When not presiding over MLB’s worst ballclub or trying to flog tickets to Phillies Phans, Washington team president Stan Kasten graciously fielded a state-of-the-franchise Q&A with GQ Magazine’ Nate Penn, who sums up Kasten’s tenure thusly, “in recent years, the only organization in D.C. more disastrously mismanaged than the federal government has been the Nationals.”
You™re in the process of finding a new GM. Will the team be run markedly differently under that person?
I™m not gonna comment on anything relating to former or future. You and the world of bloggers have all the time in the world you need to do that kind of stuff. I know how we™re proceeding. I think we have a plan that is having pieces fall into place and I™m not gonna bother characterizing it. You all on the outside have plenty of time to do that.
Five years from now are we going to say that Bowden™s departure was the catalyst for some essential changes and”?
Again, you™re trying to get me to talk about that and I™m just not going to do it. No matter how many different ways you ask me.
In their former incarnation as the Expos, the Nats had a spectacular draft in 2000. The drafts since 2001 haven™t produced much, though. Last year™s highly touted #1 pick didn™t get signed”
I hope you print that between #2 and #15 we spent more money than any team in baseball but the Red Sox. Now you know it, so I assume you™ll write it. We had five guys over slot last year that we paid in the draft. I assume you™ll write that as well.
Stephen Strasburg could do for the Nats what Lincecum has done for the Giants. Undoubtedly there™s a fair amount of pressure to draft him. Will you do it and can you sign him?
On June 9th we™re going to take the player we think is the best player. We know what #1 picks get; we expect to sign our guy. The system isn™t going to change for any one circumstance, for any one situation. We know how players get drafted, how they get paid, how long it takes them to develop, what steps are necessary. We™re gonna take the best player we can.
In terms of publicity, can the team sustain the fallout that would ensue if it didn™t draft Strasburg?
You want to ask me something different. You™d like me to negotiate this [in GQ], which I™m not gonna do. I just answered your question for you.