On Saturday morning Hal McCoy hit up Facebook to share some of his thoughts on several things and one of them was that Bob Castellini was one of the four owners who was a “hard-liner” in negotiations with the players who voted against raising the luxury tax threshold. We covered that here at Redleg Nation, and it was discussed at many other publications as the owners continue to lock the players out and several owners being against a rise in the luxury tax is a big story.

But that’s not what jumped out in what the 2002 Spink Award winner wrote. No, it was his telling of how a few years ago Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini attempted to get him fired from Fox Sports Ohio for writing critically about the team.

I had my own issues with Castellini. He almost got me fired when I wrote for the Fox Sports Ohio web-site, telling them, “That guy is killing us.”

Fox told me they didn’t want to let me go, they loved my work, but because Fox was the Reds’ television outlet they had to do as The Big Man wished.

I wrote a long note to Castellini, explaining that I loved the Reds, but that I had to write what I see, that fans aren’t stupid and I couldn’t look at the team through rose-colored glasses, even if Pete Rose was gone.

The part about how much I loved covering the Reds, that I’ve been part of it since 1973, got to him and he relented and I continued until Fox dropped all of its baseball writers on their local sites.

But my relationship with Castellini since that incident has been colder than a frozen mackerel.

It’s disappointing that Fox Sports didn’t stick up for Hal McCoy in this case. Saying they they didn’t want to let him go and they loved his work, but letting someone else dictate their staffing is something else. Find some backbone unnamed Fox Sports Ohio person.

None of this, however, is surprising. There are a lot of stories out there in sports of things like this happening (and of course, outside of sports, too). BJ Bethel, now at WCPO 9 in Cincinnati, but has also worked at The Dayton Daily News, the Sydney Morning Herald, and WDTN TV in Dayton shared his experience with Reds media relations coming after him for writing critically about how the team had handled Michael Lorenzen, and how this is a common tactic and relayed a story of when Marge Schott barred McCoy from the lunch room at Riverfront.

As pointed out by Eugene Freedman on twitter, something similar happened with Ken Rosenthal at MLB Network, at first a suspension and then him not being brought back when his contract was up.

Mark this down as reason 214 why many fans keep chanting “sell the team, Bob”.

57 Responses

  1. Alex

    If only Hal McCoy inherited his daddy’s fruit company than maybe he could be the owner lol. Big Bob wouldn’t be anywhere near the threshold if it were 50 mil more or 30 mil less. What you do Bob, is you stop complaining, pick yourself by the bootstraps, and come up with a plan to compete with the money you have. Or don’t and sell the team for a ridiculous profit that’s nothing close to what the on field product you gave us was worth.

  2. LDS

    Sadly, I think all of media operates this way now. Objectivity seems to be dead. That Castellini is authoritarian in his approach should come as no surprise. The only way to get his attention is to cost him money. That starts with not buying tickets, gear, sports packages, cable subscriptions, etc. Alas, we all know that regardless of how long baseball is locked out, most will go back to the usual fandom and following though some won’t. If something doesn’t change, baseball will continue in decline.

  3. CI3J

    I really not sure I can continue being a fan of not just the Reds, but baseball in general given the greedy, authoritarian short-sightedness of the owners. Why should I continue to line their pockets when I no longer enjoy the product on the field, and certainly don’t enjoy the way the owners conduct themselves? The owners have squeezed all the humanity out of the baseball orange.

    So I don’t know. This is no longer the game I fell in love with as a kid some 40ish years ago. It’s been tough coming around to it, but this whole lockout fiasco has really crystalized just how much of a distaste the modern game of baseball leaves with me. It’s no longer about having fun, “love of the game”, quirky players, or any of that. It’s all just a sterilized, robotic, money making machine. I call it “The Wal-Mart Effect”.

    While this article is about Castellini, it also pointed out that MLB as a whole seeks to silence any voices they don’t agree with. What’s the fun of that? When did it become controversial for a local reporter to say a team stinks when they do, in fact, stink, and maybe liven things up with a little gallows humor? I guess there is no room for voices like that in baseball anymore, and they’ll just hire some sterile, robotic toadies to write the stories that toe the company line now.

    I mean, in the end, it’s just a game. It was a hobby of mine, one that I was very passionate about, but not something I couldn’t live without. Have you ever seen the movie “Inside Out”? I think for me, “Baseball Island” is going dark and is about to fall into the abyss. After the lockout in ’94, baseball looked the other way while everyone was juicing to re-ignite interest in the game with the videogame-like numbers certain players were putting up, and then turned on those very same players who made them billions of dollars when it was financially convenient to do so.

    Given all the ill-will the current lockout is generating, I’m not sure what the owners plan to do to win back the fans after this is all over. I’m not sure the owners care. And if they don’t, why should I?

    • vegastypo

      Well said. For the first time in forever, I’m having to decide whether I even want to renew my MLB.com TV package.

      • Tom

        I’m not. I’ll not attend another game til this clown sells the team.

      • Gonzo Reds

        Already cancelled my subscription. If sometime down the line the Reds put another competitive team on the field I might pick it back up for the end of the year package.

      • JB

        Already cancelled mine 2 weeks ago. The Reds are the only team I watch because baseball has become 3-4 hours of boredom. Never thought I would ever say that after 55 years watching. I can’t tell you the last time I watched the World Series.

      • Alan Horn

        Same here. My money is tight since I am retired and I can not and will not spend it on someone which isn’t giving their all in trying to win.

      • Alan Horn

        Whom isn’t giving their all in trying to win.

  4. Jim Walker

    I’ve not been hanging around RLN much during the lockout. I am not sure I have any constructive insights to share; and, I haven’t felt like debating/ arguing about baseball with everything else going on around the world.

    However, I decided to check in on this just to see what the gist of reaction was based on Twitter comments Doug has made about some of the lockout discussions here in general.

    I’ll just add it is sad to see someone who stated such a high minded purpose ~15 years ago when he took over the team, to now be driven by what seems such narrow minded short sighted self interest. If the current regime really can’t afford to compete to the level they aspired to and promised, they should just sell the team and move on.

    • Ahimsa

      IIRC Bob was crowing about bringing championships to Cincinnati?

    • DX

      Can’t afford is not the term I would use. Also, last year they were approximately 16th in payroll. How much do you want them to spend? The team made some mistakes spending money last couple of years with Moustakas and Akiyama didn’t work out. I would not sign Castellanos with the current roster. They are too far from competing. I think the bigger issue is how the team is being run. The same mistake was made with Votto. I like the Votto signing but they didn’t get him any help and wasted some incredible years. If Berraro, Senzel and some young pitchers have good seasons then I would add.

      • vegastypo

        I don’t care how much they spend, per se. I care about attempting to spend wisely and building a team that can remain competitive most years.

        One thing I definitely care about is I don’t want them to make an attempt to buy good players over a year or two, have that plan not work out, and then just throw up their hands and totally surrender and start selling off players when a team is sooooooooo close to contending.

    • Old Big Ed

      Welcome back. I was wondering where you had gone.

      I think the Reds would be well served to be bought by a group outside of Cincinnati. The Brewers, for example, are very well managed both financially and on the field, and they are owned by a group headed by Mark Attanasio, who like his main partner lives in Los Angeles. Let’s face it. The team needs to be owned by a billionaire, because (as Covid has shown) it takes that kind of money to roll with the ebbs and flows of the business. The country’s billionaires generally don’t live in the Midwest.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree Jim. The current ownership isn’t good for either the Reds, Reds fans or Cincinnati.

  5. Old-school

    I’m appreciative of Doug for providing a forum that allows for dissenting opinion and alternative viewpoints-It does seem the Reds media lacks independent thought or criticism and it makes sense unfortunately. If they dont toe the party line , then access might get taken away.

    The Reds state controlled media isnt a good look.

    • Doug Gray

      So access can’t directly be taken away in most cases. The Baseball Writers Association of America does provide protections in many ways. Of course that doesn’t mean much if you get fired from your job. Sure, you can still have protections to cover games, but if someone isn’t paying your salary to do so…..

      *Edited to add*
      Of course, not everyone is a member of the BBWAA and they don’t get those protections. I’ve applied twice and been denied both times. Not everyone who covers games is a *writer*. Sometimes there are tv guys there, or radio guys, and sometimes there are others on assignment – it’s not always just the day-to-day beat coverage guys that are in the press box and covered by the BBWAA protections.

      • Old-school

        I wish you were in Goodyear on the fields covering the Milb spring training. There’s no one more qualified and lots of people would follow your reports and updates.

      • Doug Gray

        Yeah, I wish I were out there too. But it’s a trip that costs like $3k for me to spend a week out there. Even when there’s big league action to also try to latch onto and get some stuff that would be of some value (photos for usage down the road for articles, for example), it’s still a losing proposition from a financial standpoint.

        Go in now and there’s no big league action, most of the minor leaguers are just now arriving, and several top prospects aren’t going to be there because they are on the 40-man roster and it would be an enormous money loser when I’ve been making about 50% of what I normally make over the last three months since the lockout began and absolutely nothing has been going on, leading to no news and far less traffic than normal.

      • Alan Horn

        I feel for you Doug. With the mess going on in Ukraine and the U. S. lack of leadership, it is tough on everyone. Then you have the baseball mess to deal with for your livelihood to boot, it is overwhelming to say the least.

  6. Mark Moore

    Very sad state of affairs. I know the new “Russian law” that gives a minimum of 15 years in the klink to anyone who objects to the State statements is far worse, but this is the kind of petty manipulation that makes us all distrust ownership even more than we already do.

    I’m sad for baseball, but I’m even more sad for us to live through another round of temper-tantrums and no MLB games. Add skewed coverage to that mix and it’s all the ingredients for a disaster.

  7. Tom Mitsoff

    All of the professional sports have been slowly manipulating the way teams are covered by local reporters. During the peak of COVID, post-game interviews were all done by Zoom call in all pro sports (and probably college, though I don’t follow them as closely).

    With the pandemic apparently past its peak, the clubhouses have remained closed to reporters. The only way they can get comments from players, managers and coaches is through a video conference or making arrangements through a team’s media relations for a call or maybe an on-field meetup.

    The revelations of the past couple of days regarding Castellini and Reds officials’ reaction to negative press quite frankly repulse me. But I’m quite sure that the regulars here at Redleg Nation are not the type who are going to just find something else to do this summer besides watch Reds baseball. The majority of folks here are diehard lifers who have stuck with the team through many more bad seasons than good over the past 30 years.

    We are people who have the Reds as a key part of their lives, and that is by choice. We’re not going to walk away or find something else to do with our time. Our passion for the team is among the priorities in our personal lives.

    As I write this, I am very much missing the what-if and what’s-happening speculation of spring training. Forty-nine years of watching the Reds specifically and baseball in general tell me that this team has little to no chance at competing in a meaningful manner this year. Even so, it’s in my blood.

    It’s my belief that non-diehard fans will likely look for other ways to spend their summer evenings and afternoons. But I’m also sure that if the team somehow wins and is competitive, the fans will flock back.

    As also a lifetime Bengals fan and former season ticket holder, I remember the “lost decade” and times more recently when crowds were regularly in the 40,000 range. But even a team with reputedly the worst owner and front office in the NFL was able to draft what appears to be a game-changing, team-changing, elite player in Mr. Burrow.

    If the Reds are somehow able to add such a player (probably through the farm system), casual fans will return. And we diehards will be able to say we understand the hard times that preceded the good times.

    All of that being said, I firmly believe the sentiment expressed by many that this team will never reach full potential under the Castellini family ownership. The family views it more as a business asset than as a community asset.

    • Old-school

      Yesterday was a beautiful warm spring day. Would have been a great day to have preseason baseball on the radio with the warm tones of “the cowboy”.

      Apparently Graham Ashcraft missing bats galore per Enquirer.

      Ill certainly be paying attention to Lodolo and Ashcraft as the info on their development trickles in.

      • Greenfield Red

        Speaking of the Cowboy, he is now my favorite on air guy in all of Sports. To me, he is the Old Lefthander 2.0. That’s a huge compliment.

    • Jim Walker

      Well stated and for the most part I agree Tom. However, I know one long time frequent former commenter here who told me this winter (even before the lockout) that he had pretty much had his fill with MLB in general and the Reds in particular. This person would qualify as a serious “baseball lifer” on several levels.

      We remain in touch with each other regularly through direct private online conversations. The Reds used to be the dominant focal point of our discussions. Anymore, they are barely mentioned; and, when they are, I am the person who initiates the talk about them.

      Count one lifer apparently over the rainbow, and another, myself, intrigued with that possibility.

      • CI3J

        You have another right here. I’m still on this site commenting out of habit more than anything else, but with the way baseball has been trending in the last decade coupled with my growing disgust for it all, it might just be time to rip the Band-Aid off. This lockout has just crystalized it for me, and I’ve had it.

        So I’ll stick around a little longer to see how this lockout ends, just out of morbid curiosity. Then I am done with MLB, and I’m done with the Reds. I’ll watch some highlights or read headlines on ESPN or whatever, if they pop up, but I’ve lost all my passion for following the Reds on a deeper level. The owners just disgust me, and I can’t in good faith keep rewarding them with my time and money.

        MLB has suffered a hostile takeover by an oligarchy who have no connection to game and don’t care about the fans, the traditions or the history. It’s a sad state of affairs, but so it goes.

    • LDS

      What we’re learning about the coverage of the Reds and baseball generally is a perfect example of Gell-Mann amnesia. It’s not just sports. Politics, COVID, etc. etc. are all covered thusly. I miss Huntley-Brinkley.

    • Old Big Ed

      I am pretty much in the same boat, Tom.

      But I actually want a savvy, well-financed group to own the Reds, and I want them to earn a profit. The most savvy thing that new ownership can do is recognize that the franchise is under-performing financially. It needs to generate a lot more money than it does. Yes, it is a “community asset” in that their is a lot of historical good will throughout the region for the Reds. New ownership needs to leverage that good will, not corrode it like the Castellinis have done. For example, I haven’t seen any marketing efforts of any sort in any medium in Kentucky during the entire time the Castellinis have owned the team. The Reds Caravan, which they didn’t even do this year, is far from sufficient.

      If it were professionally marketed and managed, this franchise can generate enough money to compete in most years. It ought to be much more like the Cardinals than the Royals. In the long run, winning and making money go hand in hand. This entails making better player decisions. The Moustakas and Akiyama contracts were unforced errors. Not playing Jose Barrero regularly when they called him last year was an unforced error. Having a beer-league bullpen for the first 3 months of 2021 was an unforced error.

      I hope whoever buys the Reds from the Castellinis turns the franchise around and triples their money in 12 years, because that means they are succeeding on the field. (Or it could mean that inflation continued unabated, but that is another question.)

      The Castellini/Williams group bought the Reds, thinking that it would be fun and profitable. It sure doesn’t seem to be any fun for them anymore, so perhaps they will sell now that the community is mocking them and the profits are more elusive.

  8. David

    I wish I could say this is “news”, but owners have forever been trying to manipulate coverage of their “team”, and can be harshly critical of reporters or wrtiters that do otherwise.
    Having read Hal McCoy, off and on (grew up in Dayton) since he started covering the Reds, I DO respect Hal’s opinion and what he thinks. He and Marty were quite good friends, as Hal would travel with the team in those days, and the team reporters and Marty and Joe would frequently socialize on road trips.
    I think what burns me the most about the Castellini Era, were the broad promises made, and the terrible results of his ownership. The frankly stupid management of the team and the unwillingness to hire any true professionals who could bring the organization forward into the modern era. Instead, we got years of Walt Jocketty ( who was discarded by the Cardinals). And then Dick Williams, scion of one of the minority owners, who tried a few modernization efforts but laid some big eggs with bad signings (Moustakas and Aikyama). And that was that, for Dick.
    There appears to be NO sign that Castellini will make any effort (or anyone else in the ownership group) to modernize the way the Reds’ organization operates. So I predict more years of middle to lower – middle of the pack finishes. Yay?
    They don’t exhibit any sign of the where-with-all to use their limited resources to built a competitive team.
    Tyler Naquin! Scooter Gennett! Veteran presence!
    I can remember a few years ago suggesting that maybe Senzel could play CF, in terms of finding a way to get him into the line-up. Well, that really hasn’t worked. Senzel just keeps getting hurt, and now his market value as a player is just about…nil. But let’s keep banging that nail with the hammer and maybe things will get better.

    • greenmtred

      I largely agree with you, David. But there is one positive factor that we have all mostly overlooked in the general lockout-induced gloom: The Reds have a significant number of very promising young players. This doesn’t change how I feel about the lockout, but it does, for me, mitigate the bad signings of veteran players. The team could be fun to watch if there is a season.

      • David

        There is some hope in the quality youth in the minors. But ….is that enough? Will all of them pan out…actually realize their potential? And if they do arrive, will that be enough, or will the Reds have to hire some additional free agents to “get over the top”?
        I frankly don’t have much faith in their front office, and expect more “unforced errors” in judgment with regards to players and talent.

  9. BK

    I can’t imagine FSO, or other RSNs, giving any MLB team editorial rights over their website stories–just not the same relationship as MLB.com or the Reds making a press release. The only time the media relations should complain is if they are not afforded an opportunity to offer insight to a reporter, although it’s pretty standard for reporters to give teams an opportunity to contribute before going to press.

    I would submit that one of Mr. C’s shortcomings has been his lack of availability to the press. If he didn’t like the narrative, I can’t imagine that Hal McCoy wouldn’t have given him an interview and reported it accurately. We’re usually lucky to hear, “we’re going to get the pitching/hitting.”

    Like others have cited, and we’ve rehashed here many times, the Red’s Front Office is often hard to fathom. Nepotism occurs frequently. We’ve been slow to adapt to industry changes, we rarely follow through with a strategy, etc. Usually as fans, we’re just left wondering and speculating on why they do things. The real question is are we likely to get better with a change in ownership/CEO–bear in mind that the Reds have a sizeable ownership group, Mr. C is the CEO, but does not have a majority share of the franchise according to any published report I’ve seen.

    That said, Hal McCoy posted his personal account on Facebook in light of Mr. C’s stance on the CBT. These issues are unrelated, and I think Mr. C is has accurately identified the CBT, at its current level, as the root cause to MLB’s competitive challenges.

    • David

      I have worked for many people in my work life, and a few that resemble Bob Castellini in temperment and attitude. I think Bob can be summed up this way: ” Frequently mistaken, never in doubt.”

      Bob Castellini has a lifetime of managing people, running a business, etc. You have to be confident, at least the face you put on for your employees and customers. A wise man, though, would know the limit of his expertise, and hire an expert to help him.

      He will run the Reds the way he sees fit, and it is likely that the majority of the remaining members of the ownership group generally agree with him.
      It’s hard to root for people that are so obtusely ignorant of their own limitations.

      • BK

        Thanks for sharing your personal insight. The best leaders are great listeners who encourage those around them to challenge them and others. Bravado drives good people to other organizations.

      • Old Big Ed

        Agreed. Yes-men are a cancer on any enterprise or organization.

      • David

        I don’t have much real personal insight into anything. But I have seen it all before, as I am sure others have.
        It tires me out, rooting for a team run by people that pretend to care, but their actions say something else.
        It makes me sad. I have followed the Reds for a long time, and probably will continue to do so, in some form. And all these sentiments have been expressed by others here, which just means that we are all seeing much the same thing.
        But I think baseball is dying in Cincinnati, and this lockout will turn even more people away. I would not be surprised to see the franchise move to another city by 2030, if Bob Castellini and a few other minority shareholders die off and their families have to sell out their interest.

    • Jim Walker

      The relationships between teams and the RSN broadcasting their games can be murky and twisted. Does anyone else here recall that a decade (or more) ago now, Jim Day was a hockey guy covering the BlueJackets on (then) FS-Ohio. Then he wasn’t a hockey guy anymore because over the summer he was removed from the hockey coverage, apparently at the behest of the Jackets organization?

      • BK

        I’ve been under the impression that the current broadcast teams are Red’s employees, not Balley employees–that’s not murky or twisted, its crystal clear. They were hired by the Reds to enhance the gameday experience for digital customers. This doesn’t make untrustworthy, but they aren’t journalists even though there is an element of reporting in their work.

        I really don’t know what the relationship was 10 to 20 years ago.

  10. TR

    As a baseball and Red’s lifer, I find the comments interesting. As we often hear, it is a new world with instantaneous everything but with the usual positive and negative. IMO, the Red’s best owner, in the nearly thirty years, was Powell Crosley who stabilized the Red’s franchise after the Depression and then saved it for Cincinnati in the 1950’s when ML franchises were relocated, especially the Giants and Dodgers to California. There’s always been complaints about Red’s ownership with none of the owners among the super-wealthy. Once this baseball conflict is resolved, probably temporarily, Red’s ownership will be altered in some way and the fans will return. The Red’s have a good fanbase and tradition on their side.

    • CI3J

      What tradition, though? An entire generation of Americans has grown up and known the Reds only as perpetual losers. Someone who is 24 years old today would only remember a few brief years during the Dusty period where the Reds were winners. You think these 20-something kids care about the Big Red Machine? They never saw those guys play. Heck, they may not even remember Don Gullet as a pitching coach.

      I know the expression “nobody does Opening Day like Cincinnati”, but does it matter now that Opening Day isn’t really Opening Day anymore? They have Opening Night now, completely killing the tradition of Cincinnati being the unofficial “Times Square” of the start of the baseball season.

      Look, I know about the Reds and their tradition, including the things that happened before I was born. Most of us older fans do. But what’s the hook to draw in the casual fans of today? Or to create new fans?

      The fact is, us older fans need to readjust our perception of reality. Cincinnati used to be one of the bright stars of the baseball galaxy. But those days are long gone now. Now, it’s just another small-ish midwestern city with a team that struggles to stay relevant.

      • TR

        What tradition? Without some knowledge of history there is no tradition.

  11. Pablo

    Castellini has been revealed as a petty and insecure tyrant. He’s like Mr. Potter from ‘It’s a Wonderful Life.’

    And what baseball is doing to itself is sad. A self-inflicted slow death and spiral into irrelevance. Our national pastime for goodness sake!

    • Alan Horn

      Agree Pablo. Similar to the NBA and NFL.

  12. SultanofSwaff

    I’ll think back to this article when sometime mid-season an issue pops up with the team and I fume over the beat reporters spineless go-along get-along vanilla questions.

  13. Old Big Ed

    The McCoy story, which I am confident is 100% true, is a contrast to Marty Brennaman’s wacky negativity to Ken Griffey, Jr. and Joey Votto. Unlike McCoy, Brennaman was an actual Reds employee, or maybe not; if not, the Reds certainly had approval rights as to who the broadcasters were.

    I always wondered why the Reds tolerated an employee or contract person like Brennaman demeaning their top players. It was McCoy’s prerogative to question management, but I’m not sure Brennaman was in the same boat, even if Brennaman thought he was.

    • Craig Z

      Brenneman criticized players and managers, but didn’t say anything about the front office or ownership. I’m guessing that’s why he was allowed to do that.

  14. west larry

    I would love to see the reds bought out by a billionaire who would agree to keep the team in Cincinnati. Mark Cuban has wanted to buy a baseball franchise for years, but I think that he’s to much of a maverick for the other owners taste, so he won’t get the necessary votes. Brian Allen, the owner of “funny you should ask”, offer tv comedy shows, the weather channel, et.al. has expressed interest as a black person owning a majority interest in a team. There are others, but the key is getting the current ownership to sell the team.

    • TR

      I think a radical change in Red’s ownership would have to be approved by an elite group of Cincinnati business moguls to ensure the franchise stays there.

      • Grand Salami

        The president and CEO of medpace in Cincy is worth 1.5 billion and he’s new to the Forbes list.

    • Alan Horn

      I agree but it has to be the right purchaser.

  15. JayTheRed

    Hal McCoy is one of the best people I have ever had the privilege of dealing with. About 20 years ago I used to use the public forums, for the Dayton Daily News, Hal let me be a forum moderator. No I wasn’t paid but got to know Hal and I’ll tell you this he is the most respected reporter I know.. His blunt honesty is sometimes hard to hear but the fact that he doesn’t sugar coat things was why I respect the man more than anyone else in sports new history.

    • BK

      I’ve never met him, but he’s a classic journalist that did his homework, reported the facts, informed his readers and eschewed personal bias … one of the all-time best.

  16. MK

    Hal McCoy has a history of wanting to be part of the news as well as reporting the news. Hard to forget the Dibble Pinella fight instigated by Hal. Maybe this is another case of that.
    Beat reporters have been at the mercy of owners since they started traveling with the teams at some of the teams expense; the media dining room etc. A certain amount of pressure has always be on the newspaper reporters to provide positive marketing for the teams.

  17. R. Lee

    I’m not one to condone pressuring journalists — I’m one of ’em — and I can’t stand Castellini or Fox, either one. But does anyone really think MLB.com is or ever has been about journalism? It’s a corporate website, not a true news outlet. I feel for those who have worked there and been fired for writing critical stories about Major League Baseball, but what did they expect?