(AP Photo. Mark Lerner, seen here possibly losing a thumb war against himself last summer at Nationals Park.)
More soft stuff than a Livan Hernandez start!
"Mark Lerner" (a.k.a. Mark Lerner and the rest of the Nationals marketing folks who weren't lucky enough to be out on the road for the first day of the Nats Winter Caravan) held an online chat with Nationals fans yesterday on Nationals dot com.
We certainly appreciate the owner taking some time out of his busy schedule for this chat with "fans", but when every question reads like a plant, and every answer seems canned...well...it all came across feeling...like a colossal waste of time.
Exhibit A, The Appreciative Season Ticket Holder chimes in:
bflojack: Season ticket holder here. Just wanted to say thanks for staying the course for this team. As we've seen with the Caps, a long-term strategy bears much better fruit for the sustainability of the franchise.
Lerner:: Ted Leonsis is a dear friend and mentor and is an innovative, effective owner. I have said many times that Ted has been a great influence on me ever since we first met. He laid out a plan for building a winner and it is paying off. I think the model he used with the Capitals is pretty much what we're doing with the Nats now. He also advised me that patience would be required for a long-term plan, but that the wait is worth it.
There was maybe one interesting moment during the proceedings, Lerner's answer to the following question:
natsfantx: Long term, do you see the Nationals having a top 10 payroll in MLB?
After droning on again about building the franchise the right way from the ground up like Stan Kasten said to and blah blah blah, Lerner said:
Lerner:: .... I would anticipate that our payroll will continue to grow as our team grows and becomes more successful. I certainly do envision the day that our payroll is in the top ten.
We can now envision the day that the "Lerners are Cheeeeep!!" calls go away!
The Bowden/Rizzo interview on XM/Sirius yesterday was compelling radio. We Tweeted along some of the highlights while listening to it live, of course butchering the highlights in 140 characters or less...thankfully DC Sports Bog and Federal Baseball lovingly transcribed the interview for posterity.
Strasburg ranked #2, Storen #40, on MLB Network's Top 50 prospect rankings.
Mike Bacsik grooved it? You don't say!