blain;s farm and fleet credit card login credit card service tax malaysia chase credit card application phone number how to download free apps for iphone 4 without credit card lowes credit card login mobile pay my disney chase credit card fleet credit card services what credit card is best for students credit cards to build credit score mint credit card change of address how can i lower credit card payments canadian credit cards low rate can buy stuff online prepaid credit card city bank credit card japan can joint checking accounts be garnished for credit card debt credit cards for bad credit uk if i dont pay my credit card bill what happens gap visa credit card payment center mens warehouse perfect fit credit card commerce bank credit card offers juniper credit card bill payment unsecured bad credit credit cards instant approval compare credit card rewards singapore bank of america american express credit card contact credit card for merchants best credit cards credit score 700 citi card credit card payment iphone case credit card pouch hdfc bank platinum credit card citibank credit cards india toll free number should i close my zero balance credit cards long does take get debit card credit union bank of america student platinum plus credit card how to apply for credit card in sbi fia credit card customer service does walmart offer credit cards do you have too much credit card debt which credit card is best for rewards best deal on credit cards uk interest credit cards tax deductible business requirements applying credit card citibank is paying an annual fee on a credit card worth it credit card for poor credit history credit card swipe machine bangalore standard chartered bank credit card status of application discover secured credit card review cheap credit card balance transfer ireland city bank credit cards login bank of america aaa credit card log on capital one venture card credit limits army regulation government credit card identity theft credit card fraud...punishment ny co credit card customer service number create itune account without credit card first data credit card processing customer service capital one close credit card american express credit card login online stop credit card checks mail hsbc credit card bill online payment options nationwide credit card free use abroad best visa credit card for travel lloyds tsb business credit card online itunes gift card credit card chase united credit card customer service number manhattan credit card application form singapore how do i change credit card on iphone icici credit card without annual fee choose default credit card amazon settle credit card debt affect on credit score 0 interest credit cards halifax do secured credit cards build credit forward citi credit card review deutsche credit card platinum best credit card swiper for android visa credit card no foreign transaction fees when to pay off credit cards fidelity credit card rewards 529 how to use your first credit card pier one credit card customer service phone credit card app canadian banks offer prepaid credit cards citifinancial credit card pay online best capital one credit card international travel best credit card sign up bonus ever psn credit card number not valid how to reduce credit card debt by 70 percent first data credit card machine paper do credit card balances affect your credit score hsbc credit card platinum offer credit score do need capital one credit card rewards 660 credit card website nfc phone read credit card opt out credit card deals do i need to use my visa card to build credit maybank credit card advance cash leather iphone case with credit card holder benefits do credit cards offer merchants how can i pay off my credit cards fast there government help credit card debt does citibank credit card cover rental car insurance victoria secret credit card number what is the credit card number on a debit card gas credit cards with poor credit how do i pay my pnc credit card bill should i use a student loan to pay off credit card debt what type of credit score do you need to get a walmart credit card secured credit card listings american express credit card black card hardship credit card programs gucci mens credit card holder ipad itunes no credit card fake visa credit card number and security code can i pay my wells fargo student loan with a credit card citi thank you credit card review if you pay credit card one day late; what is the best credit card company for college students chase united mileage plus credit card benefits apply credit card visa bad credit free valid credit cards details capital one student rewards credit card does consolidating credit cards hurt credit score easy get department store credit cards bad credit credit card bin database list playstation store change credit card information long does take apply credit card uk walmart discover credit card application poor credit credit card no annual fee is it bad for your credit to apply for a credit card gateway credit card processing reviews interest free credit card purchases what is a finance charge on a credit card statement what is the point of a secured credit card halifax credit card minimum payment percentage should you pay credit cards mortgage chip and pin credit card france hdfc credit card shopping offers open university hong kong credit card nra credit card designs line of credit vs credit card debt icici bank credit card offers on flights what are the major banks that offer credit cards in the philippines add credit card paypal different country what is the best american express credit card best reloadable credit card canada personal credit card processing services credit card approvals after bankruptcy mastercards credit cards numbers list credit card numbers names apply for a bp gas credit card what is the difference between using a credit card and a debit card hdfc credit card bill payment billdesk southwest rapid rewards credit card plus vs premier hsbc discover credit card login credit cards for good credit scores uk jp morgan chase commercial credit card payment credit card no balance transfer fee 2010 visa business credit card canada international transaction fee free credit card best credit card readers for cell phones do prepaid credit cards work for online shopping can you pay your victoria secret credit card online american express platinum credit card south africa mobile credit card terminal capital one student rewards credit card credit limit hilton citi credit card login best travel reward credit cards 2012 canada credit card relief now reviews bofa small business credit cards bank credit card codes better use cash credit cards europe iphone 5 credit card payment asiana airline visa credit card credit cards deals australia credit card processing companies lowest rates deutsche credit card visa servizio clienti balance transfer credit card deals australia credit cards for student loans bank of the west credit card center how do i figure out what my credit card payment will be unsecured credit cards for poor credit score best airmiles credit card 2011 uk credit card flash drive custom saks fifth ave credit card payment valid visa credit card number free free credit card codes information best unsecured credit cards after bankruptcy discharge unsecured post bankruptcy credit cards free virtual credit card paypal verify credit card minimum repayment bank of america rewards credit card review best rewards credit card for fair credit prepaid best credit cards small business rewards offers taking credit card payments on my website best thank you rewards credit card credit cards hsbc apply internet merchant services credit card processing wireless credit card swiper need pay walmart credit card bill need mastercard bad credit no bank account working credit card number generator 2011 free vcc credit cards instant approval bad credit no deposit what is a security code on a credit card low credit card rates offers my credit card has been used fraudulently longest credit card 0 purchases what is a secured credit card and how does it work credit cards with zero interest on balance transfers chrysler jeep dodge credit card partially secured credit cards bad credit people how do i pay my irs bill with a credit card teenage credit card application credit card iphone app best ge money walmart credit card payment address kroger credit card payment online apply tribute gold mastercard credit card credit card risk management tools southwest chase visa credit card sign in citibank credit card identifier names of major credit cards ge money discount tire credit card login conoco76 phillips 66 credit card best credit cards after chapter 7 bankruptcy credit card machine paper rolls credit card reward program compare low rate credit cards for people with bad credit can use my halifax credit card abroad aarp credit card chase can you freeze your credit card account check my credit score free without credit card transfer money from credit card to bank account india cooperative bank credit card payment credit card issuer identifier best card for someone with fair credit rating pay rent online using credit card how to setup credit card machine for business southwest credit cards rewards apply for chase credit card student free verizon phone no credit card needed credit card reform act summary 2012 hdfc credit card reward point redemption canadian credit card has best rewards program add credit card to paypal different country harley credit card holder chase credit card identity theft protection can your wages be garnished for credit card debt in georgia interest free money transfer credit cards credit card reform act of 2009 wikipedia credit card calculator monthly interest payments most recommended credit cards can u pay rent with a credit card virgin money credit cards contact citibank secured credit card application status small business credit cards no personal credit hdfc online credit card application status credit carding slang value city furniture credit cards platinum zero percent interest balance transfer credit card offers legacy visa credit card log find billing address credit card lic premium payment through hdfc credit card what is a real credit card number and security code boston college alumni credit card stolen credit card information internet arhaus credit card access best credit card processing company in canada is it bad to have a lot of store credit cards pay icici credit cards online best credit cards for flying points hsbc credit card website credit score do need best buy card how long will it take to pay off $50000 in credit card debt credit card fees paypal transaction bdo credit card requirements ofw secured credit card line of credit worst credit card debt citibank business credit card application status credit card india citibank free psychic reading phone no credit card credit card visa number format visa prepaid credit card walmart safe send credit card number through email mbna american express rewards credit card ibc credit card payment continental airlines credit card 50 000 bonus miles best small business credit cards with rewards potterybarn kids credit card login frequent flyer credit card best credit cards australia what happens when you can;t pay your credit cards best rates on credit cards in canada hdfc visa gold credit card rewards close credit card account letter uk what are credit card convenience checks credit card embossing machine chase bank credit cards phone number westpac credit card insurance premium will american credit cards work in canada credit card interest rate calculator payment paypal business account accept credit cards pay buckle credit card bill i need a credit card right now how do i know what credit card is right for me airline reward credit card business credit cards miles quickbooks credit card processing kit reviews amazon chase credit card apply safe shop online credit card union plus credit card payment phone number credit card manual imprinter uk best credit card offer online secured credit cards for business bank of america free valid credit card numbers that work online secured credit card reports credit agency need credit card fast but have bad credit approved student credit card no foreign transaction fee card consolidate credit debt hypercom credit card machine instructions pay off 2nd mortgage credit cards what are the major credit card companies how to check the status of my capital one credit card application make credit card wallet tire credit card for bad credit credit cards for rebuilding credit canada no more credit card offers mail bank america student platinum plus visa credit card review discover credit card security code location credit cards for someone with no credit history wells fargo mor credit card reducing interest rates on credit cards what are the major banks that offer credit cards in india standard bank credit card holders specials process credit card payments iphone how can i get a credit card without any credit history buy vending machine credit card standard chartered manhattan credit card cash back list banks offer secured credit card no credit card car hire malaga luhn credit card validation javascript things consider before choosing credit card aaa platinum plus gas rebate credit card best credit card offer in malaysia department store credit cards low credit scores can minors get credit cards money magazine credit card awards 2011 get chase credit card checks unsecured credit cards college students bad credit virgin atlantic credit card free flight sams club discover personal credit card best credit card for college student to establish credit can you ask lower interest rate credit cards happens credit card debt you file bankruptcy credit card or debit card credit card processing fees refund chase student credit card karma points will transferring credit card balances hurt my credit score college students credit cards statistics 0 apr credit card best credit card have build credit working credit card numbers september 2012 prepaid credit card travel usa average interest rate credit cards now pay citibank credit card bill payment online immediate cash advance on credit cards payment credit card industry data security standards air miles credit card review average american credit card rate how to pay your credit card bill online hsbc online casino no credit card musicians friend credit card hard get 10 000 credit card debt relief obama joint credit card application chase dillards credit card payment login not using a credit card hurt credit score cash advance credit cards bank citizens banks credit card jcb credit card australia average monthly minimum credit card payment credit card payments reported irs beginning 2011 webster bank visa credit card best rate credit cards processing credit card industry facts personal debt statistics make a credit card payment how do you calculate interest rate on a credit card when was the first plastic credit card issued irs credit card debt settlement credit card cases metal business credit cards rewards way vending machine credit card acceptance can you have someone cosign credit card what is a good credit card to get pays credit card swipe fees unsecured credit card offer bad credit credit card reform act summary 2009 best credit card offers in the uk credit card money transfer offers venture credit card contact min payment credit card calculator credit cards for bad credit with no checking account required chase bank credit card contact info verify paypal without credit card or. bank credit cards to build your credit up how does a bank of america secured credit card work how fast can i get approved for a credit card bank of america credit card services contact us department store credit card interest rates checks mail credit card companies select comfort credit card ge know before getting first credit card bank of america american express credit card pay online new credit card law 2010 summons to appear in court for credit card debt walmart credit card account management credit card black alaska air mile credit card art van credit card payment address pre qualified credit card credit score low interest credit card balance transfer canada hsbc premier credit card rewards hong kong business cost of accepting credit cards prepaid credit cards krogers credit card payoff calculators free 1st premier credit cards apply macy;s credit card online the most prestigious credit cards pacsun credit card review amazon chase credit card $30 log my sears credit card account credit card imprint machine ways earn points credit cards how do i pay my credit card with paypal bobs furniture credit card phone number big lots credit card account pin and chip credit card what type of credit card starts with 4313 card consolidation credit debt unsecured chase business credit cards online how to answer a credit card lawsuit in california orange and barclaycard launch contactless credit card fair credit visa cards canada credit gift cards credit card processing using smart phone credit card applications bad credit unsecured toys r us credit card ge walmart credit card balance do secured credit cards help establish credit track 1 track 2 track 3 credit card ing vysya credit card online login saks fifth avenue credit card pay online card credit bcr average credit card swipe fees helzberg credit card review gifts reward points icici credit cards credit card low apr bad credit annual fee instant approval credit card bad credit where else can i use my new york and company credit card best credit card on the market today visa credit card offers uk orchard credit card online login build credit card history credit cards are bad for college students time period to dispute credit card charge best unsecured credit card for no credit first national credit card customer service apply for bank of america business credit card ebay pay by credit card not paypal bank america credit card pre qualification credit card processor cancellation fee desert school credit union credit cards low apr credit card no credit history asda santander credit card login debt payoff calculator credit card buy lr with credit card online this credit card has been denied by the bank that issued it business credit card resources credit cards 0 apr for 15 months can get secured credit card while consumer proposal can use prepaid credit cards paypal discover credit card account center login can you claim credit cards bankruptcy credit card sales slips apply credit card student no income student credit card gas rebate chase credit card offer chase bank amazon credit card online cvv generator for credit cards best starter credit card 2011 get paid online credit cards priceline credit card reviews free prepaid credit cards no fees uk old navy credit card account payment why do lidl not accept credit cards hsbc credit card customer care email address first tennessee bank credit card 0 percent balance transfer credit cards canada what are some good credit card offers google checkout sandbox credit card number can you pay off a mortgage with a credit card how to activate my wells fargo credit card bloomingdales credit card discount how can i pay my toys r us credit card
Home

Like Shoot to Thrill - An AC/DC Tribute on Facebook!

An authentic tribute of AC/DC that covers the best of the Bon Scott era and the best of Brian Johnson's material

Who's Online?

We have 282 guests online

Atom RSS

Stan Kasten - President - Nationals PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 2
PoorBest 
The Biz of Baseball - Interviews
Written by Maury Brown   
Saturday, 06 May 2006 12:00

Stan KastenStan Kasten is back in the sports executive game. The man that is still the only sports executive to be president of 3 franchises at one time, is soon to be the co-owner and president of the Washington Nationals.

The following interview took place just two days after the award of the franchise. It deals entirely with the selection process and what areas the new owners of the Nationals will address.The interview touches on how, and why he merged with the Lerners, how his relationship in the past with the Lerners made for an easy transition into the group, whether the formation of the Red Sox ownership group in 2002 had any bearing on the Nationals ownership creation (Selig moving individuals from the groups around to get a "super group"), what steps will need to be taken to help market the team, the issue with MASN and Comcast being in dispute, whether the new owners will address improvements to RFK, what Kasten learned in the development of Turner Field that can be applied to the new Nationals stadium, the philosophy that Kasten has on player development, what National fans can expect of the new owners, and much more.

May 7, 2006 - Stan Kasten is back in the game.

This past Wednesday at 4:45pm, Commissioner Selig announced the winning bid for the Washington Nationals. Theodore Lerner, a Washington, DC area real estate magnate, became the principle owner, but Kasten was the straw that stirred the Nationals deal —bringing his background with the Braves and the development of Turner Field into the mix. His merging into the Lerner family group was the tipping point that pushed that bid over the Zients/Malek group (use these links to read profiles on the groups that were considered long-shots, and the groups that were considered front-runners in the Nationals bidding process). He is considered to be a visible and crucial part of the new ownership.

In November of 2003, Kasten resigned as the president of the Atlanta Braves, Thrashers, and Hawks.

That's right, Kasten was president of not one, not two, but three professional sports franchises. He is the only sports executive to have ever run three franchises at the same time.

Kasten became president of the Atlanta Hawks in April of 1986, president of the Braves in November 1986 and president of the Thrashers in November 1999. When he joined the Hawks, at the age of 27, he became the youngest GM in the history of the NBA.

Kasten's introduction to professional sports management came as a result of a 1976 meeting at a Braves-Cardinals game, with Braves owner Ted Turner, where Mr. Kasten was celebrating his law school graduation with a tour of major league ballparks. Soon after, he was appointed legal counsel for the Hawks and Braves, and one year later (1977-78) became the Hawks’ assistant General Manager.

Born February 1, 1952 in Lakewood, N.J., Mr. Kasten attended Rutgers University before transferring to New York University where he graduated in 1973 with a degree in psychology, earned Magna Cum Laude honors and was chosen Phi Beta Kappa. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Columbia Law School in 1976, playing in the Jersey Shore summer Baseball League during his law school years.

He is a recipient of New York University’s distinguished Alumnus Award in 2003, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Sports Lawyers Association, which awarded him their coveted “Award of Excellence” in May 2000. Mr. Kasten and his wife, Helen, have four children and live in Sandy Springs, GA.

Now, Kasten may have his biggest challenge yet, which, as this interview shows, is a large reason why he took up the challenge. It is the enticement of building a franchise from the ground up that he sees as the biggest national, as well as international market that is so intriguing.

The following interview took place on the Friday after the award to the Lerners. Kasten was understandably upbeat, and engaging. This interview touches on how and why he merged with the Lerners, how his relationship in the past with the Lerners made for an easy transition into the group, whether the formation of the Red Sox ownership group in 2002 had any bearing on the Nationals ownership creation (Selig moving individuals from the groups around to get a "super group"), what steps will need to be taken to help market the team, the issue with MASN and Comcast being in dispute, whether the new owners will address improvements to RFK, what Kasten learned in the development of Turner Field that can be applied to the new Nationals stadium, the philosophy that Kasten has on player development, what National fans can expect of the new owners, and much more. – Maury Brown


BizBall: First of all congratulations on landing the winning bid along with the Lerners for the Nationals. How does it feel to be back in the saddle since stepping down as president of the Braves, Thrashers, and Hawks in November of 2003?

Kasten: I’ve had a blast the past couple of years doing what I was doing, looking for a perfect deal and a perfect situation. So let me say that all of that time was well spent because I really have found that when I left my job in Atlanta, I said “take your time and find something bigger and better than I had ever done before” and I can tell you that after all this time, I actually have found it. I was ready to build the stadium from scratch, build a team from scratch, and in the most important city in the world is just—for what I do—it’s the top of the mountain.

BizBall: Ted Lerner contacted you just after you stepped down as president of the Braves, Thrashers, and Hawks. He had just missed the purchase of the Redskins at the time, and mentioned that he wanted own a sports franchise. Did you stay in touch during the stretch between then and the bidding for the Nationals?

Kasten: I had a great talk with him. Sometime later—each time I was in DC, I would stop by and see him. I spent some time with him, and he was delightful. Maybe 9 months or a year later, when the Nationals thing happened, I got another call from him, and chatted and spent some more time with him. His son was terrific; he’s a wonderful gentleman. We all decided to put in our own bids. We didn’t know how it would end up, but it was just serendipity that we wound up coming together at the end the way we did.

BizBall: Who contacted who about merging the two groups -- yours and the Lerners?

Kasten: In the last month of the process it was really clear to me that my group, although terrific, wasn’t going to prevail in this case because the principal financial backers weren’t from Washington and there were some very good alternatives in Washington. So I understood that once I learned that, I almost was encouraged by baseball to consider staying available for the possibility of joining another group, if that’s what I wanted to do, then they would certainly like to see that. So I thought about that and it was I who reached back out to Ted’s group—we had mutual friends in the group (in each other’s group) and through some of those friends we got back together and had some more chats and very, very quickly decided it would be a good fit with each other.

BizBall: On the formation of the group... How much influence do you feel the Red Sox ownership structure that was negotiated by Commissioner Selig played in how the selection of the Nationals ownership occurred?

Kasten: Oh, I think there’s a mythology built up around that—about how Bud manipulates
things and really moving pieces around. I think that Bud encourages, and helps that criteria, and things come together organically in the way that makes the most sense. That’s probably a closer decision of what happened in Boston, than any other perception.

I think a similar process was used here. The criteria kept getting clarified as the process went on. As the different mileposts, different targets, different goals from baseball came in sharper focus, pieces started moving around, and as I said, organically, in a way that would kind of help better meet these targets they picked. That’s what happened here.

The Lerners thought, when I became available, that I might be a strength, that could enhance their group. I thought, that if I joined any one of the groups—if I had a chance to join the Lerner group, that would put me in a better position because of what I might be able to contribute. So, again, it was more the organic movement of things as the process unfolded. It certainly wasn’t any direct intervention or manipulation. That never happened, even though there certainly is a little mythology around that.

BizBall: Out of the laundry list of issues that new ownership will want to address, what is the first order of business?

Kasten: My list of items that have to be done as my “first order of business” is now twelve pages long. We have a lot of things to do and we’re working on all of them simultaneously. I can’t say that any (single) one stands out, but obviously there are many, many big things.  We have to invest a lot of money in rebuilding the franchise, we have to really look at our customer experience in our current stadium, we have to delve into the plans for our new stadium, we have to begin the initiative to helps us reach out to all of our community, we have the MASN issue to confront to where we can get our games on all television areas in the region. Is this enough of a top line to be concerned right away? I think it is.

BizBall: How important is it for the Lerner group to place their stamp on this franchise after being collectively owned by MLB since 2002?

Kasten: With the Lerners it will be a pleasure, and it will be easy with so much experience. All they do are the very highest quality buildings and venues. They have generations of background doing that. They certainly enhance our ability to put at least that high a quality stamp on the franchise. The Lerners look at how this will reflect on them in the community. Like everything else they’ve done, they intend to make this a huge, long-term success.

BizBall: The process involving the selection of the new ownership took an extremely long time due to MLB's instance on the District finalizing the stadium funding component. It basically placed the Nationals front office in a state of limbo, with some exceptions. While the process to finalize the ownership transfer won't be done till June, what areas can you and the new ownership group now to prepare for the transition?

Kasten: Well, everyone knows everyone—transition won’t be an issue. Tony Tavares has been so professional from the start with the difficult, difficult assignment he was given. I don’t know an exact timetable for everything, but sometime after the owners' meeting in a few weeks, assuming we get approval, we will start the process of getting to work our way into the front office and hopefully we’ll be fully implemented by the time we’re handed the keys, whenever.

BizBall: Have you met with Frank Robinson and Jim Bowden yet?

Kasten: I met with both of them, as well as with Tony in the past couple of days. Mind you, all three of them are long-time friends of mine. I spent time with each of them and I look forward to that.

BizBall: You’re slated to meet with HOK and Joe Spear next week on the design of the new facility for the Nationals. How will you tackle keeping the construction on time and on budget?

Kasten: Well, you know that is a job for the City and the architects and the construction company. Those are the signatories of the contract, which has been fully negotiated, and  I’m not going to interfere in the deal or any of the progress of the construction. We do want to get in as quickly as we can to lend our experience, and lend our thoughts and suggestions. If there are ways we can enhance things we'll certainly want to offer our input. I don’t know what we’re going to be able to accomplish, as a practical matter. But I certainly want to take the load and if we can help—we do have some strong opinions, and we have some experience, that we can help to do it.

BizBall: On the stadium design… One aspect of the overall design that many have been critical of is the placement of the two parking structures just outside of centerfield. While the Lerner group has not pledged any monies toward moving the structures underground, can you envision working to achieve some fund mechanism to achieve the movement of the structures underground?

Kasten: You know, there’s just no point in asking me specifics on that right now. I haven’t looked at the plans, all I’ve seen are newspaper drawings. I hope to get into that next week, and maybe in a few weeks I’ll have a much better feel to answer a question like that. It’s just too early for me to give you a good answer.

BizBall: What steps, if any, can you make to improve the fan experience at RFK while the new stadium is being built?

Kasten: I think we can do some things. Obviously, there are physical limitations due to the age of the facility. But, there are things we can do, and we already have a team that is already working on that. And, we hope to have a bunch of things to unveil and talk about, again when we're given the keys to take over. There's a lot of things to do and we're going to work very hard to put them in place.

BizBall: It has been widely said that a key factor in the selection of the Lerner group was your addition to the group and your background with the Braves and the construction of Turner Field. What did you learn during that process with the Braves that you can apply to this construction project?

Kasten: Have you ever been to Turner Field?

BizBall: Not as of yet.

Kasten: To me, the central feature of Turner Field is not the architecture, which is grand and spectacular. It's not the sight lines which are magnificent. It's the fan amenities. The way we've activated spacings in the area. The way we've animated that with things that appeal to fans—not just hardcore fans—those that sit in their seats for 9 innings. No, it's for all the people.

Most fans who like to get up and stretch their legs think they need to come away and say... Look, we need to have other things in the building to entertain them; to keep them there to appeal to them. And that's what we did in Turner Field with our entry plaza where they have games, and concerts, and videos and all kinds of opportunity to keep people interested and excited. Tooner Field for kids. The Chop House for adults to eat in. The Bars that we have hanging out over the field. Sky Field, which is a playland for kids that is in a baseball theme that is on the roof. A lot of thought was put into that. But, you know, it keeps your fans coming to your games because we have provided things for seniors, and kids and women and non-hardcore fans, all of which you need. Two million fans we need to have. You know, we cannot make it work with just hardcore fans. We need non-hardcore fans, so we need to provide other things besides just the game.

BizBall: Marketing the Nationals has been an area that has been lacking since the relocation of the franchise from Montreal. Attendance has slipped this season due to a number of factors, marketing being one. What steps will the new ownership take to try and address this situation?

Kasten: Well, you know it's a big job. We're going to look at who's there and bring in a whatever we need. We're going to spend a lot of time and attention on that. Again, we'll have plans to unveil, but we're not ready to talk about that today.

BizBall: As for the on-the-field product... What will the philosophy be on developing the team, be it through free agency or farm system development?

Kasten: It's not a secret formula. It's something that has been proven many, many times in different contexts. You have to build from the ground up in baseball, it's very much a development sport, unlike basketball. In baseball you really need to focus on scouting, player development and minor leagues. All those things require time and money, and we're  absolutely determined and dedicated to do it that way. Those that would provide not just money, but the time. And time is even more important than money, in many cases. These owners want to build long term success ; they understand that it will take a little while longer to build it that way, but when we finally turn the corner, the success we have will be much longer lasting.

BizBall: Given the number of areas that need to be addressed with the franchise, do you see a need to increase the front office staff?

Kasten: Well, I suspect so. But again, I'm trying to keep an open mind. I haven't reached any conclusions on anything. And, we'll see where things fall when I get in here and learn everyone and see where the needs are.

BizBall: How critical is it for there to be a resolution between MASN and Comcast to get the 1.3 million subscribers that are currently unable to see the Nationals televised through Comcast?

Kasten: It's absolutely critical. I mean, all our fans have to see all of our games. Period. That's the only acceptable solution. I know that is also the best solution for the Orioles and for Comcast, as well. And, we're going to dig right in it. I think it makes a lot of sense for the  three parties to figure out how to do it because we also know that the external parties are very interested in this, and they want that solution and ultimately that's the solution that there will be. So, we'd be a lot smarter if we got this sorted out before the external parties, like Congress, like the City Council get involved because nothing gets easier or better if we have to have them force the solution on us.

BizBall: On MASN… What are your feelings regarding the structure of the arrangement between Angelos and the Nationals? Is the MASN arrangement viewed as a plus as it is, or is there room for refinement in the arrangement?

Kasten: There is no point talking about ancient history. With eyes wide open, we know what we’ve purchased and the deal is in place and we’re going to proceed along those lines. The most important thing now is getting our team to be as good as it can be and getting our games on as many homes as possible.

BizBall: Finally, what would you say to the fans of the Washington Nationals about what they should expect from the new ownership group?

Kasten: I think they’re going to see an ownership that is passionate and willing to develop a product given the time that’s required. I think they’re renowned for the quality, cleanliness, and maintenance of their facilities. I think by the time we get up and running in the new facility, I think we look forward to becoming one of the great success stories in baseball—both nationally and internationally. Let’s remember, as the game grows globally as it has been doing, particularly with the recent advent of the WBC, we are a city with not only a news bureau from every city in the country, but a news bureau from every country in the world that plays baseball. So when we have success here, I think it’s something that people will be able to follow globally. We’re aware of our potential and our expertise in making that happen, and we expect that to be delivered (on the potential).


The following interview was originally published on the SABR Business of Baseball website, and can be read here: SABR Business of Baseball Interviews Page 

Interview conducted by Maury Brown on 5/5/06
Published on 5/7/06

Transcribed by Steven Charnick, Galen Antle and Maury Brown

Edited by Maury Brown
Graphics and layout by Maury Brown

 
 
Banner

Poll

Should MLB Force Jeffery Loria to Sell the Marlins?