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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Good Heavens

An article in the Sporting News on-line today recounts a story that is Exhibit A why the Nationals are the "miserable" franchise yesterday's Times article suggests:
Trouble in D.C.

The shotgun marriage of Washington Nationals president Stan Kasten and general manager Jim Bowden should end soon. According to several major league officials, Kasten wanted to fire a member of the Nationals' scouting staff for an embarrassing display in the press box before a game at Colorado. The scout loudly and profanely criticized the Rockies' player-development operation. Bowden convinced ownership to keep the scout in question. That showed Kasten that he lacked the authority to do the job as he did with Atlanta. As Braves president, Kasten was an unheralded hero for the manner in which he brought order to the organization and allowed the baseball operation to do its job without outside interference.

The Nationals desperately needed the same type of leadership. If Kasten leaves, as expected, it will be a huge setback for an organization mired in chaos. That seems to be Bowden's preferred manner of operation.
This is the worst possible news at the worst possible time. On the heels of Friday's Q&A and the Times insightful article about the misery surrounding the franchise this team seems to be stuck in a quagmire of negative vibes.

But if this Sporting News article is true, we all might as well go back to rooting for our original teams. If the Lerners are going to pander to Jim Bowden and effectively neuter Stan Kasten, keeping him from being able to fully execute "the Plan" while Bodes continues to embarrass himself, the organization and its fans with practically everything he touches? Well, that's a dark day indeed my friends.

A lot of big ticket firings/retirements/quittings happen the day after the season ends. Monday will go a long way in determining the future of this franchise.

Here's the link to the full story. The bit on the Nats is half way down.


Kristen said...

I'm officially depressed.

Dave Nichols said...

This is incomprehensible. If the owners trust Bowden's judgment over Kasten's, then this franchise is in more trouble than originally feared.

The only thing we can hope for in this story is if the owners said to Kasten, look, you can fire this stupid scout with Bowden at the end of the year, along with Lenny Harris and it'll make a bigger splash at that point.

Somehow, I don't think that was the case though.

natsfan1a said...

That would not be a good thing, but I’m not going to react until I see something that comes directly from the Nats on this front rather than rumors from outside sources (SI, the Times, or whatever).

An Briosca Mor said...

I've got to call you out on this one, Dave. You've made a big deal over the past few days about how you and the other Nats bloggers deserve to be on equal footing with the mainstream press. Yet here you are doing nothing with this piece of innuendo and third-hand rumor beyond just passing it on and saying "this is terrible if true". Well, that's not what a real journalist would do in this situation. A real journalist before posting this would ask the question "Does this pass the smell test?" This one doesn't, and based on what you know already you should realize that. To wit: You reported the other day on the ESPN Zone event that was billed as a Bowden/Rizzo appearance. Yet Kasten showed up too. Now why, in the midst of a very busy couple of days (trip to Syracuse, game that ended up going 14 innings, season ticket holder picnic), would Kasten show up at an event that he didn't have to? There could be many reasons that would make sense for him to do that, such as presenting a united front, keeping an eye on Bowden, or all kinds of other things. But one situation where it would make absolutely no sense for him to give up his lunch hour (and more) just to hang out at ESPN Zone would be if he'd already made the decision to leave the team because of this supposed dispute with Bowden. Also, you were there and talked with both Kasten and Bowden, right? Did you catch any clues from that that Kasten might be dissatisfied? If so, you didn't report on them. All of this to me just indicates that this report from the Sporting News doesn't pass the smell test. Any responsible journalist would probably agree with that assessment and refrain from reporting this story with no comment or analysis, as you just did. So when it all comes down to it, you're just fanning the flames of innuendo and rumor. More blogger-like than journalist-like, wouldn't you say?

natsfan1a said...

Ladson has an item on the team site where Kasten denies that he will be leaving.

Dave Nichols said...

ABM, taken at face value, which it what we have to do since The Sporting News is a more than credible news reporting service, these paragraphs are troubling in that they seem to indicate that the ownership group isn't letting Kasten do what he was brought here to do.

as for your statement that "bloggers deserve to be on equal footing", i don't think i ever said that, and i certainly don't believe that. i do believe that credible bloggers should have more access than we currently do, and that inthe grand scheme of things that there is a place for bloggers and the information that we provide, in the landscape.

And i did have further conversations with Mr. Bowden, Mr. Rizzo and Mr. Kasten, all off the record since i turned off my recorder. i think there's plenty of publically available discourse about the attitude of team employees with me throwing nay more specualtion.

it may be your opinion that this "doesn't pass the smell test", but to me, it stunk, which is why i posted it: so folks could see it and interpret it as they saw fit. you don't think it's newsworthy. other folks might.

thanks, as always, for reading and commenting. i need people to hold me accountable just like anyone else.

Sean Hogan said...

Hey Dave-
At the end of the series I’m currently running over at DCSportsPlus (sometime this Friday), I’ll post my prediction for the opening day 25 man roster, including offseason acquisitions, callups, etc. I’d like for all other bloggers, commenters, readers and fans of the Natmosphere (and anyone else, for that matter) to do that as well. I’ll tabulate everything and post it up and we’ll give bragging rights to the winner. Feel free to have any Nats fan you know post there (or email me) their predictions-the more the merrier!

natsfan1a said...

Dave, just wanted to give you an "atta boy" for your reasoned responses to recent comments (including mine) re. the role of bloggers.

Dave Nichols said...

1a: thanks. i try to take constructive criticism the same way i give it: in the spirit it was intended.

Sean: i'd be more than happy to guess at next year's OD roster. i'll let you know soon.


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