- Stan Kasten will be leaving the Nationals at the end of the 2010 season. (Photo: Associated Press)
Nationals fans may have been prepared for President Stan Kasten's announced resignation by this morning's Thomas Boswell column in The Washington Post. Boswell didn't break the news that Kasten will be leaving at the end of the 2010 season, but it sure was a finely timed column examining the issue.
Now, fans are speculating on the Nats' future, and revisiting Kasten's legacy. Will he be missed as an advocate for the owners opening up their wallets, or was he just as responsible for all the Nats' misery as anyone else?
No one has bowled Kasten over with praise, but there's a widespread fear that the replacement will be worse.
Kasten has been seen as an advocate of a higher payroll, and fans have appreciated that he has stayed in the ear of the Lerner family, which owns the Nationals. In a post headlined "Dear Stan Kasten, please don't go," Nationals Enquirer wondered: "Without Kasten around, who will protect Nationals fans from the Lerners, and the Lerners from themselves?"
But you also won't find widespread mourning. Fire Jim Bowden was decidedly gloomier:
This franchise has dark days ahead. Nevermind Stan's happy talk and MLB.com's silly cheerleading. The decisions made under Kasten's watch will keep the team in the cellar for the foreseeable future. And for that reason Stan Kasten's regime in Washington should be regarded as nothing but a failure. It's time for new blood, and Nationals fans shouldn't be sad to see him go.
There are also still some hurt feelings over, among other things, an Opening Day debacle in which he invited Phillies fans to invade. The Washington Examiner's Rick Snider said it "never seemed like he knew local fans."
Do you see this as a setback for the Nats' future, or does the team need new leadership?
UPDATE 4:33 p.m.: Tom Bridge weighs in with a "Stanecdote" of good responsiveness to fans.