The Pittsburgh Pirates swept the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday as they won 4-3 in walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 10th inning. The win brings the Pirates to within one game of the Reds in the standing.

Final R H E
Cincinnati Reds (60-96)
3 7 0
Pittsburgh Pirates (59-97) 4 9 1
W: Ramirez (3-1) L: Diaz (6-3)
Statcast | Box Score | Game Thread

The Offense

Jose Barrero went 3-4 with a double. Entering the 9th inning the Reds trailed 3-0 and those three hits by Barrero were the only ones that they had. Spencer Steer led off the inning with a single to try and get things moving in the right direction for Cincinnati’s offense. It worked. Kyle Farmer followed up with a 2-run homer to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Jake Fraley then homered to tie the game up, leaving the dozens of Pirates fans left in the stands booing the home town team. Matt Reynolds would smash a 2-out double to put the go-ahead run in scoring position for Barrero, but he lined out to left field to end the top of the inning.

With Jose Barrero starting the 10th inning on second base, the Reds were inches away from taking the lead when Spencer Steer lined out to shortstop, but thanks to 6′ 7″ Oneil Cruz being the shortstop he had the reach to just glove the ball and keep it from reaching the left field grass, ending the inning. That may have been pivotal as the Pirates scored in the bottom of the inning to seal their win.

The Pitching

Pittsburgh didn’t waste much time on Wednesday afternoon. Oneil Cruz singled to lead off the bottom of the 1st, moved to second on a wild pitch, and then to third on a ground out before scoring on a Miguel Andujar double. The next inning the Pirates put together a 1-out rally that culminated in a 2-run double by Cruz to extend their lead to 3-0.

Luis Cessa settled in from there, not giving up another run for the next four innings as he completed 6.0 innings before handing the game over to the bullpen with the score still sitting at 3-0. Reiver Sanmartin tossed a perfect 7th with a strikeout. Fernando Cruz took over the game in the 8th inning and after striking out the first two hitters of the inning he ran into trouble as he gave up back-to-back singles before a walk to load the bases. After a mound visit he figured things out and struck out Jose Godoy to strand all three runners on the bases and give someone not named Jose Barrero a chance to get a hit for the Reds on the day in their final opportunity. They would do just that, tying the game up.

With the game now on the line, Alexis Diaz entered from the Reds bullpen for the bottom of the 9th inning. The first two batters went down without much of a fight, but Diaz hit Bryan Reynolds with a slider. No sweat for the Reds top reliever as he struck out Diego Castillo on three pitches to send the game to extras. He returned for the 10th after the Reds didn’t score. He would intentionally walk Ben Gamel to start the inning and then retire the next tow batters, but Kevin Newman hit a soft liner into center to bring in the winning run.

Up Next for the Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds vs Chicago Cubs

Friday September 30th, 2:20pm ET

Graham Ashcraft (5-4, 4.18 ERA) vs TBA

75 Responses

  1. Melvin

    One game ahead of the Pirates now. At least when they play the Reds they don’t act like they want to stay in last place. The Reds don’t seem to care much one way or another.

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    the Reds office doesn’t care about to lose 100 or more games and finishing in last place because of everything is justified in the rebuilding … Even they maybe are thinking it is better to have the worst record to increase the odds in the 2023 draft and could pick another good top prospect…
    The Pirates won the last 7 games against the Reds and still are behind them by 1 game…
    It is very embarrassing and depressing …We can’t with this sh..

    • DataDumpster

      I’m more concerned with the team attitude, sloppy play and lack of development. They have chosen their strategy, it is not an unreasonable option. But, trust this field management team to get them through this? Time to call in the pros not the pretenders.

  3. LDS

    The ownership, FO, and field management don’t care because ultimately the fans don’t seem to. They still buy the television packages. They still go to games. They still buy the merchandise. The Castellinis gets theirs. As do the front office and the field managers. The players still get paid. They aren’t held accountable for poor play, etc. Things aren’t going to change in this environment. Someone suggested that the Reds were trying to adopt the Tampa Bay strategy. The state’s right but I suspect it’s more the Miami strategy – be cheap, lose frequently – keep the owners happy.

    • Tom Reeves

      Who’s going to the games? Have you seen the stands? There’s zero chance the stadium runs out of hotdogs with this team.

  4. Mark Moore

    One of my favorite quotes from “The Jerk” comes to mind …

    “Take away his place setting – it’s making us too $xx %*@ sad.”

  5. Rut

    Simply put, Bad Baseball played Badly is Bad

  6. Optimist

    Sadly hilarious sabremetric irony, but if Diaz had gotten the 3rd out he may have caught and tied Luis for the team lead in WAR. Still 6 games left!

    • Jim Walker

      “Still 6 games left!”
      Sounds like singing 99 bottles on the bar at this point.

      • Optimist

        I forgot the sarcasm emoji – ?.

  7. Rednat

    gosh what is more embarrassing, 100 losses or getting swept twice in a row by the pirates? next year ownership can rely on fan interest in Joey’s last year, but then what? Does ownership resign Joey for another year just to keep fans interested?

  8. doofus

    Below are excerpts from the epistle to Red’s fans from Bob C. and the Williams bros in 2006. It is why I hold these (clowns) responsible for the failure of this baseball organization. Castellini has been the primary owner for 17 seasons now. He has been the primary owner for the most seasons since 1963. I wonder if he has the record of being the primary owner for the most seasons in team history?

    Bob Castellini has made it clear that he is in over his head as primary owner.

    “We will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati.”

    “As partners in other successful baseball organizations we know how it’s done.”

    “We will work tirelessly to bring a winner home to you.”

    “We thank you for this opportunity and hope to earn your support.”

    #Sellthe teamBob

    Start standing up Reds fans! Demand a new primary owner.

    • Jim Walker

      Powell Crosley Jr. bought the team in February 1934 and still owned it at the time of his death in February 1961.

      Bill DeWitt was Crosley’s GM at the time of his death and purchased the team from the Crosley estate.

    • RedsFanInFl

      I agree with you. To put things in perspective, since 2006 (17 years under current primary ownership):
      1) Reds have had 5 winning seasons, 4 playoff appearances. 3 seasons with 90 or more victories and 6 seasons of 90 or more losses
      2) Cardinals have had 16 winning seasons, 8 playoff appearances. 8 seasons with 90 or more victories and NO seasons of 90 or more losses. This doesn’t even include the first 10 years under LaRussa that started in 1996.
      3) Indians/Guardians have had 11 winning seasons, 7 playoff appearances. 6 seasons with 90 or more victories and 3 seasons of 90 or more losses.

      There is no reason why the Reds can’t be at the same level as the Cardinals or Guardians other than our current ownership running the team

      • burtgummer01

        It’s all because of Bell and the current coaches,just ask the not smart people here

      • Tom Reeves

        The cardinals draw well over a million more fans a year. That’s a massive amount of excess revenue. Until the Reds find a way to get butts in seats, this team will struggle to compete. Maybe the bank of prospects will find a way to win enough games to boost attendance and the team can compete for free agents. That’s a very narrow window and I think Reds fans are going to have to believe in the team well before the team deserves it.

    • Redgoggles

      Agreed. I would contribute towards a billboard in Cincinnati with pictures of the Castillini’s with these quotes. Not even #selltheteamBob, just let accountability do the work.

      Although I think it would be a nice touch to add or something like that to the bottom.

  9. Old-school

    Nick Krall traded Castillo and Mahle and Gray and Suarez and Winker and made no attempt to sign Castellanos in FA or build a bullpen.
    The whole point was to blow up the current roster and start over by refocusing the franchise on acquiring as many prospects, draft picks as possible.

    The Reds FO is not trying to construct a roster this year or next year that is capable of winning 90 games.

    Doesnt mean the field manager or players cant compete to win the game of the day. It just means that the Reds at the 30000 foot view hit the reset button and sacrificed 2022 and 2023. The Reds are sacrificing winning in 2022 and 2023 to reposition the franchise to win in 2024+. Let things play out.

    • Harry Stoner

      Be sure to let us know when things have ‘played out’ enough that we can justifiably start feeling miserable again.

      • Old-school

        When one of the big 3 needs TJ and Tyler Stephenson gets another concussion and Jon India tears his hamstring. Hit the panic button for sure.

    • Jim Walker

      It is not that I disagreed with the plan at this time (which I did) or even that I think it is an inherently bad plan (I’m borderline to yes on that).

      My biggest issue is that over the last decade this ownership has done nothing to instill a belief that it has either the skills to execute the plan or even stick to it beyond the first sign of dissonance.

      The burden of proof is on the ownership to establish that the plan and their ability to follow it and execute it is anything more than a bunch of horse hockey they are throwing at the wall in hopes enough sticks to save face.

    • Doc

      The Reds made a qualifying offer to Castellanos, therefore, you cannot honestly say that they “made no effort” to sign him. The QO would also have been an increase in salary. At least be honest, especially when stating something that is fact and probably right or wrong. Each is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.

      • LDS

        I would more call the QO an administrative function to secure the compensation pick. An attempt to sign him would have been actually meeting with his agent and determining what it would take. I don’t think NC would have signed with the Reds regardless. But, I’ve seen no story indicating that Krall or anyone from the Reds had any meaningful conversations. Nor did they with Castillo’s agent either. They were salary dumps, first and foremost.

      • Tom Reeves

        Castellanos’ .710 OPS this year suggests the Reds made a wise choice to let him walk.

      • Still a Red

        I would say that if the Reds were serious about trying to keep Castellanos, they would have gone above the QO. But it could have easily turned into a bidding war with Philly. Truth is I don’t think Castellanos had any intention of staying with the Reds, or why would he only sign a contract that let him walk after year 1.
        2022 was a promising year, once they got the bullpen sorted, but a late season fade and another Cardinal strong finish was disappointing…could they have built on that. Maybe. A healthy India and Stephenson might have made this year much better. A 22 game losing deficit at the beginning of the year put the writing on the wall for the trade deadline.

  10. DataDumpster

    Time for dealing from the bottom of the deck, when there are no other options…my fandom is hanging by a thread. A team that had probably a less than 1% chance of not finishing last has a decent chance of doing so (remember the Bucs take the tie case). However, the Reds should still have great advantage, they have 6 games against the Cubs who have no dogs left for their position while the Bucs face the always tough Cards for their final 6 but with some incentive. The Reds are drifting in the wind feeding a rather bad but steady .400 winning pct. the last few months to .200 in the last 20 games. Somehow I am very interested in the last 6, even though they are essentially meaningless absent a significant front office action soon thereafter.
    Regardless of the outcome; there must be managers, GMs, advisors, or a reasonable facsimile thereof that can implement the strategy the owners have taken. While David Bell and company are only partly responsible for the horrendous state of this team, what confidence would anyone profess that they are the “winning formula” in the future? Seems like a boycott is the only back up plan absent any significant action.
    Regardless, contribute to this website, there is a paypal option if you don’t want the minor league coverage. Again, the offseason moves stir more interest than the play on the field. That is not a viable option for a baseball team at any level.

  11. Jimbo44CN

    Getting swept by the Pirates just makes me want to puke. I can’t bear to watch anymore.

  12. Votto4life

    I read since divisional play the Reds have lost 90 or more games 11 times. Six of those were with Bob Castellini as owner.

    Yet, people here believe this team will be set to win in a year and a half. It’s amazing what people will believe.

    • David

      Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!! 🙂

      Yes, it is quite amazing.

      Still, the POSSIBILITY exists that the Reds could become competitive in a couple of seasons.
      That is predicated on most of the minor league prospects working out, and De La Cruz becoming a true Superstar player.

      And why would Dorothy want to leave Oz to go back to Kansas??

      Somewhere…over the rainbow…..

      • Votto4life

        You are right David, the Reds could win in a few years, but it would require an ownership group dedicated to winning. An ownership willing to extend young players like Stephenson and India. An ownership willing to sign impactful free agents.

        This owner discards good, young players when they become expensive. They have made it obvious, they will no longer sign multi-year free agents, even if a quality free agent would sign here, which is unlikely.

        I can understand fans being hopefully and wanting their team to win. I want this team to win as well. But to believe this team will ever win with this owner, borders on delusional.

        As I have posted before, the Castellinis aren’t lying to us, we are lying to ourselves.

  13. Magnum 44

    This is what bothers me we did one rebuild after Cueto….They did nothing as far as drafting and development. You had the the wave of Garrett R. Stephenson Romano sign Iglesias…..nothing panned out they have traded all their assets for that period (Cueto,Chapman, Frazier) got absolutely 0 in return. Granted they have made some good trades Suarez and Castillo, but when the chips are down this F.O. is incapable of making a trade when they need too. The way I feel about this organization is a “blind squirrel finds a nut” I hope I’m wrong, and these trades pay dividends. I’m not holding my breath, and I’m upset that I pay extra money for cable to watch this hot garbage Bob and Phil are trying to sell. Basically this whole organization needs to get a middle finger from the whole city and surrounding areas.

    • Doc

      Define what “when they need to” means.

      Does it mean that you get to sit back and decide when they needed to after seeing what happens during the entire season.

      Perhaps you could give us your criteria in advance, for determining, in real time, when a trade needs to be made. Then we can compare what they do, or don’t do, according to your criteria.

      • Harry Stoner

        That shouldn’t be so hard to do.

        Reds need to improve their bullpen. Make a trade or make a move.

        Reds need to improve their run production. Make a trade or make a move.

        Reds need a backup catcher who can at least hit his weight. Make a trade or make a move.

        Reds need at least another dependable starting pitcher. Make a trade or make a move.

        These aren’t existential questions.

        Does this help get you started in a more productive direction for your next commentary here?

      • Redsvol

        I think its generally pretty easy to see what the front office needs to do. Its much harder to actually find someone willing to come into a rebuilding situation.

        Stoner – perhaps you could indicate who you would go after, what $ you think is needed or which prospects to trade in order to get them.

        Do we send someone Noelvi Marte and one other top 20 prospect in order to get a valuable pitching arm? Do we sign a middle of the road free agent hitter for 10-12$ million x 4 years when they are really only going to get 7-8$M on the market from a team with much higher chance to contend in 2 years? Which catcher to go after? The available free agent catchers are all horrible or had a horrible 2022.

        This is where the debate gets interesting and fun. A soccer fan could tell that the Reds bullpen stinks.

      • Kevin H

        Will it be graded too? Since you seem more worried about criteria than people just writing opinions.

      • VegasRed

        Doc you are not persuasive. Not at all. The team and its owners and management sucks. The fans as a group do not, although some like you are unbelievably gullible. But sincerely good for you if this hot mess of a MLB franchise is working out ok in your personal fandom. Cheers!

      • greenmtred

        Doc was raising questions. I doubt that he meant to persuade you. If the questions struck you as rhetorical, perhaps it’s because he was pointing out how easy it is to criticize decisions after the fact: much easier than making decisions in the first place.

  14. CI3J

    Well, can the ol’ Redlegs split their final 6 games with the Cubbies and avoid 100 losses?

    Tune in starting Saturday to find out! It’s Can’t-Miss Television!

    Ha… Ha… Ha…………

  15. William

    I am on the rebuild train. Full speed ahead. I think they will try to compete in 2024, but I calculate 2025 as the year they will definitely be competitive. I honestly think 2026 or 2027 could be a World Series team. I just think I see enough stars coming to get there with the help of some timely free agents. All aboard! The train is leaving the station! Laugh a little. It is good for you.

    • Rednat

      I WILL Laugh with you William. That is all you can do at this point. I Don’t really blame ownership that much. I just think the state of baseball really sucks right now for teams like the reds. the pitching/defense is just so dominant in the league that most young position players don’t really have a chance at the plate and the reds are showing that. I think you can win with a young pitching staff but you absolutely have to have veteran hitters/position players to be successful. I just don’t think going with a “youth movement” will bring about much winning now.

      • Big Bob's Burner

        How do you not blame ownership? They are literally bad at everything. You are really going to continue to accept the Castellini “we can’t compete, it’s too hard” line of crap. The Indians are just as poor as the reds, and are constantly producing winning players. I can’t believe we still have ownership simps on this thread. Phil’s isn’t that into you bro, it’s ok to be honest, he’ll still send you a Christmas card, after he gets done doing his whippets and sneaking shots behind his dad’s back. Yes, Phil is a grown man who hides the fact he drinks from his dad. That’s who were dealing with.

      • Chris Holbert

        I agree about young players and development. However, as others on here, I have zero confidence in the current field staff. Young payers are doing well in the minors, and are considered as “top” prospects. They come to MLB and cannot even perform, in some instances the fundamentals, or hit .200. When they do okay well. or get into a groove, they sit for some veteran, to “keep him fresh”. Either go all in, or don’t. DB sees way too much of himself as a journeyman player that he plays those types of guys way too much. I get that all teams need to fill out the roster with those types, but that does mean they have to be regular players in lieu , of the youth movement. The Reds ae going to lose a lot, even with the veterans, so go all in and loose seeing what you have, at least you are following up on going young. Saying that, again, I have zero faith in the current staff to get the most out of those “top” prospects. Do guys who have been able to play at every level forget how to hit when they get to Turner Ward or Zinter, I think not?

  16. TR

    If prospects are well vetted from both the offensive and defensive sides in the minors, I think a youth movement with a veteran in the lineup, where appropriate, can result in a competitive team. Barrero and Aquino are examples where this was not done regarding the offensive side of the game.

  17. Amarillo

    Honestly? Good. Phil Castellini deserves an 100 loss season after insulting all the fans. There is no difference between 82 losses and 100 losses. Both are losing seasons. However, the difference between a top 3-5 prospect in a draft and a top 15 prospect is incredibly wide. This is the difference between a Hunter Greene type and an Austin Hendrick type.

    • Old Big Ed

      I generally agree, but I point out that the Angels got Mike Trout with the 25th pick. The draft is wildly unpredictable. The top choices statistically do better over the long run, but there remains a wide variance.

      The teams with the first picks get the first few picks for a reason, and the reason is that they are generally incompetently operated, which is why the team finished 61-101 or thereabouts. Incompetent people tend to stay incompetent, so you can reasonably expect teams that draft high to either make a bad draft choice, or else be unable to tap into the draft pick’s potential.

      For example, in the first round+ of Nick Senzel’s 2016 draft class, the Dodgers and Cardinals drafted 4 of the top 5 players in bWAR since the draft. They are Gavin Lux (20), Will Smith (32), Dylan Carlson (33) and Dakota Hudson (34). It demonstrates Big Ed’s Law of Baseball Inertia: Competent owners continue to be competent, and incompetent owners continue to be incompetent.

      Reds fans have to hope that Bob Castillini has “faded into Bolivian,” as Mike Tyson would say, and that Phil — blunderbuss that he is — can turn the ship around. That may well be a massive stretch, but Phil at the very least has not appeared to interfere in baseball decisions. Plus, while they lucked into Elly De La Cruz, they have appear to have fared much better over the last 3-4 years at signing Latin American prospects; they have drafted better than 10 years ago; and they did reap an excellent prospect haul since spring training started.

      But, man, it is a long road from losing 7 in a row to the Pirates to true competitiveness.

      • SOQ

        I fear that Phil Castillini ain’t no Katie Blackburn 🙁

      • Amarillo

        Yes, the draft is at best a dart board. All we can do is look at historical trends which suggest that there is a substantial dropoff in career WAR between pick 5 and pick 6, and then another drop off around pick 15. The Cardinals and Dodgers drafting 4 of the top WAR players is more tied to success in player development. If there was any indication those players would become what they are now, they would have been drafted earlier.
        I agree with your point. The Castellinis are incompetent, but since they are incompetent, it’s better to give them more opportunities to luck into success, rather than compound all of our bad decisions with more bad decisions under the assumption they are going to mess it up regardless.

      • Old Big Ed

        I think that the genius behind drafting (and foreign signings) is getting about 8 guys a year after the first round who have about a 1 in 5 chance of being a decent MLB player. The Cardinals and Dodgers do that, and as you point out, probably due to being better at development than others.

        The lousy teams, by contrast, tend to sign about 3 guys a year who have the 1-in-5 chance at being decent MLB players.

        Frankly, I think that — by far — the most important function of the front office is drafting and development. And it is the one thing that is least affected by the revenue chasm between the top and the bottom teams in MLB. The Reds could and should be elite at drafting and development. Bob never understood that success is almost ALL about the productivity of the minor league system.

  18. Doc4uk

    Baseball has no parity due to the salary structure or lack of it. The best a team like the Reds can hope for is an occasional winning season and perhaps a sniff of the play offs but that is about it. Tampa and Minnesota and now Cleveland have been more of an albatross in this regard but certainly no consistency. It is a foregone conclusion that the New York , LA, Houston, St Louis, and Atlanta teams will be play off bound even before the start of the season. One of these teams will also win the world series and likely this will not change in the years ahead . Everyone else is playing the role of the “Washington Generals”

    • Jim Walker

      StLouis is deservedly on the list above among the megalopolis teams. That fact suggests there is no systemic or financial reason a well run Cincinnati team could not also be on a similar list.

      Many people here and elsewhere regularly wring their hands over the thought that someone not from Cincinnati might buy the team someday. On the other hand, I cherish that thought.

      Who better than someone who appreciates the storied heritage of the franchise to recognize and leverage the strength of its location to make the Reds once again a regional powerhouse team regardless of the parochial mindset of many power brokers in the immediate environs of Cincinnati?

      During the Reds first 10 full seasons at Riverfront Stadium, 1971-80, the Reds drew an average of 2.17m fans a year against a NL average of 1.51m. Why couldn’t they achieve the same again?

      Win and they will come. Witness the attendance surges in the early 1990s and again from 2010-2015 (ironically under the same ownership which has now refused to compete).

      • doofus

        “Who better than someone who appreciates the storied heritage of the franchise to recognize and leverage the strength of its location to make the Reds once again a regional powerhouse team regardless of the parochial mindset of many power brokers in the immediate environs of Cincinnati?”

        WOW! This is just behind God speaking to Moses on Mount Sinai.

        I wonder if Bobby C. and Phillip C. will get it? Doubtful. Like I wrote, they are in over their head (of lettuce).

      • DataDumpster

        Definitely. Put a respectable team on the field with competent field management and they will come. Make a deal with outside investors with only the stipulation that they honor the current lease (until 2036, I believe). Let them decide how to turn around the team attitude and play, develop the prospects, and be more responsive to the fanbase. You don’t think you will find some rich investors to take up that opportunity?

      • Redsvol

        Jim – you and many others on RLN are very astute fans of the Reds, and baseball in general. I totally agree with you. Ownership is the problem with the Reds – and it is exacerbated by the lack of payroll equity which Doc4UK has indicated.

        It will take “outside” ownership to turn the reds into the Cardinals or Rays. Someone who quits using excuses for not getting it done and just gets it done.

        I’m also a big believer in hard work. It has benefitted me greatly in my life. I do not believe Reds Ownership, Front Office, Development staff, Coaches or players of this current Reds generation work hard enough. Everyone from the top down needs to look in the mirror and challenge themselves. I absolutely believe the talent only gets you so far. You have to be willing to outwork the guy/gal next to you to succeed at the highest level. Jeff McNeil of the Mets is perfect example. He is not the most talented second baseman. But, you can tell he is willing to tinker (i.e., work) with his skills until he succeeds.

        The jobs and 40 man roster positions in MLB are extremely rare. I’m not sure this Reds generation adequately values how precious they are and how much work it takes to succeed. This off-season will tell a lot.

      • LDS

        As we discussed a few weeks ago, the 70s ownership also recognized that Reds Country extended well beyond the immediate Cincinnati area. Back in the 70s, when I was at Purdue, we were closer to Chicago than Cincinnati, but the Reds were still far and away the most popular team. I could easily see the Reds drawing 2.5+ million with astute ownership and management. Alas, I think it’s a pipedream. We’re stuck with Castellini and company.

      • Votto4life

        I would welcome an outsider buying the Reds, even if it does increase the risk of the city losing the team.

      • MBS

        There is about 0.01% chance the Reds would be moved out of Cincinnati. I’d love a deep pocketed man willing to build a winning franchise to but the Reds. I agree @Jim, the city will support a good team.

  19. AMDG

    If I’m not mistaken, the Cardinals signed a tv deal in the $1B ~ $1.5B range, with FS Midwest.

    Meanwhile, the Reds’ deal with FSOhio is assumed to be quite a bit less.

    Since those TV deals were signed, the Cardinals payroll has averaged about 30% higher than the Reds.

    On average, one can assume:
    Get more $ from tv deal –> better chance to buy good roster –> more wins –> more fans

    • LDS

      Product comes first. Nobody is dropping those dollars on the Reds as long as they are mediocre.

      • Old Big Ed

        While we are on the topic of local TV rights, the news recently is that Bally paid WAY too much for the old local Fox Sports rights, and Bally Sports is on the cusp of a Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

        As I understand it, Bally Sports believes that under bankruptcy law, it can as part of its Chapter 11 reorganization, reject “executory contracts,” which would mean that Bally Sports could terminate its TV contract with the Reds (and many other teams), and the Reds would either have to find another entity to do the broadcasts, or else renegotiate with Bally at what would be a lower annual payout and probably a much lower payout.

        MLB, the NBA and the NHL are apparently trying to form a venture to buy Bally Sports, to address this situation. The good news is that their doing so is also likely to end the continuing “blackout” rules that have plagued viewership.

        As a guess, the Castellinis likely got a heads-up this spring on the impending doom of Bally Sports, and that informed the decision to do the salary dumps. They at the same time this spring had to have known that ticket sales/revenue at GABP had collapsed due to COVID (and bad baseball).

        I think that the situation will play out OK for the Reds, but cord-cutting has changed the landscape and it remains to be seen how everything shakes out.

      • Jim Walker

        Supposedly in markets where the contracts allow it, Bally is rolling out direct to the viewer streaming with no cable subscription service in the middle. The price points I have seen quoted in other markets would get me a year for under $200 at an annual subscription rate or for $20-25 by the month “cash and carry”.

        Being a BlueJackets fan as well as a Reds fan, I would go for the annual rate and switch to internet only from Spectrum or one of the cell companies now starting to add 5G home in my area for $50.

  20. Old-school

    Phil Castellini said earlier this year 100% they arent selling the team. The real question becomes what are the Reds doing in 2023 with payroll and what is their plan? Do they:

    A.) tank again and purge the contracts of Moose and Votto and go all Pittsburgh Pirates again with a $75 million payroll and sign one year retreads for SP and BP and utility/platoon roles to supplement the young guys until the AA/AAA guys are ready for mid 2023+

    B.) do they use 2023 as a transition year and spend $120 mil to add multi-year guys who are part of 2024 too as they will need SP/a credible 2nd catcher/multiple bullpen pieces /a legit hitting OF and a 1b/DH bat and look to extend India as a core piece of the future.

    I prefer option B

    • MBS

      I prefer option C.) A blend of both, with out committing too much into the future.

      1 year deals. SP: Cueto (7M) Closer: (Chapman/Jansen) (15M)

      2 year deal. Catcher: (Narvaez/Vasquez/Barnhart) (7M)

      3 year deal. 1B: Bell (15M)

      4 year deal. OF: Benintendi (18M)

      FA 62M, + JV 25M, + MM 18M + Cessa 2.5M + Sims 2M + 18 League Minimun guys (18 x 0.720M) =13M

      Total payroll 122.5M, and you could probably backload Bell’s or Benintendi’s contracts to bring it under 120M if that is indeed the limit. Don’t bring back Farmer, Hoffman, or Senzel.

      C Stephenson / Narvaez
      1B Bell / Votto / Santana
      2B Steer / Lopez
      3B India / Santana
      SS Barrero / Lopez
      DH Votto / Stephenson
      LF Benintendi / Hopkins
      CF Friedl / Hopkins
      RF Fraley / Hopkins

      Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, Cueto, Cessa
      Chapman, DIaz, Antone, SanMartin
      Cruz, Santillan, Moreta, ?

      Prospects EDLC, Siani, McGarry, CES, Dunn, Overton, Williamson, and Stoudt in AAA fighting to be called up.

      • MBS

        Fraley, Barrero, Steer, Votto all also are big question mark to be average or better next season. This isn’t an all star team, just a version of the team if they spent a bit of money, instead of tanking.

    • Old Big Ed

      Well, short of a zombie apocalypse, they can’t purge the contracts of Moose and Votto, so that is off the table.

      I could see them sign a short-term deal with a well-regarded veteran pitcher, like Johnny Cueto, as a fourth starter and mentor to the 3 young starters. They will need a better outfielder, too.

      A lot of RLNers don’t believe that they will offer legitimate extensions to India and Stephenson, but I do. Now is the year to do it, because they are both coming off disappointing seasons.

      • Old-school

        Purging the contracts mean you abandon the year of 2023 and dont invest in anything.

      • Old Big Ed

        The issue is really Moustakas, because Votto has earned the right to finish his contract with the Reds next year. Votto will be on the Reds’ 2023 team and (barring injury or outright collapse) will get at least 350 ABs.

        So, management’s first off-season decision, whether you call it “purging” or “eating” Moose’s contract, is whether to DFA him or not in the offseason. I think they will do that, because other players’ getting those ABs in 2023 is more valuable to the Reds than any possibility that he will hit enough in the early season for somebody to take on even a bit of his contract. In other words, they are better off in the long run by DFAing Moose and giving his ABs to a guy like Spencer Steer, or maybe to New Nick Senzel at 3B.

        A lot of people on here doubt that the Reds will do this, but I think it is the wiser financial move.

        The second big decision is whether to bring back David Bell. Until the last few weeks, I assumed he would return. I am no longer sure of that. I think they may go with somebody like Eduardo Perez or other person with minimal ties to the Reds.

        And they need to slash ticket and concession prices. Having fannies in the seats is a better business plan than having no fannies in the seats.

      • Jim Walker

        OBE, I like your thoughts here regarding: Moose. As others have also pointed out, with the increase of the depth and level of talent in the Reds farm system, the 40 man spot Moose would hold over the winter might be more valuable being given to someone else despite the Moose buyout cost.

        Another angle on the Bell situation is whether he even wants to come back to the Reds in 2023. He is not working for the boss who hired him or managing in the situation he was hired into visa via the organization’s positioning and future strategy. He is also not locked into the Players’ Association position opposing negotiated buyouts at less than the full face value of his remaining contract term. I would not be surprised by a quick “mutual parting of the ways” announcement that would allow him to get jump start looking for his next job.

      • Optimist

        I’ve been one who thinks the Moose release is coming. When it happens may be an issue. I don’t know the timing involved but you have noted the two considerations – everyone understands the cost, but many overlook the roster spot.

        If I understand correctly, they’ll need the roster spot soon, given the Rule 5 draft and need to protect individuals. I believe they’ll clear/DFA/release plenty of players, so Moose may be the last to go as they decide on the very last MiLBer they want to protect. Is that correct?

        Otherwise, I suppose they carry Moose into Spring training on the odd chance they can arrange a bad contract trade with someone else. That could be very impressive if the front office is able to do so, but not necessary if they truly want to clear out the roster.

        As for Bell, it may be best for all concerned if he is simply moved in house – special assistant, MiLB coordinator, Asst. PBO, some-other-title, which better fits his skill set than straight up game management. I think he brings a lot of value, but it has been worn out and wasted as field manager.

    • Jim Walker

      Option D: Mark Cuban or some such sends them a signed contract to purchase the team for 105% of the Forbes evaluation with him picking up all legal expenses and along with the contract a note that says a 3% finder’s fee will be paid to designated person(s) of their choice.

      • west larry

        i would like Cuban to buy the team, mentioned it in the past. The problem I’ve heard in the past is that Cuban is outspoken and won’t goosestep with the other owners.

      • Still a Red

        New ownership would probably have to come from outside Cincinnati. According to Forbes, Cincinnati only has one billionaire (don’t forget, Castellini/Williams or Paul Brown Jr. would have to sell their teams to get their money out). If the Reds go outside, they better go with someone from a city already with a MLB team, or else there could be pressure to move. Not sure how easy it is to move a MLB team these days, but Nashville has 3, Indianapolis has 3, Lexington has 2. Then there’s Las Vegas. North Carolina as a state had 6 billionaires. Would a sound businessman see the value of this historical franchise and keep it where it is, maybe. Well, billionaires that want a play-toy and seek to promote their region may not look at it that way. As disappointing and frustrating as Cincinnati baseball has been, it would be devastating to lose the franchise.