• Kasten To LA?: Though the public announcement took many by surprise, Stan Kasten reportedly informed the Washington Nationals' owners of his intention to leave his position as the Nats' first team President nine months before the story came out in the papers in the nation's capital.
Theodore R. Lerner, Principal owner of the Nationals, thanked Mr. Kasten in the team's official press release on Kasten's departure, writing that, "Over his tenure he has positioned the Nationals to become one of the most exciting franchises in baseball and we thank him for all that he has accomplished." Writers like The Washington Post's Thomas Boswell and FOXSports.com's Jon Morosi wrote at the time, however, that, as Mr. Boswell put it, "friends, family and baseball associates" claimed that a, "frustration at his lack of effective influence on the Lerners," was in part responsible for the decision, while Mr. Morosi's sources said, "a 'lack of (financial) commitment from ownership' was a factor in Kasten's decision to resign."
Mr. Kasten, who no longer has an ownership stake in the Nationals is now being mentioned as a possible alternative to take over the Los Angeles Dodgers. AP writer Ronald Blum, in an article at the Statesmen.com entitled, "Big debts and custody fight: Why MLB took Dodgers", wrote yesterday that, "Team executives have speculated over the next Dodgers head. Among the candidates mentioned were [MLB executive vice president John] McHale, former Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals chief executive Stan Kasten, former Giants executive vice president Corey Busch and former San Diego Padres president Dick Freeman." Former Nats' GM Jim Bowden, now a Sirius/XM Radio host, wrote on Twitter today that, "Stan Kasten is the front runner to run the day to day operations of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He is no longer an owner of the Nats or any role."
• Mike Prada at SBNationDC wrote about the Kasten news, as did SB Nation Baseball Nation's Rob Neyer.
• Bixler Called Up:
With Ian Desmond scheduled to take paternity leave to be with his wife, (the two are expecting their first child any day now reportedly), the Washington Nationals made the decision this afternoon, as predicted by many to call infielder Brian Bixler up from Triple-A Syracuse since they'll be needing an infielder on the roster in Desmond's absence. The move was expected as soon as the Washington Nationals announced that they'd sent C Jesus Flores back to Triple-A yesterday. Bixler, 28, an '04 2nd Round pick by the Pirates purchased by the Nationals last August, impressed at the plate this Spring, hitting .316 with a .449 OBP, .605 SLG, three doubles, two HR's and 10 ten walks in 38 at bats.
Bixler's continued to hit and get on base with the Syracuse Chiefs, posting a .326/.483/.370 slash, though the power hasn't come north with the infielder yet. The Nationals will have to make a roster move since Bixler's not on the 40-man roster, but as Washington Post writer Adam Kilgore pointed out in his Nationals Journal post on the call-up, with rain expected tonight the Nats might delay a decision.