You’ll remember, a few weeks ago, I asked whether Reds ownership was meddling in baseball operations. The short answer: yes.
Well, since that piece was published, we keep getting more evidence of Bob Castellini sticking his nose into baseball decisions, both off-field (Matt Harvey) and on-field (he’s talking strategy with the manager!). So I had to revisit my thesis from the earlier piece, and that was the topic of my latest for Cincinnati Magazine:
Castellini acknowledged earlier this year that he wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t let the front office begin the rebuilding process back in 2014-15 by blocking trades of certain players before the All-Star Game. And now the Reds are spinning their wheels at an important moment in the rebuild because the owner is continuing to meddle in areas that he just doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t understand. Meanwhile, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia PhilliesÃ¢â‚¬â€who began their rebuilding machinations at the same time as the RedsÃ¢â‚¬â€are fighting for a playoff spot. The Reds, in contrast, are in last place. Again.
CastelliniÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s legacy is that heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s presided over one of the worst stretches of losing baseball in the history of the Cincinnati Reds. His fingerprints are all over every single loss and every single curious decision this franchise has made over the last four years. But that doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have to be his ultimate legacy. If heÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll just get out of the way, Castellini has some good baseball minds in his employ. I trust those guys to make the important decisions that need to be made this winter, decisions that could lead the Reds back to an era of winning baseball.
What the Reds need is an owner who behaves like Bill DeWitt Jr., someone who understands that he is the steward of a public trust and commits to doing what is best for the team, whether that strokes his ego or not. What the Reds have is an owner who acts more like George Steinbrenner, or at least a version of Steinbrenner that you wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t mind inviting to a cocktail party. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s not a recipe for success.
Read the entire piece. Please?