From the Cincinnati Enquirer:

Castellini discussed the issues on (Paul) Daugherty’s show Friday night.

“If there is any question about us giving up on the Reds this season, it’s out of the question,” Castellini told Daugherty. “So we’re excited about the team. And I think the article today didn’t necessarily say we weren’t excited about it, but I kind of got the impression that maybe you could read that we weren’t excited about it.”

snip…

Castellini expressed great optimism about the team’s chances this season to both Cunningham and Daugherty.

“We have a contender,” he told Cunningham. “Barring injuries, we’re going to be in there at the end. Now you can quote me on that. And at the end of the year, if we’re not in there on the end, then you can play it back forever. But I really feel that way, and our organization feels that way.”

I really don’t think this means anything. It’s the owner trying to sell tickets (which is his job); but I thought it was noteworthy that he’d backed off on his earlier statements. (He also admitted that he was not taken out of context by the media with his “win now” comments.)

John Erardi voiced his opinion about the Reds chances in another article:

I have doubts that the team on the field will live up to the quality of the marketing effort this winter or match the crispness of the announcers who will bring us the games this spring.

Still, the buses roll out and the dispatches roll in. Spring training is just around the corner.

There is hope.

UPDATE (by Chad): It gets even better. Check out a partial transcript of Castellini’s interview with Bill Cunningham on WLW, which includes the segment Bill mentioned above:

Reds CEO Bob Castellini went on with WLW’s Billy Cunnnigham to try to spin things a little bit today. The interview started with Cunningham reading Castellini the front page headline on my story today.

Castellini rigorously defended this year’s team: “What really irritates me is that people are saying we’ve written off this year. We have an excellent team. We have a contender.”

Really? This team is a contender?

Bill’s right; he’s just trying to sell tickets. But who are the fans who actually believe this nonsense?

Finally, a little more interesting is the partial transcript of another interview Castellini did with WLW yesterday, talking about what a “fantastic” defense the Reds are going to have. He says this team is just super awesome!

I guess he knows his audience. If you ever listen to the people that call in to WLW on these sports talk shows, they are going to be eager to swallow up every last spoonful of Castellini’s spin.