Find Lots of Great Coverage Here


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Thank You Uncle Stan

Dang. Done already? Well, he said he'd do five years and it has been five years. He's always been a man of his word.

I have no idea if I'm in the minority or the majority here. I've never been able to get an accurate gauge of how the general public feels about ol' Uncle Stan. But I'm going to miss the guy. I think he's good for the franchise beyond the supposed "credibility" he brought to the team. Yes, the results have been putrid. Part of that has to be on him - he IS the team president. Somehow, though, I think it would be even worse without Uncle Stan than it has been with him.

No question Uncle Stan can drop some arrogance on you. He has that smartest guy in the room air about him. Unlike most who have that air, though, Uncle Stan usually is the smartest guy in the room. I'd trust him with my business.

Being the president of a bad ballclub has to be a miserable task. You're not responsible for the product on the field but you're "the boss" of those who are responsible. You're also responsible for the business side, the fan experience, the whole works. I have no idea what he made. I sure hope it was a ton.

In short, if I see Rizzo in the concourse, I might yell, "Hey, RE-SIGN DUNN." I wouldn't do that but you get my point.

If I see Uncle Stan, I might yell, "Hey, why can't I get any flippin' Flippin Pizza after the sixth inning? Why is the bathroom a mess? And tell Rizzo to RE-SIGN DUNN."

He ran the show. He didn't sign the checks. I suspect that limited him. I would love for him to do a tell-all at some point, somewhere. I suspect we'd learn an awful lot.

Judging from what I've come to know about the man, I don't see it happening. Too bad.

I dealt with him periodically on a professional basis when he was in Atlanta and I was working as a sports writer here. He didn't know me from Adam (not talking 'bout Kilgore), but I got a return call every single time I left a message. Can you imagine how many calls someone in his position gets? He didn't always tell me what I wanted to know or hear. He always called. Always. Always thanked me for calling, too.

Good man, good businessman, good for the Nats. Maybe I'm just a voice in the wilderness with all that. Maybe I'm biased because I saw what he did in Atlanta and had some positive dealings with him. Could well be the case.

But that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I'm curious if we'll see him again in baseball. The "pursue other interests" line that was in one of the releases was interesting. I don't know how old he is, I'm going to guess early 60s. My guess he's pretty well set financially. One of the comments on Mark Zuckerman's site said something about his wife's health. I sure as heck hope if Mrs. Kasten is sick, Uncle Stan is able to spend a lot of time with her and she's able to recover.

Mrs. Kasten is at the heart of one of the stories I love best about Uncle Stan. Remember when Nats Park opened? He asked her to park at RFK and ride the Nats Express and let him know how it worked.

She's Mrs. President of the Nats. I'm going to guess there's prime parking available and most Mrs. Presidents would probably get a limo to the park. Mrs. Kasten parked at RFK and rode the bus.

Uncle Stan cared. A lot. It may not have always shown up, but trust me. He cared.

Here's a question unrelated to Uncle Stan himself but related to his departure. Does Mike Rizzo need to be worried? I know if a GM comes in, a new manager usually isn't far behind. "My own guy" and all that. Does it work that way with the President/GM relationship?

You know what else? I'm not sure I can name another team president. It's a hectic, pulled-in-all-directions, thankless-if-you're-losing job.

Good luck to you Uncle Stan. Don't be a stranger.


WFY said...

When I crashed the Lerner presser, Mrs. Kasten was very pleasant when I asked her to take a photo. She promptly delegated it to their daughter. I hope she is well too.

Anonymous said...

I'm the one who posted on Zuckerman's blog about Mrs. Kasten's health. She did have breast cancer diagnosed sometime after he became Nats president. That was publicized. However, I have no idea as to how she's doing. I made my comment before it was revealed that Kasten told the Lerners a year ago that he would be leaving now. So if anything, I would guess her health is less of a concern than I implied it might be.

I suspect we will see Kasten again in baseball - as commissioner. The owners like Selig (exactly why they do eludes me, though) and Kasten fits the mold of Selig. Former team executive, well respected by both players and owners. No enemies anywhere, as far as I can tell. He'd be a natural for that job.

MikeHarris said...

Uncle Stan as Commish - now that would be cool.

Anonymous said...

Was Kasten's five year commitment public knowledge? Seems like it's the first I'm, hearing of it and sounds like it could be a bit of revisionist history designed to take the sting out of this move.

MikeHarris said...

You know, that's a very good question.

When I saw it, my first reaction was, "uh, huh, that's right," but I'm above admitting maybe my mind is playing tricks on me.

Maybe he said he'd be here five years. Maybe he said the famous "plan" was a five-year deal?

It still doesn't change my general feeling. I'm an Uncle Stan fan and I'm on the Uncle Stan for Commish bandwagon.