He also said he doesn’t know what he’s going to do next.
“I can’t know that I’ll do this again. I don’t feel like retiring,” Kasten said. “I don’t think you’ll lose track of me.”
When he came to Washington, Kasten immediately outlined the plan he wanted to implement to improve the club, focusing on pitching and grooming young talent. He hoped to create success similar to that of the Atlanta Braves, who won a World Series championship and 14 consecutive division titles after Kasten oversaw their rebuilding.
While the Nationals organization made some strides in improving its crop of minor league players, the big league team has struggled to be competitive. The Nationals finished with the worst record in the majors in 2008 (59-102) and 2009 (59-103), which allowed the team to be the first in baseball history to have the No. 1 pick in the amateur draft two years in a row.
“Until we win it all, I don’t have any crowning achievements,” Kasten said.
The Nationals picked Stephen Strasburg in 2009, signing him to a record $15.1 million contract, and he made his major league debut to much fanfare this June. But the right-handed pitcher was injured last month and he had reconstructive elbow surgery on Sept. 3 that could keep him out of the starting rotation until the 2012 season.
About two hours after Kasten announced his resignation and lauded fans for attending despite the team’s poor record, the Nationals said no season ticket prices would be raised in 2011. Also, the three most expensive categories will be reduced.
Kasten was a powerful figure on the Atlanta sports scene for more than two decades, running baseball’s Braves, the NBA’s Hawks and the NHL’s Thrashers. He left all three posts in November 2003, when the Hawks and Thrashers were on the verge of being sold to new owners and the Braves were going through budget cuts.