Lerner press conference

Last night I was able to attend the press conference for the new owners of the Washington Nationals, the Lerner family and associates, held at the Fairmont Hotel on M Street NW. I did not have any trouble getting in, I simply walked into the Fairmont and asked where the Lerner press conference was and I was poitned in the right direction.

I posted 25 photos of the event on my Web site. You can watch the first part of the press conference and via wusa9.com.

I was taking photos most of the time, so I had to put these notes together from memory:

# “Well, it’s been some kind of day.”

Ted Lerner read from a prepared statement. His best line — “I had not realized I was such a man of mystery until I read a couple of recent newspaper articles.” He generally did not answer questions from the press, his son Mark and Stan Kasten, Nationals president.

# Ted Lerner pronounces the city, “Warsh-ing-ton.”

# Mark Lerner also read from a prepared statement.

# Stan Kasten spoke without notes. His three main points: player development, customer satisfaction, community relations.

# Kasten said that he expected to get the Nats on Comcast because it is the best thing for all involved, but did not elaborate on how it would happen.

# When asked if they lived in the District, Ted said “yes” and they paid $10 million in taxes to the city. Most other questions were answered by Mark Lerner and Stan Kasten.

# Vincent Orange showed up early in the press conference, Marion Barry showed up about halfway through. Both were noted by Edward Cohen, son-in-law of Ted and a principal owner. Thank god those two, along with Jim Bowden are happy with the Lerners, I don’t know how I could accept this ownership group without their endorsement.

# James Brown mentioned that grandfather was involved with the Hattiesburg Black Sox, a Mississippi baseball team that continues to this day.

# I got a press kit, the releases are linked below

# I met Charlie Brotman and had my photo taken with him.

# Barry and Orange managed to get down to the stage quicky after the formal press conference. Barry shook Ted Lerner’s hand for over a thirty seconds and was in the middle of several photos taken of all involved.

# Interestingly enough, Barry and Orange were the only to council members there. They were introduced to polite applause.

# Adrian Fenty had this to say in The Post: “There’s too much to gain for everybody, even though the process wasn’t the greatest,” Fenty said. “It’s a great time for a new fresh start. We need to get momentum back for the Nationals.”

# Stan Kasten announced he would be available to District officials, promising to give out his phone numbers. Kasten got a good laugh from the crowd when he told WTOP’s Marc Plotkin that priviliege was reserved for people who were elected.

# nationals.com beat writer Bill Ladson lives up to his nickname, “Rocket.” The guy moves fast.

# I did not see any MASN crews over there.

Media reaction

The Post

  • After 17 Months, Baseball Introduces Nats’ Owners
  • Nats’ Brass Say They’ll Rebuild From Within
  • A ‘Man of Mystery’ Steps Into the Spotlight
  • A Warm Welcome, and a Wish List
  • Nationals’ Q&A
  • Steeped in TV, Politics, Business
  • THOMAS BOSWELLThe New Owner Is Old School
  • GRAPHIC: New Nationals Lineup
  • For Owner Also-Rans, There Is No Next Year
  • Finally, a Proprietor

    The Wash. Times

  • Lerners get the Nationals
  • At long last
  • Williams set to work with Nats’ new owner
  • TOM KNOTTPot of gold, though Lerner rainbow incomplete
  • Other bidders sad but gracious
  • Players welcome a new regim
  • New owners must do more than simply talk a good game
  • Fans, stadium on Nats’ fix-it list
  • DICK HELLERFor better or worse
  • ‘Family affair’

    The Wash. Examiner

  • Baseball chooses Lerner
  • Ted Lerner brings his field of dreams to reality
  • Ownership decision viewed as win
  • New owner, same team
  • Jim Bowden: The right decision for D.C.
  • Jim Williams: Haber and WUSA had Nats story right


  • Lerners to buy Nationals from MLB
  • Nats new ownership focused on farm system
  • Nationals pleased with new ownership
  • Tavares to leave Nationals
  • The NY Times

  • Nationals Have Owner, and Baseball Turns Profit

    USA Today

  • Lerner group wins Nationals

    Also, MissChatter has a transcript of Bud Selig’s conference call

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