(AP Photo. Moments after drafting Stephen Strasburg on June 9th, Stan Kasten instructs Mark Lerner to keep his goddamn mouth shut and not say anything stupid.)
"With 48 hours to go, I simply have no idea whether we're going to be able to reach a deal.
We think he's not just a draft pick -- we think he's a special player, which is why we extended ourselves as much as we did, and will continue to entertain any other issues or concerns he might have in order to get him signed."
(Stan Kasten, via Associated Press, 8/16/2009)
One part negotiation ploy, one part damage control before the Public Relations Nightmare!
After keeping tight-lipped since drafting Stephen Strasburg back in June, Stan Kasten finally broke his silence yesterday and divulged details of the Nationals' record breaking offer. And now, with less than 48 hours to go, the headlines are screaming around the country:
Nats Offer Strasburg Record Shattering Deal!
Well played, Stan. It's clear he's simply using the media to sway public opinion in the Nats favor ("Look at how far the Nats are willing to go to sign Strasburg!" "Boras and Strasburg are greedy!" etc. etc.). And if a quick google search of this morning's news headlines for "Stephen Strasburg" is any indication, it seems to be working. At the same time, Stan is certainly smart enough to begin lowering the expectations around NatsTown as the hours tick down.
Your move, Mr. Boras.
We're going to continue to ignore our own advice and continue to obsess over Strasburg in these final hours. At this hour, our pea brains here at Nationals Enquirer have reduced it to this: The Nats have no choice but to sign Strasburg; Boras is using the circumstances to try to change the game. The Nats are willing to spend, but their breaking point is probably well below Boras' lowest acceptable offer. This thing won't get done.
And it will hurt. Oh yes, it will hurt.
Over at the Washington Post, Boz gives the lay of the land as the final 48 hours tick down. We've read his piece twice and still can't tell which side of the fence he's on, maybe because he's sitting safely ON the fence...
Meanwhile, someone needs to take away Rob Dibbles laptop privileges. Dibs basically beat MASN viewers over the head again and again and again and again with his latest blog post on last night's broadcast; doesn't look like Bob Carpenter has gotten around to updating his blog with his own version of the diatribe.