Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Stan's the Man

One day after the curtains closed on the Bowden era, Stan Kasten made no bones about who's in charge:
"I'm in charge."
And it's about time. I'm no Stan-ophile. He's done lots of things that make me nuts, and he probably had the last word on the Aaron Crow non-signing, which remains in my mind the most indefensible decision of the last 4+ years of Nationals baseball.

But I do like organizational coherence. I like top-down, clear chains of command. I have a lot more in common with conservatives and military-types in this way. I loathe decisions by committee. I wouldn't last five minutes in a commune. The Mets, Phillies, Braves, and Marlins are our opposition, but the true enemy is inefficiency.

The question in my mind remains, however, is Stan really in charge? His authority only extends as far as Mark Lerner supports him. Stan was supposed to be in charge in 2006 too, and then when it came time to make his first big decision, Lerner sawed him off.

On a separate note, I wouldn't make too much of this business about Stan being the GM. He's always done business by surrounding himself with smart baseball people and then letting them do their jobs. I'm sure if and when this team makes any deals in the short term that it'll be based on Mike Rizzo's and/or Dana Brown's advice. Stan's not going to be flying out to Wisconsin to scout pitchers in the cold.

I do like that they are apparently taking their time with the search. Again, last time they allowed inertia to carry the day and ended up with a guy who pretty clearly wasn't the best available.

I'm not on the other hand all that enthused about the appearance of Bob Boone and Chuck LaMar on the list of rumored candidates. This kind of article makes you nervous until you remember that it's completely substance-less speculation, like when a senator retires and every member of the House delegation automatically gets a mention as a potential candidate.

Finally, in this rambling end-of-the-day post, it's interesting that Stan is allowing reports to appear that he's ready to negotiate with Zimmerman. This is the kind of deal that he would do on his own, and it'll be interesting to see if this is something he can get done. Bowden gonzo and Zimmerman re-signed? Can we hope for such a bounty of goodness?

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