The Oakland Athletics General Manager sits down for regular interviews with Athletics Nation, and Oakland even invites bloggers to Spring Training. The A’s also win lots and lots of baseball games, and they have an incredibly solid organization from top to bottom

What do the Reds have in common with the A’s?

Very little.

Yesterday, Redleg Nation requested press credentials, primarily to allow us to attend and report on Friday’s planned press conference introducing the new ownership.

Within about a minute, we were summarily rejected.

We had no expectation that the Reds would grant the credentials; this organization is in the dark ages in nearly every respect, so why should anyone believe that they would be on the forefront with respect to new media? Our only goal in requesting these credentials was to get the Reds on the record, and we have:

The Cincinnati Reds are hostile to online media.

This site and others in the Reds blogosphere are the very heart and soul of…well, of Redleg Nation, the community of Reds fans. We are more passionate about the Cincinnati Reds than anyone around, and we produce more Reds-related content than any press outlet — and the Reds simply have no use for us. They sweep us aside as if we don’t matter.

Again, we’re not surprised; no one expected the Reds to do anything different, and our feelings aren’t hurt. We didn’t start Redleg Nation in order to gain insider access; we’re passionate Reds fans and we care deeply about this organization. More than anything, we want the Reds to win another World Series, and we’ll do anything to support that effort.

But given a golden opportunity to promote their product — Reds baseball — to an audience that they should want to reach, the Reds punted. And it didn’t even take them three minutes to decide that they didn’t want online media hanging around with the good old boys.

This is yet more evidence that the Reds are stuck in the old days.

A note to the new owner: Robert Castellini, we at Redleg Nation plan to support you as owner of this team. All we ask is that you make some serious changes to the way this organization has been run (and we’re not necessarily talking about personnel changes, although that might be appropriate in some cases; rather, we’re talking about an adjustment of this organization’s perspective). It’s time that the Reds enter the 21st century, in every area, from player development to performance analysis to, yes, new media. Show us that the Reds have a bright future, not just a celebrated past.

At this point, we have very little reason for hope. Mr. Castellini, you can change that.

UPDATE: JD Arney: “The Reds hate blogs.”

15 Responses

  1. Chris

    Well said. Of course, I signed on so that someday, Marty Brennaman would make inside jokes about me too. 🙂

  2. ohiobobcat

    Mr. C,

    Please ensure that the Machine Room continues its ban on lids for child sized drinks, at the request of the club. This saves me a ton of money, as I choose not to purchase any refreshments/souvenirs in the ballpark.

    Truth be told, the kids enjoy the Florence Freedom game experience much more than the GABP experience. The gap would be even wider, but it is closed somewhat by the tots being able to ride an elevator in my parking garage (since I work downtown). Sadly, the Freedom do not offer a parking option other than wide open lot.

    Good luck (Paul DePodesta) helping right (Wayne Krivsky) the Reds ship, I think (entertainment value $$$) you might be (increase scouting budget) the person (fan friendly ballplayers) to help (pitching, pitching, pitching) the Reds regain competitiveness. (Fire Gapper)

  3. Jim McCullough

    Let’s hope the rejection is the final chapter on the Carl Lindner, John Allen, and Dan O’Brien era. I don’t think you could find three more clueless, less passionate baseball front office figureheads if you tried.

    You can’t understand the game if you don’t love the game. Those three love nothing about it.

  4. Cary

    The A’s are trailblazers in many ways. The Reds org. is probably still not fully operational with email yet.

  5. al

    just a thought. if more and more of us reds fans get our news from free internet sources, media businesses lose money. The reds have long standing ties with radio, tv, and newspaper businesses, and proably don’t want them to lose money.

    not saying it’s right, or fair, or good for the fans or anything like that. Andckearly it’s being done elsewhere as has been pointed out. But you can see the money side of it too.

    I mean, look at what’s going on with the battle over the rights to batting averages in the fantasy baseball world. Baseball information is profitable, just like baseball games are profitable.

    You wouldn’t expect the reds to let you film the game and put the files on your website, because they have obligations to the for profit media. This is the same thing on a smaller scale.

  6. Doug

    Chad, the Reds might want to take some pointers from the guys up in Dayton. When I first started my site, I emailed all of the Reds affiliates, two emails bounced back as undeliverable(Sarasota and Louisville), but the guys in Dayton sent me all kinds of stuff to use. They understand that helping fan sites out, it helps fan. In turn its free advertising for their product, and well hate to say it but the Reds could use as many fans as they can get to support them.

  7. Ken

    I agree that the Reds have a duty to old media because of the money involved, but new media does not detract from old media in any way. Sites like this enhance the fans’ connection to the Reds. If you feel more connected to the team, you are more likely to go to games, watch them on TV, and buy merchandise – i.e., contribute to profitable enterprises for the team. And for guys like me who live outside of Reds country, sites like this are the best way to stay in touch because, sadly, watercooler conversations in my office revolve around the Eagles.

    One of the many interesting points in the historical peices is MacPhail’s marketing vision. It’d be nice to see that kind of innovation again, and one way to start is to embrace the blogsphere.

  8. Blue

    This seems kinda silly to me. While I would like to see blogs get press credentials for these things, it seems to me that you are using the fact that Beane does interviews with blogs as evidence that his team “gets it”. How many teams actually do that kind of thing? I’m sure many of them “get it” without doing blog interviews.

  9. Blue

    BTW, what time is the press conference and will it be televised locally?

  10. goingpostal111

    According to Marc: the Reds “will hold a press conference tomorrow at Great American Ball Park to lay out his plans for the team. WLW radio and at least three TV stations are scheduled to air the press conference live, last I heard.”

  11. Chris

    Here’s my speculation as to their reasoning:
    1. Loose Cannnon Factor: They don’t know us, and they likely just consider us to be mouthy, uninformed fans. They just don’t know who they’d be letting into their press conference room – it could be some moron who would ask inappropriate questions, use it as a soap box, seek autographs or otherwise fart around. Even if some of us are trained as journalists, we’re not professional journalists.

    2. Accountability: One of the best things about what we do is that we have no masters, other than our consciences and our readers. The club sees that as a downside, because we have no editor/publisher/”boss” to complain to if we act irresponsibly.

    Frankly, I see these two as fairly decent reasons to deny a credential to a blog – even this one. The next two reasons are much weaker.

    3. Upside: They don’t see one. This is possibly symptomatic of a lot of the Reds’ problems with marketing. I will say that MLB strongly pushes mlb.com as the sole online voice of baseball (where they control the content and get all the revenue), but several teams find ways around it, whether it’s Billy Beane’s relationship with Athletics Nation, or Kevin Towers’ willingness to sit down with a group of Baseball Prospectus readers.

    4. Old Boys: The “established” media would throw a fit, and the club knows they’re more important than we are (and that’s not entirely based on sponsorships/advertising). The old boys would certainly not be happy to see 2-3 independent bloggers tooling around the media room or locker room. This is partly based on reason #1, but also simply territorialism, and the same sort of silly club-ism that infects baseball so badly. (See Tracy Ringolsby vs. Michael Lewis).

    I’m disappointed, and I wish the Reds handled this area creatively and differently – there’s certainly a way – but I can’t say I’m surprised.

  12. Cary

    Here’s the text of an email I sent to Lance, who was asking for things you’d like to hear from the new ownership

    Hi Lance,

    I would like to know how Mr. Castellini is going to change the culture to reach out to online media, such as RedsZone and the Reds blogging community. This community within Reds fandom currently considers the Reds to be hostile towards such innovations, whereas other successful organizations, such as Boston and Oakland, consider these to be potential valuable resources and have implemented strategies to use those resources.

  13. BaseBlogging » Reds deny credentials

    […] Via Red Reporter, it appears that Redleg Nation requested credentials for the press conference introducing the new ownership and was quickly denied. While I appreciate Redleg Nation’s frustration with the situation, I’m not sure that they did themselves, or other bloggers any favors in the aftermath: We had no expectation that the Reds would grant the credentials; this organization is in the dark ages in nearly every respect, so why should anyone believe that they would be on the forefront with respect to new media? Our only goal in requesting these credentials was to get the Reds on the record, and we have: […]

  14. Chris

    This guy makes decent points. Though you have to look at this event in context. It’s not like Chad sat down and decided to make the Reds look bad. Their “hostility” to online media is nothing new. This was one last chance for them to do the smart thing. They didn’t, which was no surprise. I’m not sure what should’ve been done differently – keep the “snub” silent? Publicizing it wasn’t done out of spite – it is in itself a legitimate story: “Reds fail to address viable and growing free publicity market.” In so many ways, the Lindner regieme failed, and this is just another data point. Not as embelmatic as the Milton signing, but relevant.