Monday, July 13, 2009

More Stan Kasten Comments After The Presser

After the formal press conference concluded this afternoon, Team President Stan Kasten met individually with each television station reporter on hand, as well as a smaller group of print reporters in the access tunnel of Nationals Park. Here is that availability standing alongside correspondents from The Washington Times, DC Examiner & Fredericksburg Free-Lance Star. Most everyone just looking for one more sound byte to add into their stories.

Question: I want to be clear about what Mike (Rizzo) said in there. He said Manny’s even keel nature was a positive. But once the team got in a hole, it was sort of a problem. What’s your opinion on Manny?

“Manny's demeanor is characteristic of many long term managers. I guess I will let others wonder whether that was right for this situation or not. As I said in there and as you all have observed, many, many, many cases in history—there have been guys that have gone on for long and successful managerial careers even though their first opportunity wasn’t a success. If I had to predict, I think Manny would be one of those type of guys.”

Question: Given that, internally you guys must have had that discussion in that meeting. Where is the line that says this guys promise is not there anymore?

“I can’t answer that but to say that we find ourselves at the All-Star Break with a record of 26-61. We kept thinking it was going to turn around. We kept waiting for the next homestand and the next road trip and the next home stand and the next road trip. And it just never seemed to come together. And we were just not willing to just go on like this for the whole year. Did we wait too long? If you want to criticize us for that—go ahead. But, if we did, it’s because we didn’t want to have to do this. We valued Manny and I continue to value him.”

Question: With everything that has gone on with this team this year, is he, Manny, the right guy to take the fall?

“I don’t know. I do know that we are unwilling to simply ride out the rest of the year the way the first half has gone. So, we are trying to look for changes. There has been an awful lot of change on this team since Spring Training. And we are going to continue to make changes until we succeed. That is the only thing we know how to do.”

Question: Did you have an idea going into this past series, that this would be the deciding ground for dismissal?

“No, I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say that exactly. I’ve been asked, and it’s the nature of the business, that I have been asked about the manager since the first week of the season—when we got off to that bad start. So, we are always evaluating. We always thought there was more talent here and that things would settle down and we would start to find our level. But all sabermatricians out there will tell you we should have a better record than we have. We thought it would kick in. We thought things would even out. And to the extent we’ve had bad luck, we would have good luck to balance it out. But, it never seemed to happen. It hasn’t happened yet. And we are just not willing to go the whole second half without it working either.”

Question: Generally, what would be the resume of the manager you might be looking for? Experienced? Young?

“For today, all I am willing to talk about is Jim Riggleman because he is the manager right now. I think what you are talking about is a subsequent search that I am just not willing to entertain.”

Question: Housekeeping question. When did that meeting take place with Manny last night?

“About 11PM last night. When the team plane landed, Manny came here and Mike and I met him. And we thought about having a 1AM Press Conference, but that wasn’t the right thing to do.”

Question: You mentioned inside you are uncomfortable with having an interim GM and interim Manager.

“It not my preferred way to go.”

Question: “Where does that leave the fans?”

“I am very uncomfortable with it. I assume they are uncomfortable as well. I think that will be resolved soon enough—and when it is, everything will be fine. But this is not the circumstance I prefer to be in.”

Those were Mr. Kasten's final words before leaving the area.

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