Owner Ted Lerner, the National National League, is a family celebration


“Do you believe this, Dad?” Debra said.

Ted Lerner is not hardworking. It's not polished. It presents stocks. People looking at games to describe it as curious but without confrontation, responding without a specific bounce make more interest in how it fits in the big picture. At that moment, since his family officially occupied the Nationals in July 2006, he led 2,168 regular seasons games and 28 more in the postal season. He had closed an old RFK Stadium and opened a new playing field. Managers were employed and fired. Here it took.

“It's amazing,” said Lerner with his daughter. "I am very happy."

His birthday was 94.

“Pure joy,” said Debra last week.

“The happiness we saw on his face is not insurmountable,” said Mark Lerner.

The appearance of the upcoming Nationals in the World Series – the first for this franchise – means the first in Washington in 86 years – as many different things as many different people. In the case of players, a handful of those who have reached this point, is a professional highlight – and the possibility remains. For the fans, so many of them suffered a disappointment in previous October – not to mention 33 years without any baseball team at all – it's a strong cocktail of adrenaline and emotions. In the case of General Manager Mike Rizzo and his team, it is validated that their scouting, development and evaluation methods work on players.

On stage, Lerner made a thought for some time that kind of looked after him as he was very different from tumor opening or through the development of an office building. “I'd like to say to our fans: Here's for you,” said Lerner into a microphone, his words doing those in the stands and television viewers later on.

But in the case of Ted Lerner, there is more than the fans at the best one of the Nats. When the Nationalists were climbing up from the elevated stage at the heart of the field, the trophy remained secured, Ted Lerner. The photographs he was staying with were still. His wife, Annette, and her three children, her family-law and daughter, his great-grandfather, were then.

For Ted Lerner, this was about a family.

“It is clearly very successful and successful, it is very clever, confident,” said Stan Kasten, a former national president of Los Angeles Dodgers. “But it is totally committed to the family above all – above all other. . . .

“Everything happened as he worked within his family and he showed his family. There is nothing more important than Ted than that. ”

That's how the Lerners went on with a baseball team. That's how they ran a ball team. So that is how they celebrated a pennant. With the Lerners, there are no 5-3 votes. There is only a consensus.

“It's a family dynamic,” said Rizzo. “We make decisions as a group. There are no sharp decisions, no judgments. It is a deliberate process that takes the knowledge and support of the whole family. ”

This was not taken by Ted Lerner of the Nationals. It is like Ted Lerner lives his life. It is so disciplined that its long-term adapter kept the same waist measurement from its 30s until recently – and now it has to introduce them. It is so wise that he will not attend games on Friday night because of the Jewish Shabbat. These qualifications are reflected in the supervision of the Nationals.

Family first, and finally

By the time Baseball Base League decided to move the Montreal Expos to Washington after the 2004 season, the Lerners were owned by previous sports ownership. Mark Lerner believes that it was probably 8 years when he began to send his father, one of the country's most successful real estate developers, owned by staff.

“I think it's fault,” said Mark in a Friday interview at National Park when his two sisters came to video conferencing. “As I am a little man, I always said to my dad,“ Wouldn't it be cool to have one of our own? ”

However, in order to proceed with the town's new baseball team, Ted and Mark were not the only person on board. “It was very something at the time,” Debra said. Because such decisions must be a decision everyone something the family went with. When they decided to go ahead, Mark sent flowers to his sisters.

“He knew we could have an enterprise one day we wanted to pursue, and we wanted to get his support,” Debra said.

To get the team, the Lerners not only had to pay $ 450 million of MLB price, but also spread half a dozen competitors. Bud Selig was the mediator, a baseball commissioner who invited Ted Lerner to his office in Milwaukee as part of the interview process. Lerner, including the son of Ed Cohen's laws and Bob Tanenbaum, gave his whole family decision.

The Milwaukee Brewers was previously owned by Selig, which he turned into a family business. He had a strong affinity not only for local ownership, but for family owns. Selig Johnball's mentor was the last owner of the Detroit Tigers, a family man.

“When Ted came to Milwaukee with his family, he said, agam I know how you felt about Mr Fetzer, '' Selig said in a telephone interview last week. “He told me he was on my John Fetzer of this generation. The only thing I say: I was not disappointed. ”

Different type of business

The Lerners took on the team in July 2006, and if he taught those who worked for himself and others around the old contest about his family's importance in the operation, his family was reminded of the medal experience. its defining characteristic: patience.

“I am the biggest patient,” said Mark Lerner.

The Nationals were in desperation – not only because they played at an old RFK Stadium, and not just because they were in charge of the first of the six seasons that had just been lost. The minor branches had no expectations. The scouting sections and players developed the lowest budgets in basic games. As a young man, Ted Lerner lent money from his wife to buy his first property – and become a billionaire. He took Tyson Corner. He took the White Mall of Snow. He had not built a baseball team.

“I think it seriously affected the eyes that it is simply difficult to transfer bricks and mortar real estate business to baseball business,” said Marla Lerner Tanenbaum, a younger daughter. “The chance of being involved in baseball, with the randomness that can be involved in a top-ball, is not very much in the real estate business. There are facts. It contains numbers. So I think the first thing he could attack is the numbers, the financial situation of the franchise he got. He interrupted him. ”

The stories are from those early years, as they learned baseball, as part of the nationalist narrative. Why did stops stops from mini-league coaches? Why did every player want so many bats? Does FedEx really need to be sent to this package? Why do scouts spend so much travel from place to place? For baseball lifers, such issues were offensive. But Ted Lerner was only accepting boys' norms until – and if not, he understood them.

“He'd learn where the holes are and how to avoid them,” said Kasten, who was president of the team since the Lerners took over it in the 2010 season. “Sometimes the way to go in place. Sometimes contradiction is the way to go. ”

For some time, however, he wanted to seek opinions. Even in the late 70s, he knew that there were other owners and executives who realized he was better than he did. Lerner picked the phone and the calls tried to make it out. He met with Scott Boras, the super agent who has a strong relationship with him and he made some dealings as, as Boras said last week, “He wanted to hear about the business from my own side.”

“I have taken a number of calls from him in those first few years. What is your strategy on the mini-championships? What kind of resources do you put into repairs on the car? ”Larry Baer, ​​CEO of The Francisco Giants who is also a co-owner said. “He had a very curious, active mind, and someone was not sitting back and making recognition.”

Patient's remuneration

Recognizing something to get recognition is what Lerner does himself. He refused to be interviewed for this story, and rarely spoke about how his team works in almost everything. The community can develop a venue, but it is a private exercise. Long Selig has referred to baseball as a “social institution.” Public thinking is an element of ownership of family thinking.

“There's nothing like the sports business,” said Mark Attanasio, a cashier who bought the Brewers at the end of 2004. “Everything you do is under a microscope. Imagine being on Wall Street and making all these markets during the day, and then at the end of the day you must explain all decisions publicly. That's the position Ted got into. It is a move for all of us. ”

Lerner left the explanation to others – even in the early days. During his time as president of the team, Kasten was the most prominent figure, but when he left, he was not replaced. Mark Lerner writes letters to the fan base after major decisions and from time to time he talks to the family in interviews. But since he became a permanent general manager at the club in 2009, Rizzo often outlines team thinking – even though such decisions have been made through family discussions. Last year, Ted Lerner switched the official supervision of the club to Mark. But the patriarch's voice is remarkable.

“It is the kind of leader that allows you to express your opinion – and sometimes it expresses your opinion,” said Rizzo. “He wants to have your point of view and your opinion and he doesn't want to hear what he thinks he wants to hear.” T

Since 2006-10, only one franchise has lost more games than the Nationals. From 2012 this year, one team has achieved more. With a new fan base, it would seem extremely impossible to achieve the World Series. With Ted Lerner, something was to be added at the pace of anyone else but his own. Sport is essentially about feelings, and the Lerner family are not immune to them.

“You don't want to be around me after a loss,” said Mark Lerner.

Ted Lerner does not drive this roller-coaster. That's why his Tuesday night was so great joy for his family, for the most worried people.

“I can't say that I would ever have that patience,” said Mark Lerner. “I don't think Debbie and Marla would either. I give him a lot of credit. It is difficult to say, ‘We are proceeding with the right way whether I am here or not. You must be patient.


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