Sources: Stan Kasten at stadium
LOS ANGELES -- Stan Kasten, the longtime baseball executive who will become the Los Angeles Dodgers' president when the sale of the team is completed in a couple of weeks, was at Dodger Stadium on Tuesday night before the Angels-Dodgers game, sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com.
Kasten has been meeting with Dodgers employees in recent days and is expected to be back in town next week as he gets to know the franchise he will soon play a lead role in running.
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Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and manager Don Mattingly both said before the game they have spoken with Kasten on several occasions and were comfortable with the transition from Frank McCourt to the new ownership group fronted by Magic Johnson and Kasten but financed by Guggenheim Baseball Management and its controlling owner, Mark Walter.
"I've talked to Stan Kasten a handful of times, and I'll talk to him some more in the next few weeks," Colletti said. "I think the expectation is always to win, no matter who the owner of the club is. We're in a different position than we were a month ago because of the new group that will be in here. I think that's a positive after everything we've been through.
"It's going to be different because the last couple of years have been tough. But it's time to look ahead, and that's what we're doing."
In an interview with ESPNLosAngeles.com last week, Kasten said he intended to evaluate the team's staff and operations before making any changes.
"As of today I have no plans to do that," Kasten said. "We're going in there April 30 or May 1 and we want to learn everybody, we want to see how everyone is doing, see how I can contribute to them, make them more productive. If we see needs, we'll fill them. And if we don't we'll just move forward. My goal will be to help everyone be as productive as they can."
Colletti said he expected the transition to continue to run smoothly but expressed a bit of regret that his baseball relationship with McCourt is coming to an end.
"He helped me a lot," Colletti said of McCourt. "He's a very smart man. What I really missed the last couple of years is, with everything else he had going on, is just having the opportunity to talk with him. He helped me a lot with my thought processes and he helped a lot of my staff with their thought processes.
"Whenever you have somebody who can help you think things through and help you think in a more advanced way, it's a positive thing no matter what walk of life it is. The last couple of years, with everything he's had going on, there's been less of that than there was the first four years."
Mattingly said that he hasn't had a chance to speak with McCourt since Guggenheim Baseball Management entered into a $2.15 billion deal to purchase the Dodgers last week but hoped he would before the sale was completed.
"If I get a chance, I hope to," Mattingly said. "I always go back to the idea of treating people the way you're treated. Frank always treated me with respect. My interaction [with him] was great. Obviously I read the papers and I'm not blind to what's going on here, but for me personally it's been a good relationship. It's been a baseball relationship for me; that's all I want anyway."
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