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | October 6, 2010 5:39 PM | Report abuse

Is Poopy an adult? All of his comments sound like a 12 year old. I'm not sure I've every read an insightful comment from him and I'm not sure what thrill he gets from his comments.

Posted by: Jurgensen9 | October 6, 2010 5:39 PM
-------

And yet your post here brings nothing to the table, in regards to the Natinals or anything Natinal-related.

Pot, meet kettle Sonny-boy.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Likewise. I can barely pick it up in my neck of the woods, and when I do it cuts in and out.

---

Well, J-J1, I for one would like it if Charlie & Dave could be heard outside of about a 10 mile radius...

Posted by: NATurallyYours | October 6, 2010 5:15 PM |

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | October 6, 2010 5:52 PM | Report abuse

Poop does realize that the O's were "stolen" from St. Louis in the early 50s.

Posted by: norfolkoms | October 6, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Actually St. Louis was ABANDONED for the greener pastures of Baltimore.

Apples and oranges comparison since the Natinals were stolen outright from the city of Montreal.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 5:57 PM | Report abuse

Yes, adding an FM carrier with decent broadcast power, or a repeater network would suffice nicely (106.7 perhaps).
----------------
Well, J-J1, I for one would like it if Charlie & Dave could be heard outside of about a 10 mile radius...

Posted by: NATurallyYours | October 6, 2010 5:15 PM

Posted by: BinM | October 6, 2010 6:30 PM | Report abuse

The Fertilizer idiot from the Queen City of the Patapsco River Basin who trolls on this board is simply here to pee all of you off. Mommy probably doesn't know he is using the computer and he doesn't have any dates so he comes to troll and gets off when any of us respond. Take a look at this string and you'll see what I mean. He'll keep throwing his stupidity out there until someone bites. And I wouldn't want to be near him or watch what he's doing when he sees a response. You know what I mean. Anything to get a rise out of you will, um, give him one as well. Pimple faced cyberspace bravehearts like him simply thrive on the attention. SIMPLY IGNORE his useless, adolescent posts and he will go away. As the saying goes: DON'T FEED THE TROLLS. He'll eventually go away and foul some other board. Or perish early from breathing in some of that Harm City air.

Posted by: Natstoyou | October 6, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Feed me

Feed me

Of course I, too, would look for any/all scapegoats after the horrific season the Natinals just concluded.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Natstoyou, you do realize that talking about the troll is the same as feeding the troll, don't you? Ignore him. Don't even mention him, and eventually he'll get tired of it and be gone.

And troll, forget I even said this.

Posted by: nunof1 | October 6, 2010 6:57 PM | Report abuse

I'll reserve final judgement on Kasten until we see what the Nationals' are able to do in this off-season under Rizzo. Kasten has caught a lot of heat over the last five years for what was going on both above him (clueless rookie owners), and below him (Bowden) as well. His tasks were to sell the product on the field, as well as try to re-build the infrastructure of the franchise.

He handled the infrastructure reasonably well, replacing Bowden with Rizzo & selling the Lerner's on hiring a larger group of knowledgable staffers in support. Also, getting the draft budget increased helped as well.

His biggest failure was in 'selling the product'. The purported 'Ballpark experience' still leaves a bit to be desired, and sales efforts locally (ad campaigns & radio coverage in particular) are still less than adequate imo. Add on the mis-step of going on radio in Philidelphia to promote ticket sales, and that side of the equation was an utter failure.

Going forward, will the Lerner's open up the purse strings a bit & actually sign (not 'just miss') on some needed pieces? If so, maybe Lerner taught them something about "the business of baseball". If Rizzo has to continue to settle for lower-level Free Agents on short contracts, then the legacy of Stan Kasten in D.C. may well be that he helped bring baseball back to the Nation's capital, period.

Posted by: BinM | October 6, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

I think Poop may be practicing revisionist history. From what I understand, and the WaPo's baseball experts may want to chime in for an authoritarian comment, the Old Brown's were sold (Bill Veeck was the owner)to a group of Baltimore investors in 1953 when Veeck was blocked from moving the team himself after the St. Louis Cardinals were sold to the Busch family. I think Veeck saw the hand writing on the wall realizing that the Cards with the Busch ownership would easily over whelm his already foundering team with its much smaller fan base. So I don't see where the Brown's were abandoned much as the Montreal Expos were not abandoned but sold because of poor stadium and attendance. I lived in St. Louis 20 plus years ago and the old duffers than still had fond memories of their Browns.

Posted by: norfolkoms | October 6, 2010 7:34 PM | Report abuse

It is pathetic that Kasten even has to talk about getting a good radio deal after more than 4 years. He was never the baseball guy; but this is the kind of thing he was supposed to be expert at based on his time in Atlanta. And he stunk. The local radio stations that he signed up have horrible reception and no range. The Nats have made minimal effort to establish a radio presence south into Virginia.

You can forget about the crappy baseball team he was the President of, and he still would get an F. Look at the team stores--they've consistently ha a crappy selection, still selling Nick Johnson t-shirts months after he was traded, as an example. Look at the food stands that still can't handle crowds over 30k, after 3 seasons. Don't let the door smack you on the way out, Stan. Good riddance, you schmuck.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | October 6, 2010 7:35 PM | Report abuse

@nunof1, steve_, & others:

McP is a pest, but not a troll, imo; More like a mosquito or gnat that you just can't kill. He needles constantly, is rarely offensive, doesn't add much beyond site hits to NJ, but he's relatively harmless.
He's been posting to RI for quite some time, and they seem to either respond logically or ignore him completely, depending on who is paying attention at the time. I'd suggest doing the same.

Posted by: BinM | October 6, 2010 7:42 PM | Report abuse

No-hitter for Halladay.

Posted by: skidge | October 6, 2010 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Sometimes I wish I could get the radio better, other times I'm grateful when it cuts out. But Vin's coming back next year in LA, so that's good. XM almost never cuts out.

Posted by: markfromark | October 6, 2010 8:05 PM | Report abuse

No matter what anyone writes, the 2010 season records are in the books and the Nats are better than the Baltimore Oriles (who had that misspeliing on their shirts this year) in both wins and attendance.

So, any Woes fans here can smack themselves on the head with a bat like their little second baseman did, thus missing 6 games! HAHAHAHA!

And, all those posts add to the stats the Post uses to gauge interest and coverage in the Nats, so, every single one contributes to more coverage for the Nats and less for the Woes.

HAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA!!!

Posted by: sonshinefcc | October 6, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

@dfh21, I generally concur with your thoughts concerning Stan Kasten.
I'd add that he speaks what is convenient and what he thinks people want to hear, he certainly does not concern himself with speaking the truth.

For example:
Kasten called Nationals Park "the most important venue in the most important city in the word."
If he worked for the Yankees, would he still call DC the most important city in the world? If he worked for Ted Leonsis would he still call Nat's Park the most important venue in DC?
Of course not. This is politician-speak, used car salesman speak, aka garbage.

Posted by: Sunderland | October 6, 2010 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I'm more than impressed with the Phills, particularly w/ Doc Holliday. It, of course, reminds me that, when I started watching the Expos, as the prepared to move, in '95 right after the strike, it was obvious that they couldn't support a Major League team. Their best bet was to build a new stadium, which they planned to do for $150Million (Canadian), which drove the last nail in the coffin, assuming that Bud the Dumb couldn't manage to contract them out of existence. That year, the Expos barely cleared 1.25 Million.

Meanwhile, the Phills managed a simple 2.3 million. Not exactly overwhelming.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 6, 2010 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Out of all the "experts" and regular fans or whatever who usually post comments here, I think Poopy_McPoop is probably the best!

Posted by: keywester-va | October 6, 2010
7:35 PM
-------

Oooops, look like, as usual, most Natinal fans that post here are wrong. While Keywester-va is totally right.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

So, any Woes fans here can smack themselves on the head with a bat like their little second baseman did, thus missing 6 games! HAHAHAHA!

Posted by: sonshinefcc | October 6, 2010 8:07 PM
-----------

Touche. However, at least the O's won't be without their only attraction (and best pitcher) for the entire 2011 season.

Oh snap!!

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 6, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

One can see just from these playoffs how important top of the rotation starting pitching is. So if they can acquire say a Cliff Lee and/or a Zack Grienke. And then get Stras back, with Zimmnn and Solis following ...

Its a lot of "ifs" again but this is what its all about. Everyone wants Dunn back but like it or he should not be as high a priority as top of the rotation starting pitching ... along with some drastic improvement to the defense.

Posted by: periculum | October 6, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

BinM,

Poopy like Maddy is a hybrid. He is a DC area guy who is a huge Redskin fan but roots for the O's. He and Maddy differ in that Maddy is both a huge Nats fan and O's fan. One can do that given that one team plays in the AL and the other in the NL. The chances of a BW Parkway series are pretty darned remote ... so ...

Personally, I never much cared about the O's. Even when there was no other team. I respected them in their heyday but it was kind of the way you respect the Yankees and their ability to collect talent. Now, I guess its different ... they are as downtrodden as any Nats team past, present or future thanks to their owner.

Posted by: periculum | October 6, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

Stan is happy. He can go eat his pancakes and waffles at the Cracker Barrel's in the Atlanta metro area. Personally, I'd rather visit the King of Pops and his hand crafted, home made popsicle, fudgsicle creations in the Inman Park L5P area. He can have the Cracker Barrel.

Posted by: periculum | October 6, 2010 11:32 PM | Report abuse

In other news former Nat lefty Bill Bray got to pitch in relief to end the game for Cincinnati. Wonder if he got to the playoffs before most of his draft class ...

Posted by: periculum | October 6, 2010 11:41 PM | Report abuse

So if they can acquire say a Cliff Lee and/or a Zack Grienke. And then get Stras back, with Zimmnn and Solis following ...

Posted by: periculum | October 6, 2010 11:23 PM
===========

The Natinals have the same odds as the Orioles as landing either of those guys.

Also, personally, in terms of rooting for an NL and AL team, that was decided when I was a wee-boy when I became partial to the Braves as my "NL" team back in like 1990/91. So again, no need to root for the Natinals, even if at one point I lived closer to their stadium than OPACY.

Never cared much for people telling me what do, let alone telling me I should "root" for the Natinals because they were a new team in the area and could be my "NL" team.

Hope no jokers on here "blogged" too much today, as there was some good baseball to be watched.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 7, 2010 12:30 AM | Report abuse

"Kasten has toured every site in Florida, and he mentioned the possibility of the Nationals become the first East Coast team train in Arizona. He said he has visited all but two facilities in the Cactus League, and Mark Lerner has visited those two himself. 'I wouldn't rule anything in or out,' he said."

OK, that's pretty weird.

I'm reminded of the casual announcement in early 1957 that Walter O'Malley had purchased the PCL Los Angeles Angels and their ballpark Wrigley Field, and with them the ML rights to put a team there.

I'm probably reading too much into this, but with Las Vegas being one of the last likely markets for an ML team . . .

And for anyone saying "but they have a lease here in DC!" as Kasten mentions w/r/t their deal in Florida, leases can be broken. People like the Lerners welsh out of deals all the time and even if the offended parties sue, these things almost always end up with a negotiated settlement on terms that are ultimately more favorable for the people who violate the contract.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

"Kasten has toured every site in Florida, and he mentioned the possibility of the Nationals become the first East Coast team train in Arizona. He said he has visited all but two facilities in the Cactus League, and Mark Lerner has visited those two himself. 'I wouldn't rule anything in or out,' he said."

OK, that's pretty weird.

I'm reminded of the casual announcement in early 1957 that Walter O'Malley had purchased the PCL Los Angeles Angels and their ballpark Wrigley Field, and with them the ML rights to put a team there.

I'm probably reading too much into this, but with Las Vegas being one of the last likely markets for an ML team . . .

And for anyone saying "but they have a lease here in DC!" as Kasten mentions w/r/t their deal in Florida, leases can be broken. People like the Lerners welsh out of deals all the time and even if the offended parties sue, these things almost always end up with a negotiated settlement on terms that are ultimately more favorable for the people who violate the contract.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 8:58 AM | Report abuse

>I'm probably reading too much into this, but with Las Vegas being one of the last likely markets for an ML team . . .

And for anyone saying "but they have a lease here in DC!" as Kasten mentions w/r/t their deal in Florida, leases can be broken. People like the Lerners welsh out of deals all the time and even if the offended parties sue, these things almost always end up with a negotiated settlement on terms that are ultimately more favorable for the people who violate the contract.

Posted by: Fairfax6

There are no viable cities left to raise the spectre of relocation, DC was the last. There wouldn't be a franchise here if there was. It's not based on attendance or fan interest, it's based on whether MLB could get a publicly funded stadium for an existing franchise. Vegas needs a domed stadium built, and if a private party doesn't come up with the money, then MLB will try to extort the city to pay for it. They won't move out of this market because they make money here because of the revenue streams in a free stadium. They'd move Tampa Bay before they moved anyone. MLB will start making noise about a new stadium there, and if there's no movement, they'll threaten relocation. But they would need a new stadium in whatever city they intend to move. It's all about free stadiums, nothing to do with anything else. Montreal couldn't get a publicly funded stadium, and the guy that owned them couldn't afford to build one, that's the only reason they left.
The idiots that say DC doesn't deserve a team, and that they'll move if attendance doesn't improve, haven't been paying attention the last 20 years.

Posted by: Brue | October 7, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-I gotta tell ya....fans aside, I really like the Phillies. Home grown stars, canny scrap heap pick-ups, and the willingness to augment the core with the necessary pieces. A really great team. Reminds me of why I still love the Nats-after all, it was only a few seasons ago that the Phils set the mark as the franchise that had lost the most games in MLB history ever (was it 10,000?). Right now, though...I'm pretty apathetic about our team. Saw a post at Nats' Fangirls with some quotes from '07 about how we were "poised" to take off. And how the writer felt the same apathy as I do.
Ahhh, what the H.I'm gonna enjoy some Major League baseball in the playoffs and dream of next spring!
Go Everyone but the Yankees! And of course
Go Nats!

Posted by: zendo | October 7, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-And I just came upon this tidbit from St. Louis - my pre-Nats favorite (and a team that played just as disjointedly...I remarked on the similarities while at the Park with a pal):
"Of course, the Cardinals neglected to hire a minor-league field coordinator to replace Jim Riggleman or a roving minor-league hitting instructor to replace Dan Radison. They proved pound-foolish moves that should be corrected soon."
Hmmm-mebbe the Cards'll take 'em both back? Helps explain Riggs' fawning apology after the Nyjer thing. Why this has ANY value to this post...well, it's off-season time!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | October 7, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

"It's all about free stadiums, nothing to do with anything else."

So Vegas would be unwilling to build one?

Actually, that's just about the only place you might see a privately built stadium get constructed. Steve Wynn would probably be only too happy to do it.

Or, given some of his recent outbursts, maybe Wynn could buy the team and move it to Macau. The team could build it's spring training facility in Okinawa, and play Japanese teams to tune up for the regular season.

"The idiots that say DC doesn't deserve a team, and that they'll move if attendance doesn't improve, haven't been paying attention the last 20 years."

Whatever that's supposed to mean. As it is, it's pretty much empty rhetoric. If there's one thing the last 60 years have shown us it's that if an owner is really determined to move, it'll happen sooner or later.

I think a Nots team capable of winning 90+ games would draw extremely well (3 million plus on the season). Unfortunately, the prospect of such a team playing at Nots Landing anytime in the near future is not good. Attendance will continue to be near the worst in the league, buoyed mostly by fans of other teams.

Speaking of which, just imagine the possibilities Lost Wages would offer the Lerners to fill the seats with people rooting for the visiting team! That's the only kind of fan development they've shown the least interest in. If they could get Cirque De Soleil to perform in between innings, there wouldn't be an empty seat in the house.

:-)


Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe a Las Vegas relocation discussion has again reared its ugly head. Zombies, Vampires, Las Vegas relo. Some things simply refuse to die.

Posted by: mojo6 | October 7, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

For those who try and blow away the value of leases, the only reason that the Rays didn't move or get contracted (see earlier post) years ago was the ironclad lease that the city had, with the club for rental of the Orange Juice box.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 7, 2010 11:03 AM | Report abuse

You don't hear much about Marrero these days. It's clear he has not developed the power that most scouts (not just hte Nationals) projected he would. But I think he is generally thought to be capable of contributing some positive numbers at the Major League level. I wonder if that potential would get him included in a trade for a starting pitcher - and how much value another team would evaluate him as having.

Posted by: natbiscuits | October 7, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

mikecatcher50:

There is no such thing as an ironclad lease or contract. What it all boils down to is whether or not the person breaking the lease has the resources to engage in litigation until the other side finally caves and agrees to a deal that allows the welshing party to do better than it would have under the terms of the lease.

Rays ownership, for whatever reason, wasn't willing to pursue this course, presumably because there was no way it would work out to its financial advantage at that particular time. A way to do this can always be found, provided someone is willing to spend enough money and devote enough time. Being utterly shameless also helps.


Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

The fact that it took Kasten over 3 years to realize he had a clown in Bowden as the GM says it all. If Bowden and his crony Jose Rijo hadn't gotten into trouble in the DR over the Smiley Gonzalez affair, who knows whether Rizzo would even be the GM today. His marketing of the team was pitiful and he permanently etched his name in infimity when he decided to promote sales of opening day tickets to Philly fans on their radio stations. If he had done half the job promoting the team that he should have and actually tried to bring in some quality FA's, I'd have a little respect for him.

The posssibility that Dunn is likely to leave as a FA is also on Kasten. Rizzo clearly would like to have re-signed him awhile ago, but Kasten was never able to get the Lerners to open their wallet to make it happen. Except for the hiring of Rizzo as GM, Kasten was an abysmal failure during his 5 years here and no one will miss him now that he's gone.

Posted by: wizfan89 | October 7, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

natbiscuits:

Marrero had a good year in Double A, and he's still quite young. But if the Nats don't sign Dunn (and that seems more likely than signing him, though who really knows), they're going to need a first baseman, and anybody they can sign as a free agent is going to be older than Dunn is, so they probably wouldn't want to trade him.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-While I'm no StanK fan, Wiz.....according to Boswell, it's actually pretty much the opposite vis a vis Adam Dunn. (He's got his chat going on now and actually addresses the topic). Also, I think it's pretty well established that StanK DID want to dump Bowden but Mark "Slow" Lerner had a man crush on him.(And Papa Slow loved the "no money" approach). Speculation is that a reason for StanK leaving was the Slows ignoring his advice.
That said....he really BLEW it regarding the fans and the Philly thing - with you 100% on that....and while it may not be an "abysmal' failure in my book - it sure is close. I just wonder how much of it is his, and how much is the Slows-who I DEFINITELY give the tag abysmal to in regards to what they've done with both the team AND the golden opportunity they were presented with.
And BTW-not alot of action fer Boz on his chat so far. Another product of the Nats' execrable play? We're all exhausted by it!
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | October 7, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone else see the problem/conflict of interest with the team Pres. being part of ownership? A low payroll=more profit for himself. A stadium centered more around the Build-a-Bear Workshop, Philly fans, and Racing Presidents T-Shirts than around allowing fans to watch the game in peace=good business. As the Deadspin Documents for PIT and FLA (to say nothing of Max Bialystock & Leo Bloom) have shown us, you can make more money with a flop than with a hit. Both "small market" teams were exposed to be extremely profitable. Stan and the Lerners don't want to do what it takes to win--they want a low payroll, high ticket prices and yuppies who have no problem shelling out $8 for beer.

Posted by: InTheCheapSeats | October 7, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

From everything I've seen I do think it's safe to assume the Natinals are more concerned with making a profit than they are with fielding a winning team.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 7, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

Tom Boswell: The O's young pitching is way ahead of the Nats.


Uh-oh. Can't imagine that'll be received well in these parts. I'm sure some will come out bashing Boswell and claim he's somesort of "O's guy" or something like that.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

If there's one thing the last 60 years have shown us it's that if an owner is really determined to move, it'll happen sooner or later.

Posted by: Fairfax6

But MLB has to let them move, cowboy. Sorry to override your simplified notion of relocation. They can't just do it on their own - they have to vote for it. The only team that would move to Las Vegas if there was a new stadium (which there ain't) would be a team that needs a new stadium. New stadiums have built-in profit centers, and whoever would want to move the Nationals would have to pay off the current new stadium AS WELL as build a new stadium in a new city. Tampa Bay? Sure, but even that wouldn't happen until there was a new stadium in Vegas. And that wouldn't even happen unless the owner approved it. And BudCo isn't gonna move them out of Tampa until he's convinced that they can never get a new stadium built down there. I'm just filling you in on the rules since BudCo took over. Don't you get baseball news where you're at? This has been going on for a good quarter-century. Why do you think it took so long to do the obvious and move a team here?

Posted by: Brue | October 7, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

>Tom Boswell: The O's young pitching is way ahead of the Nats.


Uh-oh. Can't imagine that'll be received well in these parts. I'm sure some will come out bashing Boswell and claim he's somesort of "O's guy" or something like that.

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop

I set him up for that weeks ago when he used my comment about how everybody on the O's threw 92-95 mph while everyone on the Nats threw 85-88 mph except for Strasburg and maybe Storen. And that was way before Showalter showed up. He spent about 3 paragraphs on the difference between the two staffs.

Posted by: Brue | October 7, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"But MLB has to let them move, cowboy. Sorry to override your simplified notion of relocation. They can't just do it on their own - they have to vote for it."

Good lord, you really are naive, aren't you?

THEY MAKE DEALS AND DO FAVORS FOR EACH OTHER, YOU HOPELESS TWIT!!!!! HOW DO YOU THINK THE BREWERS ENDED UP SWITCHING LEAGUES? BECAUSE THE KINDLY BASEBALL OWNERS FELT OH SO SORRY FOR THE MILWAUKEE FANS DEPRIVED OF THEIR OLD NATIONAL LEAGUE RIVALRIES?

Even Charlie Finley, whom all the other owners detested, was allowed to move his team, right into the same market as Horace Stoneham, whom they liked, a calamitous decison as both teams found themselves playing to mostly empty seats for many years. The A's had championship teams that didn't draw flies.

And there was no team in DC for so long because they didn't want another team sharing the market the Orioles had. You'd have to have been in a coma not to be aware of that tidbit. Or brain dead.

Please post again when you reach the level of mental development where your parents allow you to cross the street by yourself.

Posted by: Fairfax6 | October 7, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Of course - it's easy to move a team, done at the drop of a hat, really. Funny that the hat has dropped only twice in 40 years.

Posted by: zimbar | October 7, 2010 5:50 PM | Report abuse

>Posted by: Fairfax6

New stadiums = New revenue streams. There is no value in leaving a modern venue in less than 30 years. 25 at the least. It costs more to replace the same functions in another stadium because the new stadium is built at the current prices. BudCo is humming. Btw, Baltimore's revenue didn't drop off - they were THIRD in net profit last year. What, they're pissed they're not #1? Two snaps and around the world girlfriend.

Posted by: Brue | October 7, 2010 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Looks like Gilbertbp is the only one who does have a hard time finding the O's and/or Natinals on MASN. Kinda blows his little cry-session yesterday out of the water...

"Nationals, Orioles see Dramatic Audience Growth on MASN"

http://www.masnsports.com/masn_news_information/2010/10/nationals-orioles-see-dramatic-audience-growth-on-masn.html

Posted by: Poopy_McPoop | October 7, 2010 7:30 PM | Report abuse

Gardenhire sent his starting pitcher out for the 7th inning in a tie game. Crazy, huh?
Then that guy gave up a couple hits and the leading run.
And the Gardenhire left him in there longer.
Is he really allowed to do that?

Posted by: Sunderland | October 7, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

Yankees getting it done. Poor Capps.

Posted by: CountDemoney | October 7, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Closers in non-save siituations, they seem to blow up like half the time. No idea why, but it seems to happen.

So glad that this thread quickly spun away from Stan Kasten and his lack luster tenure as Mayor of Nats Town, btw.

Posted by: dfh21 | October 8, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

What with declining attendance and the frustration of multiple last place finishes, not to mention our city's baseball, history, it's natural to worry about relocation but I see zero chance of that happening in the next 10-15 years. I think Brue is wrong to worry about this.

The much greater risk is that the owners choose pursue a small-town strategy and we get stuck with a franchise that plays like the Pirates or the Royals when, given the size and affluence of this market, that would not be necessary if the owners are willing to invest in the product.

All that aside, I must address Fairfax6's argument that a relocating team "would have to pay off the current new stadium AS WELL as build a new stadium in a new city."

Presumably, the team would only be enticed to relocate if a stadium was built for it. And I am not aware of anything in the current stadium lease that would require the team to pay off the stadium debt if it were to relocate. It WOULD have to pay off its lease obligations, but there are a variety of escape clauses and it is like that, especially after the first 15 years, the payoff figure would be substantially less than the remaining debt on the stadium's construction.

Posted by: Meridian1 | October 8, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

We need a new post. We've got a whole winter to get through and we can't keep building on this one.

Posted by: markfromark | October 8, 2010 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, AK, te hot stove for a lcub like the Nats should have already started stoking. Who are they taregeting? Who might get nontendered? Who's savory out there for them to take in a trade (has to be a lot of guys on bad contracts that this club could use very well)? Is Wang looking like he could return to form? Predictions on which current Nats are not there when camp starts?

Make the stuff up if you have to (Kastenize up some factoids!), but we need something to chew on in here!

Posted by: dfh21 | October 8, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

@markfromark, dfh21:
Yeah, somebody from the WaPo sports desk needs to wake Kilgore & get some fresh content posted. Who are the seven plus facing cuts from the 40-man? Where are negotiations with Dunn? Who looks like a trade target, and who's possibly on the block in return? Maybe even run a possible FA list (by position), and speculate on signability.
Just throw us a bone, OK?

Posted by: BinM | October 8, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

At least MZ is still posting. WP needs to figure out if they are in the game. My view - Adam was told to take a break to ease payroll. i.e. burn your vacation or OT

Posted by: navboss | October 8, 2010 8:24 PM | Report abuse

It's Columbus Day weekend. In lieu of a raise WaPo reporters get a 5 day weekend.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 8, 2010 9:23 PM | Report abuse

If we can please dispense with the nonsense, the Nats aren't moving anywhere in my lifetime or yours.

Nobody, but nobody is moving a club to Las Vegas. Property values have gone into an absolute dumpster and unemployment is right through the ceiling. Beyond the gambling thing (no longer a real issue, other than perception, with full scale gaming in PA, gambling river boats in St. Louis, and, of course the Indian Casino adverts behind the plate in New Yankee Stadium), the population would not really want to go to a baseball game. Of course, the casino owners wouldn't be that thrilled with their clients taking 4 prime hours off of using the tables.

If any club were to move, the only realistic place is somewhere in the NYC area. Now, calm down, it ain't going to happen anytime in the foreseeable future. BTW, as a comparison, the Brewers are actually a third team in Chicago. For a number of those in the Chicagoland area, houses in the far northern suburbs (think Loudoun County or Frederick) are the only affordable property and are closer to Milwaukee than to the Loop.

Posted by: mikecatcher50 | October 8, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

I'm definitely in favor of making up stuff. We can have any number of stories about hot and heavy negotiations for superstars that fall just short at the last minute, since there is no danger that they're coming here. And nobody but us loser Nats fans reads this anyway. Because a winter of discussing the mechanics of moving a franchise is not going to cut it.

Posted by: markfromark | October 9, 2010 6:14 AM | Report abuse

Instant replay?

Definitley opposed. Get rid of the lousy umps (umpires have a union that makes removing poor umps really difficult)

Fixing a single call here or there does not make the game more fairly umpired.

We just need to have a system where the umpires know that good performance will be rewarded and bad performance will be dis-rewarded (yes, I made up a word today).

Posted by: Sunderland | October 9, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

@Sunderland:
What, the word "penalized" was unavailable? :-)

Posted by: bertbkatz | October 9, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Hey Gang-Well.... thank the Gods for the Insider and Ben (et al) at MASN. Speaking of which-I see he has his final "grades" out, this time on Rizzo and Riggs. Nice work...but is anyone gonna grade the Slows? I realize it's tough to critique your erstwhile employer, but I'd be interested in some of the scribes' takes on 'em (outside of Boz, who in his wimbly-wambly way seems to be trying to call the Slows out.)
Go Nats!!!

Posted by: zendo | October 9, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

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