Saturday, June 5, 2010

Saturday Night Stan

It only took the opening statement.

"Welcome to the PNC Diamond Club. Isn't it great! We've just upgraded it and we're going to be doing more"

It wasn't the content. It was the delivery.

This was a man who could sell ice to eskimos.

I was in the presence of a master salesman. And I don't mean that in a derogatory way. It was clear from the first sentence, this was a man who had mastered the art of persuasion. The art of filling the prospect with confidence, with a sense of excitement, with a urge coming from deep within that not to buy would be the biggest mistake that could ever be made.

And he made it look so easy. That was perhaps the most impressive part. He wasn't even turning it on full blast. He didn't need to. But I could sense another gear he could kick on at a moments notice and that would have that monorail built or leave you with twenty bottles of Dr. Quackenbush's Medicinal Tonic.

I can't say if Stan will make the right decision all the time. But I am supremely confident the Nats will never be out negotiated. Not going to happen. Do your best Scott Boras, you are against a master.

He took questions. I should say I attended Blogger Day on Saturday June 5th and one stop on our tour was the PNC Diamond Club to see Stan Kasten do an Q & A with the high roller ticket holders.

A kid gets the microphone and asks him if he could have his autograph.

"That's the cheapest thing you'll find at Nats Park!"

Do you think Strasburg will make the Nats the premier team in town?

"We sell more tickets than any other sports team in Washington!"

Are you happy to see two draft picks from 2009 in the majors already?

"I'm just offering some advice. Signing quickly can get you to the big leagues fast!"

The Phillies are coming back to town in July. What will you do about the problems we had on Opening Day?

"None of us was happy about Opening Day." Message: I care "We didn't do anything special on Opening Day. We've taken steps to change but we can't tell you what they are." Believe me, if you heard it, you would absolutely believe changes will be made and the will work!

A young kid asked Did you have to fight to get Strasburg on the Nationals?

Fight? Oh you mean sign. Ha ha ha. Good question. There was an "energetic" back and forth all summer. Many excited conversations. I wasn't in on any of them, it was all Rizzo. In retrospect, I suspect Steven told his agent he was ready to plan and to get a contract he could sign.

Why is Strasmas June 8th?

Totally driven by baseball operations. Totally. Just followed the plan and fortunately the plan has unfolded like we hoped.

Thanks folks. Have a great time and I'll be circulating now.

And just like that, he was off the stage and ready to work the room.

Bravo, master. Bravo!

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