Stan Kasten announced Thursday he will step down as president of the Washington Nationals, effective next week.
As team president since the middle of 2006, Kasten has been responsible for everything ... and nothing ... about how the Nationals have been run.
The Washington Post described Kasten as: "...the chief executive who helped the Lerner family take ownership of the Nationals, oversaw the building of Nationals Park and guided the Nationals for parts of five seasons..."
"Helped" the owners. "Oversaw" construction of the stadium. "Guided" the Nationals.
That tells us almost nothing.
So, how much credit/blame Kasten gets for the careers of Stephen Strasburg(notes), Bryce Harper and general manager Mike Rizzo, along with whatever that scandal was with Jim Bowden, will probably be open the same vague interpretation in 10 years.
Here's what we do know about Kasten: He was incredibly efficient at getting Philadelphia Phillies fans into his team's ballpark.
That's the hard currency of Kasten's legacy. He got Philly butts into D.C. seats.
As 'Duk pointed out in April, one of Kasten's brainstorms was to openly campaign for Phillies fans who supposedly were blocked from attending games at Citizens Bank Park to come on down to the District for some Phillies-Nationals action!
Kasten's own words, via the files of Big League Stew:
"It will be fun, and I think Philly's our best, closest National League rival. We always have great games with them here, because there's so many Philly kids in college here. So we always have great, enthusiastic crowds, and we hope you all come back again. We have an opening day here Monday, we'd love for all our Philly fans to come down, because I know it's gonna be so hard to get tickets in Philadelphia this year. It'll be much easier if you drive down the road and come see us in Washington."
The WaPo even referred to it an "infiltration," noting that Nationals Enquirer referred to it as "one of the low points in the brief history of the Washington Nationals."
Stan, this is one act we can pin on you with certainty. Job well done.
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