Nationals president Stan Kasten acknowledged on Tuesday that the team most likely will not sign all of its top picks. Kasten declined to say which players he felt were unsignable. However, late last week, general manager Jim Bowden said negotiations with Crow, the Nats' top pick, weren't going well. Crow is represented by advisor J.D. Smart, who works for the Hendricks brothers. Smart was not available for comment.After finally taking a step forward with the draft last year, here are two steps back. There is no point to The Plan if you can't sign your draft picks. None. This is absolutely inexcusable and the entire front office should be fired if 4 of the top 5 picks aren't signed. Or 3. Or even 2. If you are drafting guys who figure to be asking more than the slot amount, you better be freakin' prepared to open up your wallets. Or only draft 1 guy who might not sign. Don't draft 5 in the first 5 rounds! This is ridiculously pathetic and the Lerner Family, Jim Bowden and Stan Kasten should all be ashamed of themselves for continuing the losing tradition as well as the poor products both on the field and in the minors. Fire Bowden. Fire Kasten. Force out the Lerners (By boycotting games, Bud Selig, whatever. Just do it). We want a real owner and real guys in the front office and a real team. Get rid of the dirtbags who are standing in our way of a respectable team, something these nitwits aren't capable of even coming close to. This cheapness has got to stop here and now, forever.
"I'm sure we'll sign some more of our picks, but I don't think we will sign all of them, but we will try," Kasten said. "We studied this pretty carefully. We decide the value that we place on prospects. That's the No. 1 consideration. Sometimes it's more than Major League Baseball's recommendations, sometimes it's less than the recommendations.
If the Nationals are unable to sign their top Draft picks, the money slotted for them would most likely go toward signing young players outside the United States. (My note...yeah and O.J. is innocent and 9/11 was actually a vast right-wing conspiracy).
In fact, Kasten told the Nationals' board of directors right after the Draft that the team would most likely not sign most of its picks like it did last year. He told them it would be similar to the 2006 Draft, when the team didn't sign four of its first 12 picks, including left-hander Sean Black, its second-round pick. (My note...great....the memorable 2006 draft...and Sean Black is right-handed).
This year's Draft is in sharp contrast to last year's for the Nationals. In 2007, the Nationals signed their first 20 picks. They even went over the slotting system to sign pitcher Jack McGeary, a sixth-round pick who signed first-round money.
"[The 2008] Draft felt like one of those years where we wouldn't sign all of our top picks, which is like a normal year. Last year was an aberration," Kasten said. "This Draft has felt [different] to me, because of the kind of guys we drafted and some of their circumstances, and I think that's how it's playing out. (My note...why does last year have to be an aberration? If we want success, we need to sign all of our top 10 draft picks. Always. Always always always. No excuses).
"Last year, we were among the leaders in amateur signing bonuses. We are prepared to do that this year, but we are not going to do unreasonable contracts."
You're losing us once again, but this time you've almost lost us completely.
And I'll close by asking the Nationals to please make me eat my words. Prove me wrong. Make me ashamed of doubting you. But for goodness sake, quit being so embarrassing from top to bottom. The fans and players are first class people (although the players are for the most part second class ballplayers), but the ownership and top dogs in the front office are amongst the worst in professional sports already.