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Stan Kasten resigns as Nats President

Sep 23, 2010, 2:00 PM EDT

Jon Heyman reports that Washington Nationals President Stan Kastan has resigned. He’ll stay on until the end of the season for whatever that’s worth. Jon Paul Morosi reports that he’s leaving “for personal reasons,” but you know and I know that’s usually code for “I gotta get out of this monkeyhouse.”

Tom Boswell of the Washington Post wrote a column foreshadowing this just this morning. The real reason for the resignation — if you believe Boswell — bodes ill for the Nationals. Kastan has been lobbying the Lerners for years to raise the payroll and act less frugally when it comes to promotions and just about any other aspect of team operations.  Boswell says that Kastan is tired of fighting — and losing — that fight.  Noted Nats blogger Chris Needham — no Kastan fan by any stretch of the imagination — worries about Kastan leaving, as he may very well have been the bulwark preventing the Lerners from going with their instincts and nickel-and-diming the club to death.

This makes sense to me, as Kastan was perhaps the most important figure in Atlanta as the Braves were transitioning from the joke they were for much of the 70s and 80s into the highly professional organization they’ve been for the past 20 years. Ted Turner’s money, sure, but he always had money. Kastan knew how to spend it wisely and who to let spend it wisely.

There are always two sides to every story, so it’s premature to bury the Lerners over this or to assume that, with Kastan out of the picture, they’ll turn the Nats into the Florida Marlins North.  But it’s certainly not a good sign when a guy who is as respected in professional sports feels it necessary to leave like Kastan is.

  1. APBA Guy - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:23 PM

    This is a terrible sign for sure, just like when Pat Gillick’s contract wasn’t renewed by Peter Angelos in 1998, and for basically the same reasons, namely, owner meddling. While the Orioles haven’t had a winning season since, Gillick helped guide the 2008 Phillies to their WS win.
    It’s easy to see where this is heading. Another friend of Bud. Gets a city funded stadium, doesn’t pay the rent, goes cheap on product on the field, makes a ton of profit. Nice work if you can get it.

  2. Panda_Claus - Sep 23, 2010 at 3:45 PM

    It is hard not to notice the parallels between this and when Gillick left Baltimore. The Nats are already staggering towards another poor finish, and when their lead architect leaves it’s almost impossible to take that as a good sign.
    Wonder where he ends up next?

  3. Michael - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Sounds like the Nats have a lot more to turn around besides the on-field product. Also, it’s Kasten…you got it right in the headline.

  4. Wooden U Lykteneau - Sep 23, 2010 at 4:31 PM

    The next insightful, well-written Chris Needham piece of writing will be the first. He is a one-note singer that’s offkey and confuses volume for skill. Look more closely at his “defense” of Kasten. You’ll note the echoes of entitlement that you slammed (correctly) Nats320 about last week.

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