Sunday, June 28, 2009
More Quotes From Stan Kasten's National Press Club Appearance
Some of what Team President Stan Kasten spoke about at length this past Thursday at The National Press Club Luncheon--mirrored exactly what Mr. Kasten said during The Blogger Day Get Together at Nationals Park. But there were some other fresh answers beyond the original three comments posted a few days ago.
With that--here are some more quotes from Stan Kasten's National Press Club Appearance:
On Team Development Of Talent
“You can’t buy a pitching staff, you have to grow them. You can buy one pitcher, but you can’t buy a rotation. And so that was our challenge when we got here.”
“Until we see the record on the field (improve), it is easy to be critical. It is easy to be impatient. I totally understand that. But, those of you who aren’t limited to just looking at the standings, who are really looking at the pieces of this franchise and the things you need to be successful—can start to see what those of us on the inside have long suspected and now we are seeing. We now have today a rotation, four of them are rookies, three of them are 22 (years old). This is what we set out to do three years ago. And you can’t snap your fingers and make it happen overnight. It takes time to develop, to scout, to sign and then to develop kids and get them ready for The Major Leagues. But you can start to see just with the five kids today (in the starting rotation)--and between that crop and the crop that is right behind them in Syracuse. And then the dozen, 15 or 20 names you don’t yet know behind them--we are building a franchise that is defined by young pitching—by pitching coming forward.”
“We have been really encouraged by what we have seen so far. But there are going to be dips. There will be some ups and downs until they turn the corner--and until we decide on the five final guys that will comprise our rotation going forward. But that is what it is all going to be about—getting a solid rotation. I said this (past) winter, for me, the 2010 season was dedicated to finding three consistent solid, long-term, major league starters. Because if I got three and I got some help from the draft, then we would be ready to go. And let me tell you—it is clear to me now and I think those of you that are fans will agree—not only are we going to find three solid starters out of this group, but we are going to find more than three starters.”
“I often say when I talk about winning The World Championship in Atlanta in ’95, the most thrilling aspect of that, was that, the pitcher who was standing on the mound, who threw a one hitter for the final game of The World Series and the hitter who hit the home run for the only run of the night—and the pitcher standing on the mound at the end—Mark Wohlers—Tommy Glavine, David Justice and Mark Wohlers—ALL THREE OF THEM, were scouted by us, drafted by us, signed by us. That’s the kind of franchise we are trying to build. That we have set out to build and that we are building. So yes, I know what our record is today. Believe me, it is more frustrating to me than any of the fans could possibly feel. And I still don’t sleep after losses—that is just how I am. But every night, especially the last month or so—I go home encouraged by another quality start. Or, by the stuff I see that is going to develop into a big time starter.”
“There is no question once we establish our rotation. Once our offense settles in. We will need to make sure we have a bullpen that can get these kids, who have given us seven good innings—they need their win. So that is the thing we have to do—either in this season or during this next off-season. And of course, like any changing team, we have to get the best defense that we can.”
On The Economy
“I thought by now it would be better in terms of our neighborhood (surrounding Nationals Park). And the economy, which has hit all of us in so many ways, has certainly hit the business of going out on a massive scale. What we thought we would see right now has not happened yet. We all know it is going to happen. But it has been delayed for a couple of years. And when that happens, that is going to make the evening’s experience—the coming to the ball game—even better than it is now.”
Q & A
It took The Mets seven years from inception to win The World Series, how far along are you in the same process?
“Once we get a consistent, stable, mature, ready to go rotation of pitchers—anything is possible—believe me. Once you get that, you don’t have to wait two years, five years--you are then ready to go. Then you only have to get the bits and pieces to fill in. And I assure you, both I and all my owners are ready to go fill in any missing pieces we need, just as soon as we establish our rotation.”
Are you really following the path of The Atlanta Braves of the ‘90’s?
“I am following exactly that same path. We are not the only team pinning their hopes and succeeding on the backs of their young pitchers. All clubs do the same thing. Cincinnati is doing a good job. Toronto is doing a good job. And let me say that real soon—you are going to see Baltimore do exactly that.”
As President of The Washington Nationals—how much blame do you take for the poor performances?
“Well, I shoulder all of it. As I’ve said, I will take the responsibility until we get it right. It’s not right, and I need to keep working until we do. But, as I’ve said—right now—I am The Village Idiot. I get that and I wear that not proudly, but with resignation. I get that—because we are in the phase where there are no short cuts. There are no short cuts with pitchers. You can’t buy a pitching rotation--you need to develop them. And we’ve done an excellent job so far of doing that.”
Is there a limit to how much you can invest in one player (Stephen Strasburg), one that has never played one inning of a professional game?
“I never negotiate in the press and I will not today.”
“What a perfect environment for Stephen Strasburg. He couldn’t have a better place to grow and contribute any quicker than up to our Major League rotation here in Washington. And he will be a very good addition to this crop here. That will be a great environment for him to find himself.”
On Tom Boswell’s story that Ownership is more concerned about making money than winning?
“I assure you and I talked with Tom about this yesterday—that we make a lot more money when we win. Just trust me on that. No matter how you want to run the numbers—we are going to make a lot more money--if we win. So we are trying to do that just as fast as we can.”