Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Quick Read

Alright, it's not a quick quick read, but check it out: the Washington Times' article entitled "Nationals 'miserable' on, off field: Team in Crisis."

Some key quotes:
In the case of the Nationals, the problems appear to run far deeper, as the once-vaunted "Plan" hailed by team president Stan Kasten has been taken over by team owner Ted Lerner and his family, who wield an unusual level of day-to-day control over every team decision ranging from scouting to marketing.

"Clearly, every decision of any significance is made ultimately by Ted," a city official familiar with the Lerners' baseball operation said. "The decision-making and the whole approach starts at the top and remains at the top. And I don't think anything is going to change significantly as long as Ted is running the team."

Workers describe a challenging, often tedious environment in which every decision and every dollar spent is scrutinized by Ted Lerner; his son, Mark; or sons-in-law, Ed Cohen and Bob Tanenbaum.

Lengthy purchase orders are needed for basic office supplies, for instance, and the use of courier services is discouraged. Pay raises and expense reimbursements are delayed for months. Employees of the Nationals and Major League Baseball alike were astonished when the club did not send anyone to either the sport's scouting school or industry meetings - events attended by every other franchise.

Or as one disgruntled team employee put it: "Everyone wants out, and it's entirely because of the Lerners."

In addition to discontent among the Nationals' rank-and-file employees, there is tension at the very top. Sources both inside and outside the organization said Kasten has not been provided the level of organizational control he desires or was promised when he joined the Lerner family's bid for the team.

"Stan hasn't been able to do the things he wants to do," a source close to the team said. "They're not letting him do the things he was brought here to do."

Sources said Kasten has become increasingly frustrated, and some suggested he could step down as president, though most said his departure was unlikely.

Unfortunately, I don't really have the time to post much of an opinion on this (as I have to leave for work momentarily), but this doesn't look good. I think it goes to show us that successful businessmen cannot run successful sports teams, though.

Leave comments if you care to discuss. Also feel free to check out Steven's opinion and check Nationals Fanboy Looser's comments throughout the day.


  1. yes, while this is a complete departure from my earlier statements that bowden deserved a chance, i believe the source of the problem is the fact that jim bowden is STILL the general manager of the nationals. fixing the problems starts and ends with firing bowden.

  2. OK, Hoagie...aren't ya glad the Nats are almost history, at least for this season? I mentioned you today in a post...you're a Very Important Person today! PS: You heard about Peter L. and UVA, right? Are ya gonna blog about it?


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