Stan Kasten Failed
On Monday, the Nationals drew an announced paid attendance of 10,999 to Nationals Park, the team's smallest since baseball returned to DC in 2005. Then, fewer than 12,000 showed up Tuesday, and fewer than 13,000 were at Wednesday's game. That's the end result of the Kasten era, and there's no other way around it.
Make excuses if you like. I am certainly on record that Jim Bowden was a bigger problem for this team than Stan Kasten. The team was in bad shape when he got here. Tom Boswell would have us believe that Kasten had the answers all along, but the Lerners just wouldn't listen.
Whatever. The Nationals also had some great opportunities when he got here. A brand-new stadium. High draft picks. A near-MVP caliber third baseman. The most recession-proof market in baseball. Tremendous enthusiasm for the return to baseball, at least back when he first came in (dang, does that seem like a long time ago).
In fairness, if we could get a look at the Nationals' books, we would probably see a team that's doing just fine in terms of short-term profit. But cashing in on a new stadium and revenue sharing while fielding a crappy team and squandering the fan base isn't a recipe for long-term success. That's called strip-mining.
This franchise has dark days ahead. Nevermind Stan's happy talk and MLB.com's silly cheerleading. The decisions made under Kasten's watch will keep the team in the cellar for the foreseeable future. And for that reason Stan Kasten's regime in Washington should be regarded as nothing but a failure. It's time for new blood, and Nationals fans shouldn't be sad to see him go.
As for what Stan does next, I'd guess he's going to be working for MLB, probably working on the CBA in some capacity. He always seemed to be running the Nationals as if he was applying for a job in Selig's office, rather than helping the Nationals win.
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