- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Incoming team president Stan Kasten has held several discussions with Jim Bowden about the state of the franchise, but Kasten wouldn’t reveal whether he has made a decision about the general manager’s future.

“I said I haven’t announced a decision,” Kasten said. “Whether I’ve made a decision or not, nobody really needs to know.”

Bowden’s contract is due to expire at the end of the season, but Kasten didn’t rule out the possibility of an announcement before then.

No firm date for the transfer of ownership has been set, but Kasten said his group still hopes it can be done by the end of the month.

He added that discussions are ongoing with executives from Comcast and MASN about getting more games on television and said the new owners are “delighted” with how well the Nationals have been playing but wouldn’t say whether the club’s improved play would have an effect on plans to rebuild the organization.

Carroll’s back

Former Nationals utility infielder Jamey Carroll made his first trip back to RFK last night after being sold to the Colorado Rockies for $300,000 in the offseason.

Carroll, who was selected by the Montreal Expos in the 14th round of the 1996 draft, remained with the franchise until this season.

“It just was different. I didn’t know how to go about [switching teams] because it was something that I had never done before,” said Carroll, who received a nice round of applause from the crowd last night when he led off for the Rockies. “You’re going to miss the guys that you’ve been around and been through the battles with for a long time, but I’ve come to understand it’s part of the game and you’ve got to move on.”

Last week, Carroll, who is the Rockies’ starting second baseman, batted .458 (11-for-24) to raise his average from .292 to .319.

Vote for Soriano

Nationals left fielder Alfonso Soriano is less than 1,000 votes from cracking the starting lineup in the All-Star Game on July 11 at Pittsburgh’s PNC Park.

In the third ballot returns, Soriano is the NL’s fourth-leading vote-getter in the outfield with 736,907, trailing Mets center fielder Carlos Beltran by just 923 votes.

Last week, Soriano was in fifth place — 43,000 votes out of the top three. This week, he passed St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Jim Edmonds. Fans have until June 24 to vote in stadiums and until June 29 if they vote online. The American League and National League starters will be announced July 2.

Extra bases

The Nationals agreed to terms with 10 of the players they selected from last week’s draft, including two local college prospects — George Mason first baseman Robert Jacobsen (22nd round) and George Washington left-handed reliever Dan Pfau (27th round). All of the signings were college players outside of the top 10 rounds. … Nationals scouting director Dana Brown will be away from the team for the next few days to mourn the death of his younger brother Anthony, who died from a heart attack.

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