More from Stan Kasten on his departure and the Nationals
Thursday, September 23, 2010; 6:41 PM
Stan Kasten met with media today in the Nationals dugout. He sat on the bench and leaned against the wall. "I need the wall because I do not trust Rizzo to be behind me with a shaving cream pie," Kasten said. "So I wasn't going to take that chance." Kasten, of course, had nailed Rizzo with a pie on the night they signed Bryce Harper. This afternoon, Rizzo was sitting near Kasten when he made the pie joke. "It will be a whipped cream pie," Rizzo said. "And it will happen." "I really thought today might have been that day," Kasten said. It wasn't. Kasten did spend nearly 20 minutes with reporters. Several questions he did not answer in detail or, really, at all, but he promised he will delve further into his legacy and his future at a later date. For now, here are some of the most important snippets from his talk: On if he'll keep his ownership stake: Is that really something you guys need to know? I don't know yet. I do know if the day ever comes that I'm involved with another baseball team, I couldn't do that. So it's a little early. But I also don't know why you need to know that. On his crowning achievement: Listen, until we win it all, I don't have any crowing achievements. I do know that this team finally has a terrific pipeline. You know the kids our system produced this season. You know the kids that they're about to produce the next season, the season after that, the season after and the season after that. Nothing good happens after that. We finally have that. We finally have a baseball operations front office that is as good as can be to produce that on an ongoing basis. Those are the two most important things on that side. On the business side, we've got a glorious, magnificent stadium with a spectacular game experience. No matter what the score that night, you have a good time when you come to Nationals Park. That's what's most important. On his future: You know, last time I thought I might retire. I really didn't know if I'd ever do this again. And who knows? These jobs are precious and rare. So I can't know that I'll ever do this again. But this time my mind is 'You know what, I don't feel like retiring.' So I'm going to do something. I don't think you'll lose track of me. But there's nothing I want to talk about today. I truly haven't decided anything, committed to anything. I really haven't and it'll be a while before I do, really. On wanting to send a message he has no issues with ownership: All of those things bother me when I read it. Like I said, it's about one thing. What I want to do, what's good to do, what's good for my family. Period. And there's a lot out there. I don't want to talk about anything today. But that's really it. On his confidence in Washington becoming a baseball town: No question about it. No question about it. This is a big market both in size, an enormous market in terms of wealth and demographics to succeed with a venue that really relates well across all demographics, very versatile. When the product - listen, we had 1.8 million people come to watch a team that's losing 95 to 105 games a year. That extraordinary support for a team that hasn't earned it yet. And so when it does earn it, when we get our job done, as I always say, we're going to have great support. I've never backed away from 'We get the attendance we deserve.' I got to tell you, we probably over-indexed in the last couple of years and that's a really good. Sign. I'll also say this. This year we had a drop-off in season tickets. The number doesn't matter. But we're still going to match last year's attendance. You know why? Because people bought tickets over the course of the year. Yeah, some were Strasburg. A much smaller number than any of you guessed. But they were buying because they're finally sensing that this is turning around and getting on the bandwagon. We're going to be at last year's attendance even with a significant season-ticket drop. That's the most positive sign because that does not happen. If you have a season-ticket drop you're going to have an attendance drop. That didn't happen. Fans came out. Fans made up that gap because they are sensing all the good that's happening.