(Photo by Reuters Pictures)
Frustrated and Accessible!
Mark Lerner, in a rare and exclusive interview with MLB dot com's Bill Ladson, would like Nats fans to know he's frustrated, but accessible. And don't forget, the Nats tried to sign Mark Teixeira this past offseason!
Among the highlights of the interview, Lerner says the Lerners have been unfairly criticized for their frequent disappearing act. An excerpt:
MLB.com: The Lerner family has been criticized by some for being distant, even evasive. Does this criticism bother you? Should a member of the family have been at the press conference when Manny Acta was relieved of his duties and Riggleman named interim manager?
Lerner: We decided, and announced from the first day, that Stan Kasten -- a well-regarded sports executive and part owner -- was going to be the public face of the Nationals. He has done a splendid job as that public face. Our model is not, by the way, particularly novel in sports. In fact, most baseball decisions at club levels are made by team presidents or general managers. You don't often see team owners making public announcements.
I do think some of the criticism, generally, has been a little unfair. Members of my family, and other members of the ownership group, are at practically every game and certainly accessible to fans. I know I spend a lot of time walking around the park before and during games and enjoy visiting fans each night who just want to talk about the park or about the team. I also, personally, answer mail sent to me, both critical and complimentary.
I will also tell you Stan Kasten is absolutely one of the most accessible in the game. Anyone who's been to Nationals Park has seen Stan walking the park during games, chatting with fans, listening to their ideas or criticisms and telling our story.
We take back all the unfair things we ever said, Mark!