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Pardon The Blunt Assessment: Tony Kornheiser On The Washington Nationals.

Never one to hold back when asked his opinion, Tony Kornheiser let loose on the Washington Nationals in a "Talking Points" video interview with the Washington Post which was conducted while the Nationals played their home opener with the Philadelphia Phillies yesterday. The "high"-lights:

Tony Kornheiser on your Washington Nationals:

- "They're terrible, now they were losing when we went up to do PTI, they may have won by now, but they stink..."

- "They had a terrible clown of General Manager for the past four years, now they fired him...No, he was terrible, it's not that I didn't like him, he was terrible...and they've gotten progressively worse as a team under his auspices...They finally fired him because of a scandal(1), which they thought was a kickback scandal, right? With this guy who had the wrong age...?

- "Now, their leader is Stan Kasten...Everybody loves Stan Kasten like everybody loves Jim Bowden...Why? Because if you call him he'll call you back, he'll come to your house, he'll tell you all about the team...and in Kasten's case they'll say well look what he did in Atlanta? Well that was in Atlanta, what is he doing here?

- "...If you look at the standings today...there were no other teams that were 0 for the season, except the Washington Nationals...They didn't sell out their home opener,(2) at least they didn't 24 hours before the home opener...and they're certainly not going to sell out their game tomorrow afternoon or tomorrow evening..."

- "At the moment baseball in Washington is a disaster. At the moment It looks like the stadium was built in the wrong place...which some of us thought to begin with..."(3)

- "The team is dreadful, the attendance is average, it's sort of an average attendance,'s not going to get better this year, because there's not a lot money out there this year..."(4)

- "And you say, well 'Why didn't they support a team, they didn't have a team for 40 years...?' Well you know what happens in 40 years, you learn to live without a team..."

- "I heard Kasten on the radio today saying that building a baseball team takes a very long time...and i grant you it, if you're not the Yankees, it does take a very long time, but this is year five and they've made no progress, so what is a long time? Is it 40 years, is it 40 'til they contend, is it ten, is it twelve, is it at six? 

- "Are they gonna fire Manny Acta?(5)...What's he doing right? I'm not advocating that, I don't know the guy..."

- "How are you going to sell this team to this you're marketing, 'We haven't had a team in 40 years so it's ok that we stink?'"

- "You can market a stinking team in Chicago or Boston cause you've built up a fanbase over a hundred years...There is no fanbase here." 

- "This notion that we've got a new ballpark and we've got a new team and everybody has to support it...Why?"


(1) - The scandal, also known as SMILEYGATE, didn't directly lead to The Former Nationals' GM's firing...but ok...I get the point of what Mr. Kornheiser's saying.

(2) - Acc. to's box score from yesterday's game, the official attendance at the DC Home Opener was 40,386...Nationals Park's capacity = 41,488. Is that close enough to get called a "sell-out"?

(3) - A Washington Post article entitled by Dana Hedgpeth and David Nakamura entitled, "At Nationals Park, District of Dreams Hits A Slump" is referenced here...(ed. note - "You'll need an account with the Washington Post to read this article, but it's free to set one just do it...")

(4) - Acc. to's 2009 attendance totals: (Of the team's that played their home openers yesterday, Capacity #'s from Google)....

  1. Los Angeles Dodgers - 57, 099. (capacity - 56,000)
  2. New York Mets - 41,007. (capacity - 45,000)
  3. Washington Nationals - 40, 386. (capacity - 41,488)
  4. Chicago Cubs - 40, 077. (capacity - 41,118)
  5. Pittsburgh Pirates - 38, 411. (capacity - 38,496)
  6. Tampa Bay Rays - 36, 973. (capacity - 36,973)
(5) - Manny Acta shared his thoughts on his own job security with Washington Post writer Chico Harlan for a Nationals Journal post this morning entitled, "Morning Reading".

(ed. note - "Mr. Kornheiser isn't saying anything that hasn't been said on every Washington Nationals blog and by every writer covering the team, but it's also hard to argue with anything he's saying...not living in DC myself, I can't speak to the whole real estate situation around Nationals Park, I just simply don't know the history of the region, or what was promised when they originally planned the park and surrounding area...but it doesn't look like an awful lot has changed since I first came to the park on Opening Night last it naive of me to think the area should have built up around the park by now? Mr. Kornheiser doesn't mention what Mr. Kasten and "Acting" GM Mike Rizzo have done to rebuild the system, granted he's only talking about the Nationals and their relation to DC, but to be fair to the Nationals, having been an Expos' fan, I am more excited about the players coming out of the system now than I've been since Javier Vazquez and Tony Armas first surfaced with Montreal...What do you think? If you're reading this, aren't you a part of a "fanbase"? Are you surprised that the Nationals have not been accepted by the fans in the nation's capital? I don't think the blame can be placed solely on Manny Acta, and I think it would be a HUGE mistake to fire him...Is another Manager going to turn this team into a contender? Acta's decisions have come under some scrutiny recently...How would you assess his tenure thus far? I asked this question yesterday and I'll ask it again...")

Is baseball 0-3 in Washington, DC?