The answer to the question posed in the title of this is probably an easy one: His dad owns more of the Cincinnati Reds than any of the rest of the gaggle of owners in the ownership group. But someone really needs to take the microphone away from him and never let him speak in public again because every time he does so he says something that would get him fired from his job if his dad didn’t own the company.

It hasn’t quite been a year since Phil Castellini asked the fans to be careful what they wish for by asking for his family to sell the team and the famous “where you gonna go” line that led to then WLWT reporter Brandon Saho’s meme-worthy “is this guy serious” look into the camera.

Today the Cincinnati Reds hosted a “business” luncheon for the Rosie Reds. Phil Castellini was the speaker/presenter of information and he had a lot of things to say according to those in attendance.

Amy shared several things on twitter. Let’s take them one by one.

The wording here is important because there’s a difference between an actual non-profit and a company that doesn’t “make profit”. One is a charity, which the Cincinnati Reds absolutely aren’t. And one is a company that is either incredibly poorly run or one that is good at accounting tricks and paying high-level people in ties a lot of money so the company “makes no profit”. I’d love to see the salary for Reds “employees” Bob Castellini, Phil Castellini, as well as the Williams brothers – all of whom have titles and jobs with the organization, but also have the three biggest ownership shares of the team and the other one is Phil Castellini, whose father has the biggest share. Maybe the Reds don’t put a profit number in their accounting ledger, but I would bet plenty of money those four guys are getting enormous salaries and are making plenty of “personal profit”.

Speaking of which, Phil Castellini seems to dislike the players union and guaranteed contracts.

That’s a funny thing to say coming from a man who in any other scenario would have not only never been hired for the job he has, but absolutely would have been fired after Opening Day in 2022 if his father weren’t Bob Castellini. His job is absolutely guaranteed because of his name alone.

When it comes to winning baseball games, well, Phil Castellini decided that he was going to point out how there’s been an increase in teams being out of contention by Opening Day with a fancy slide that someone else probably made for him.

Speaking of guaranteed contracts, Craig Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus brought up a good point.

The national television deals, and the local television deals don’t go up or down if the ratings are good or bad. Bally Sports Ohio is writing the same check to the Cincinnati Reds no matter if 10 people watch or if 50,000 people watch. The same thing goes for the national television deals – if people watch or don’t watch, the check is still written for the same amount. These deals are for five years or some for 20 years. Guaranteed.

The information used here was the Fangraphs playoff odds when the season began. Those odds are based on the quality of the team put on the field. We’ve since learned that the numbers on this graph aren’t even accurate.

So while the numbers may be accurate in terms of what the projections were, the only reason the projections are what they are is because teams – like the Reds – are failing to put a good team on the field.

Yesterday the Cincinnati Reds signed Luke Weaver. He posted a 6.56 ERA as a reliever last season. The Reds are going to give him a chance to be a starting pitcher in 2023. Maybe it’s things like this, instead of signing guys who have performed well and are more likely to continue to perform well is the reason there are teams – like the Reds – who have a one-in-a-million chance to make the playoffs and not that players have guaranteed contracts?

Cutting payroll by $35M from last year, and nearly $60M from several years ago, and trading away quality big leaguers is why the team is bad. Look in the mirror.

Someone take the microphone away from Phil Castellini.

On second thought, don’t. Let him keep saying the quiet parts out loud.

113 Responses

  1. Josh

    Last year I watched one game on TV and went to zero games in person. This year will be the same. I’ll get my Votto content from social media. The only way this team wins is if Castellini sells. He’s not getting my money.

    • Michael E

      No one should give the Castellini’s money. I am ashamed of the fans that do go to games, paying for parking, tickets, food, souvenirs, all lining the Castellini’s pockets while they unashamedly put a poor product on the field by simpling gutting payroll.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if they replace hot dogs with bulk ramen noodle with no flavor packets.

      You’re going to eat it because…”Where ya gonna go?”

      Please every one on RLN, spread the word, no attendance to ANY Reds game and don’t watch either. Play your part in the correct feedback to the Castellini’s.

    • MuddyCleats

      Same here: I didn’t attend a Reds game last season, but did watch several n Chattanooga. Really much reason to watch the Reds

    • CI3J

      I’m exactly the same. I don’t think I watched a single game start to finish for the whole season. I would check in maybe once every few weeks to watch an inning or two, then that was it.

      Didn’t attend a single game in person when before I used to attend 5 or more games each season.

      I’m hopeful for the future given the Reds have one of the best minor league systems in the majors now, but I sincerely hope the rumors about “clearing the decks” in order to sell the team are true. I hate that someone like Phil Castellini, someone who clearly doesn’t give a hoot about baseball or the Cincinnati Reds, has any say at all about how this team is run.

      I used to be a real Reds fanatic, spending a lot of free time on this site (and, previously, the ESPN message boards), watching every game I could, listening on the radio, going to games, buying merchandise, etc. Now, I barely think about the Reds much during my free time, much less put any effort into them.

      Loyalty is a two-way street. If you want me to continue being a fan of this team, the team needs to show me they are trying to win. Like I said, I have some hopes for 2024. I just sincerely hope the Castellini family is not part of it.

      • Dewey Roberts

        I listened to every game on radio and watched everyone on TV from 1961 on. I can’t do it anymore. The Castellini’s have ruined the Reds franchise. Remember when Bob said, “The losing must stop!” Now they like losing. They are the worst owners in Teds’ history.

    • Hotto4Votto

      I didn’t spend a dime on the Reds last season. Don’t plan on it this year either. Don’t feel like I’m missing anything.

    • LWBlogger

      Yep, I’ve pretty much forgotten about the Reds and MLB in general. Never thought I’d get there, but I’m there. Attended zero games last year and only caught parts of a handful of games on TV. Couldn’t name more than 5 people on the roster. Guess that makes me no longer a fan and so far, I’m good with that.

      • Nicole Cushing

        Same. I visit here once every few months to watch the slow motion train wreck. The Reds are good for a laugh, and that’s it.

        I stopped going to games last year, unfollowed them on social media, stopped watching them, canceled my MLB gameday audio subscription, and tuned out of MLB entirely. I even stopped going to Louisville Bats games because I’m not sure if the Reds reap some financial benefit from attendance at Triple-A games.

        Reds: who cares? Bengals: Who Dey!

  2. Jeff Burt

    He should be embarrassed to what he and this ownership has done. For about 15 million we could have had Cueto and Duvall along with the reliever they signed. Our payroll still would have been under or near 100 million and next year at least 22 million more come off the books. I own a company and you have to have a good product to sell and they no that is not the case here as they get guaranteed money no matter what to line their pockets. So sad and good article.

    • Greenfield Red

      How many more games would the Reds win if they sign Cueto and Duvall?

      • Greenfield Red

        Hey MBS. It’s you and me again.

        I know we disagree on this, and I stand by my stance. However, if the Reds do not make a free agent splash for the 2024 season and beyond, I will switch sides completely. IMO, they have a chance to win the Series beginning in 24. There is just no chance this year.

      • MBS

        Well then I hope you never join me. I’ve only been on this side for about 2 months, and It’s not fun.

        I saw you mention the ability to add 2 $40 AAV FA’s next season. I’d rather have spent $40M on FA’s this season and be a competitive team, then use the Votto/Moose money in 24 to sign the biggest fish on the market, Othani. It’s really too late for all of that now, there are no real impact FA’s left, so we’ll be a sub 70 W team in all likely hood. We’re basically just putting ourselves a year behind the timeline I wanted to see.

  3. Alex Reds

    Cueto and Duvall are not moving the needle. Probably a waste of $15M. When you are a smaller market team with half your payroll spent already in players not better than replacement level or older in a long contract and coming off injury then you’re basically screwed in making the playoffs until those contracts are off the books.

    • Mike

      Blah blah blah, be a sheep my friend, there are different markets in the Reds same size that have LESS media markets and have much better payroll…Padres for 1

    • Kevin H

      Small market team is a myth. Especially considering the Bengals spend, and spend and spend the last two years.

      • Alex Reds

        NFL has a salary cap which resolves the non competitive issues and is why a small market team can more reasonably compete in football. The Bengals would be way behind in payroll just like the Reds if there was no salary cap. The small market teams spending more money than their market are because their owners are so rich the extra money is nothing to them. Not sure why we are knocking Phil on this other than it’s fun, Phil is right. MLB has a huge issue in competitiveness for teams with a small portion of the payroll of other teams. Part of it is market. Part of it is how rich you are. It’s getting worse and impacting more teams.

      • Doug Gray

        We’re knocking Phil on this because he’s flat out lying to us. The team is spending the same on payroll today as they did 15 years ago but are absolutely bringing in significantly more money today than they were 15 years ago.

      • Alex Reds

        Doug, that is fair and I generally agree I think they can have a bit higher payroll. If it were my team, I’d save the money this year knowing even $15-40M isn’t getting them even close to in the playoffs without trading away a chunk of the farm as well. With the contracts off the books next year, I would roll the money from this year to next year to be even more competitive next year when a bunch of money frees up. How do we know that they aren’t just saving $20-40M from this year’s payroll and investing it differently and in fact smarter -> prospects, player development, next year’s payroll? I would be all for this. There’s still a chance they are paying the ownership group back for the covid year losses. With the low attendance, it’s also possible they don’t bring in as much money as when they were above .500. I’ll judge by what I see next year when the money frees up and what kind of payroll they have next year.

    • Jeff Burt

      I agree it won’t make them a ton better but if you are a year or two away from the younger talent coming up it makes half way good business since to at least show the fans your trying. This ownership doesn’t care and they are not afraid to throw that in our faces. On one year contracts worst case you trade them in July for more prospects and get some value for the future. What do you think the are going to do with Myers

      • Alex Reds

        Reds spent money last year, it didn’t move the needle to the playoffs. Reds spent about $9M on Mike Minor last year. Couldn’t trade him at deadline for any value. Did anyone buy tickets because of this move? Nobody will care if they spend 10-20-30-40-50M this year and they still suck. You and I still won’t go to any extra games. What free agents that are very good that every team wants are wanting to come to the Reds? How much money would they need to spend to be in the playoffs this year? $80-120M my guess. Best to invest in smart ways. Just saw MLB Pipeline post Reds signed the #4 overall international prospect in this new year, Alfredo Duno. Last year Reds got the #2 overall international prospect Ricardo Cabrera. These are smart moves. Reds are competing the best they reasonably can. Prospects are the most realistic way Reds can win without rich owners. I see the Reds doing better in prospects they are getting and how they develop them.

      • Doug Gray

        Did the Reds spend money last year, though? Because their payroll last year was about $30M less than it has been in the past, despite MLB bringing in more money than ever (and while we don’t know what the exact numbers were that the Reds brought in, why would they not be bringing in more money like the league is when the biggest gains were made from television and national contracts?).

      • Jeff Burt

        They were good signings today. Doug agree with you 100% on last years payroll. The Mike minor signing also made no since especially when you had pitchers in the same price range already that we’re better and let them go. I still think they could have done more this off season and not be hurting with payroll. Let’s hope next year they make big moves. And now who dey.

  4. Don A

    I switched to DirecTV last year so that I could watch the Reds. I am going to eat the final year and switch back to Dish Network. I am not paying to watch the Reds. I usually drive over from Western Indiana for a game or two, but will not be making any trips to watch the Reds either!

    • Michael E

      Kudos! Every little decrease in Castellini’s petty cash for lavish parties and private jets helps.

      • Kbudd

        Just like Doug said. Really doesn’t matter how many people watch, they get cut the same check either way.

  5. LDS

    Just remember, if Bob doesn’t sell, it’ll be Phil calling the shots going forward, if he isn’t already. He clearly illustrates the dangers of nepotism, as does David Bell.

  6. Melvin

    I want “Little Phil” to keep talking. Stick the mic in front of his face as much as possible. I like it when he shows his true colors and thinks he’s invincible because his daddy won’t let him get fired. It WILL come back to bite him where it counts. It does for everybody who is that selfish/arrogant. Guaranteed. It could possibly even accelerate the sale of the team. Keep talking. 🙂

    • Randy

      Nice article Doug. I have been a fan of the Reds since the 1960’s but I refuse to support this franchise any longer. It is obvious that Bob and Phil are way in over their heads. It is like the old saying, ” if you can’t hang with the big dogs than get off the porch”.

  7. Jedi Joey

    Wow, just wow! This guy just can’t help himself. Unbelievable

  8. Jimbo44CN

    All I can say is please sell, please sell. PLEASE

  9. Frankie Tomatoes

    Is Phil the most tone deaf person in Cincinnati?

  10. JB

    SMH. What is this guy’s angle? Is he trying to get no one in the stands? This franchise has hit rock bottom.

    • Michael E

      …could be a genius plan, make the market look so feeble that the other owners will approve franchise moving to Las Vegas or Honolulu?

  11. LuciusRuber

    nobody is useless-you can always serve as a bad example

  12. Tom Reeves

    He shouldn’t speak in public but it doesn’t make him totally wrong. Until the Reds clear Moose and Votto’s contracts, it’s going to very difficult to compete. So the smart thing to do is the hunker down, don’t burn cash, and develop a crop of outstanding prospects.

    The alternative is for the Reds to be sold to a billionaire. Of course, since Ohio doesn’t really have a bunch of billionaires, that’ll mean the new owners likely care nothing for the team or the city and only want to move to a better market.

    • Doug Gray

      Their payroll is $80M today. I’d guess that spending $60M more would probably help them compete.

      And the team can’t leave until 2037 at the earliest. I’m not at all worried about someone buying the team tomorrow and moving them in 15 years.

      • DataDumpster

        Absolutely, but don’t spend the 60 mill and sell after this year so that the next 15 years might bring some very good teams and memories until it becomes obvious that there is no viability for a team here 15 years hence. Alternatively, you could give the reins to David Bell and Phil to make a final (attempted) triumphant run before going for the big profit…

      • Tom Reeves

        The team can leave (on the stadium deal) much earlier than that for a penalty. The penalty isn’t defined – only that it’s substantial. That might be worth it to a billionaire or to MLB who clearly does not care if there’s a team in Cincinnati.

        It was totally worth it financially for the Rams to leave St Louis even thought it was expensive.

      • Scott

        The entrepreneurial business model used by this ownership group to line their pockets is now obsolete in the MLB. This ownership group needs to pocket their $800 million equity in this team and sell it to someone that is willing to compete.

    • Steve

      Not many markets you could move to and draw better. Charlotte? Indy? And who would even care?

    • Tony Cloninger

      If the Rays or A’s cannot move until
      Every option has been exhausted over and over then the longest running or close to it, if you go by 1869 or 1881, then this franchise is not just going to be moved just like that.
      Total paranoia by fans and empty threats by DBag Bobby.

  13. Scotly50

    I am just biding my time until they put a team in Nashville. No money from me Phil and Bob.

    • JayTheRed

      I would be rooting for that team if they put one in Nashville.

      • Tom Reeves

        Nashville is a very logical choice. It’s roughly the same size market as Cincinnati but growing at a much faster rate (thanks zero income taxes). Charlotte is another option.

    • Colorado Red

      Might be the Reds. Depends on how much Nashville is will to give.
      you know Vegas is
      Be careful what you ask for. Bad attendance, will help them move the team.

  14. JayTheRed

    Can baseball step in and do anything about these owners? They are embarrassing baseball to watch and might hurt the sport more by continuing to put out sub quality teams each year.
    Can the city do anything either? Look we helped you build this stadium to build a winning team and yet you haven’t won all that much.
    The Fans – Honestly what needs to happen here is the fans need to just stop going to games entirely. Don’t buy the clothes, don’t buy the hats don’ spend money on special TV packages to see the Reds. If they don’t want to even try then the fans should stop trying too.

    What are you going to do. Where are you going to go… I’ll tell you where we will go. Start rooting for the next expansion team or the next closest team to your area.
    Indiana – Watch the White Sox they are at least trying to be better.
    Kentucky Tennessee – Watch the Braves they are consistently at least contenders.
    West Viginia – Watch the Orioles they are a up and coming team already.
    Heck – Even the Pirates are improved this coming season they may beat us.
    Ohio – Watch the Guardians at least they know how to run a smaller market team better. They tend to contend too.

    Phil Castellini has to be the biggest clown in baseball. I just don’t get it. They need to start losing money and then, maybe just then, they will sell the team.

    • Rob

      Some of you here may not like this coment and that is ok but Phil reminds me of a former Presidents son that likes to hear himself talk as well.

      • MuddyCleats

        Of course u r referencing Hunter & the Big Guy…?

      • PTBNL

        Let’s keep politics out of the conversation. We’re talking about Phil here, so let’s keep it that way.

    • Colorado Red

      Got owners out here, who are willing to spend, but have no clue how to do it.
      They lose almost as much as the Reds.
      May be the 2nd biggest clowns in the game.

  15. Michael E

    While the Castellini’s irritate me with their talk of poverty (as if, their net worth has easily doubled since they bought the Reds), the proof in the pudding will be next Nov/Dec, when those “big” contracts fall off the books.

    If they aren’t signing a REAL good FA or two, like a Shohei Ohtani or someone of that nature, then all bets are off. The payroll will be the lowest or second lowest in baseball and the Castellini’s will make Bob Nutting blush in shame if the Reds don’t sign a couple of big name FAs to big FA deals (while hopefully the youngsters are coming online as solid MLB rookies/2nd year guys. This could be a really good team in 2024, but my cynicism is still in charge of me as the Reds go.

    • Greenfield Red

      I’m with you Michael, If they do not spend money next year, the fan base will completely melt down (myself included)… not just partially as it is now.

      I know everyone on this board wants them to win, myself included. But it simply does not make sense to waste a bunch of money this year on a team that is not going to win. In fact, I would have less respect for ownership if they tried to appease those shouting the loudest by making some foolhearted signing.

      Payroll will be about $40 mil next year. There are more young guys about to arrive. Can you imagine how exciting it would be for the Reds to take the top off the FA market by signing the two best free agents for 4 years each @ 40 mil each AAV? It could happen and payroll would still only be 120mil. This is not unreasonable.

      • DX

        I agree with we will see next year. This year though they need to play Barrero Steer Williamson etc. I hope we don’t see the Newmans out there every day. Moustakas being released was a very good sign.

  16. Jim Walker

    I saw this stuff coming across Twitter piecemeal Saturday morning/early afternoon and for several minutes thought it was some sort of parody.

    Sadly it is all too real. The Reds must have sent Phil C and Nick K to the same seminar on public misspeaking only they got confused and thought it was about how to speak effectively.

  17. Ron S

    Can we just run Phil out of town with pitchforks and torches since this is becoming a bad horror movie?

  18. MBS

    I just hope that those who say the Reds might be getting positioned for sale are correct. Bob clearly doesn’t have what it takes to put together a winner. I think he actually has a good GM finally, but hamstrings him with a ever shrinking budget.

  19. Klugo

    So, what good ol’ Phil is saying is that you dont have to try very hard to be in contention. Idiot.

  20. David

    You can look at Phil C.’s speech or presentation as an elaborate rationalization about why the Reds are not spending more money to become “competitive”.
    I think that is why he was sent out to do this. We all talk about why the Reds don’t do this or that. The Castellini’s, etc., all read the newspapers. I can just about imagine how furious Bob C. must be when he read what all us armchair managers dream up for the Reds. Why, he’s an expert on baseball! Just ask him.
    Well, here’s their “answer”, such as it is. Phil is a little too dense to come up with this all on his own. This was prepared by our “ownership group” to show the public, to explain why and what they are doing. And…they expect us to nod our head and say “sure, we understand now”.
    Except, we all know this is…BS. I get how we all want new owners, because right now, the Castellini’s (and the rest) come across as real crap hounds. And yeah, I kind of wish the ML would do something to level the field, and put in a salary cap. But the ML Baseball agreement is not going there, because the players and the big market teams really don’t want it. So getting a new owner is really the only way out of this box. The Reds may stumble into being better with the promotion of the talent in the minors now, but you don’t stumble into a pennant winning team.

    Lastly, could you imagine Bob Howsam coming out and saying something like what Phil C. said, back in the late 1970’s, after the 76 and 77 seasons were past. “Well, we just can’t compete anymore. Give it up”. Mr. Howsam was a smart, honest and classy guy. As have been a lot of past executives, etc., that have worked for the Reds. I actually feel a little sorry for Nick Krall (the “Nick” syndrom!), as he has a top baseball executive job, but he works for people that are actually kind of jerks.

  21. Tim

    I think the Reds are in a unique spot as a small market team. They have a very strong history in baseball and a great look/logo/jersey. If they actually spend money and win consistently I think they could become a national team with huge merchandise sales. Plus there are a lot of markets around here with no teams so they could pick all those up. Gotta spend money to make money though.

  22. Rednat

    thanks for this article Doug. My thoughts are;

    1. i guess the reds are probably technically categorized as non profit for tax purposes. but you are right, I am sure ownership pays huge bonuses to themselves to “zero the books”. so this really was a ridiculous statement,I agree.

    2. I do agree with the Castellini’s that the financial system in baseball really is unfair. I am quite sure that the tv/radio contracts of the dodgers and yankees bring in a lot more money than the reds and there is really nothing ownership can do about that. also ticket prices are a factor as well. you can charge a lot more for tickets in LA and NY than you can in Cincy. again, out of ownerships control.

    3. i do think mlb has a major problem with supply and demand especially with the position players. there are many good pitchers in the league so they come relatively cheap and i think most would agree that our pitching has been pretty solid over the past few years. It just costs so much though to sign even an average position player these days. look how much it cost to bring in Moustakis and Castellanos. This lack of talent really does hurt teams like the reds and until the problem is solved the reds are going to struggle

    • Doug Gray

      1. No. They are a for profit company, even if they lose money – they can’t be a “non-profit”. That’s a charity, not a business. And the Reds are a business. This is a case of someone either misspeaking or misunderstanding what was said.

      2. The television money is a bit of a problem, but it’s also all pooled together and handed out in a sort-of-revenue-sharing way. The Dodgers and Yankees get back less than they put in, while the Reds get back more than they put in. The Yankees and Dodgers are still getting back a lot more than the Reds from their local TV deal, but they are probably close to covering this years payroll off of their Bally Sports Ohio contract. They are definitely covering their payroll and more when you add in the local TV money AND the national TV money – believed to be just over $95M a year for the bottom team in the league, while every other team it believed to have at least $100M a year between just the TV monies.

      3. Moustakas and Castellanos made/make like 40% of the amount that the top players in the game get paid per year. If that’s too much money then you need to just sell the team to someone who is willing to actually live in the real world and not some fantasy world where it’s still 2008 and $16M a year is what the cost of a very good All-Star caliber player is.

      • TR

        What Phil Castellini says has all been agreed to by his father, so the bottom line is what Phil says is not just his musings. The Castellini’s do not have the financial resources to compete every year. Until the numerous financial details are worked out for ownership change, the irritation of Phil Castellini is the result. Spring training can’t arrive too soon.

      • Old Big Ed

        Doug, as technical but important point, a “non-profit” organization is not the same as a “charity.” You are correct that the Reds are neither.

        A non-profit has no shareholders, and it does not specifically have a profit motive. Keeneland, which is the racetrack and thoroughbred sales operation in Lexington, is a non-profit, as are AAA and many, many private hospitals. Keeneland makes a lot of local charitable donations with its excess funds, but it is not compelled to do so.

        The non-profits (including Keeneland) can and do make “profits” in the sense of bringing in more revenue than their costs. In fact, most of the non-profit organizations must pay federal income tax on their profits. See

        Certain non-profits pay very high salaries to the insiders who run them, and many of them pay their employees very well. (This has the accounting benefit in good years of eliminating most federal income taxes.) Keeneland pays its employees fairly and its executives very well, including its president, Shannon Arvin. But Ms. Arvin is deeply talented and perfectly suited for that job, whereas Phumblin’ Phil is neither. Keeneland also invests its “profits” into the facility itself, which is why it remains so spectacular. The huge money that some (well, most) non-profit hospitals pay to doctors and administrators is an example of the sometimes tongue-in-cheek nature of the term “non-profit organization.”

        None of this is to defend Phil, who is dismal at PR and an anchor on the franchise in a manner similar to Jeff Loria in Miami. Phil was likely just making the trite accounting joke, around for years, that a business making little profit is a “non-profit.”

        It is a pretty good rule of thumb to never send an email, or say anything publicly, that you wouldn’t want a federal judge to read. Phil missed that lesson.

      • Old-school

        Good stuff @OBE.
        Im just waiting to see the first 2-3 contractual commitments for 2024+ . IF India and Stephenson and Greene and Lodolo have good seasons in 2023, I’d like to see Reds emulate the Braves approach and lock up young players to longer term deals.

      • jazzmanbbfan

        As Big Ed noted, a charity and a non-profit are somewhat different. I worked for 37 years for a 501c3 company which is a private not for profit. However, to keep paying the bills and stay competitive within our market (e.g., competitive salaries and benefits, raises, etc.), we still needed to have a positive bottom line.

        Sadly, after many years of attending well into double digit games a year, I stopped completely in 2016 and haven’t been back. I won’t be going back to see the Reds anytime soon, nor do I watch them on TV as I gave up DirecTV several years ago and use an antenna and streaming now.

      • Doug Gray

        Well it looks like we’re learning new things today! (I’m a dummy)

      • cartel

        I thought non profit were enterprises for the public good and not for profit simply means that any profit is put back into the company and not given to share holders. Hospitals could be non profit or profit. Places like University Hospital are non profit and there for the public benefit. United Behavioral Health is for profit and exists to make share holders money. There are some sports teams that are not for profit. I have a hard time believing the reds are one. Even thought they are poorly run, I am pretty sure they are making a profit and the partners are pocketing it. They certainly not putting the excess into signing players ;).

    • Daytonnati

      Maybe they can start doing telethons like Public TV 🙂

  23. CI3J

    Phil Castellini really strikes me as that spoilt rich kid who never had to work for anything in his life and never had anyone tell him “no”.

    He reminds me of a story from a few years back of a similar spoilt rich kid (his parents were real estate developers) who never did his homework in school and the teacher finally called him out in front of the class, and the kid said “Why do I need to learn any of this? All I need to know is how to count money, and I can already do that.”

    Phil is just dumb, crass, spoilt child in an adult’s body.

  24. DX

    Yes all his comments are stupid but it’s a rebuild. It’s what you do when you can’t win with what you got. They paid some money for a .500 team and then were stuck with bad contracts and a very bad team. In a rebuild you don’t sign guys like Cueto. I, for one, do not care if they Reds win 72 games vs. 65 games. I’ve seen the 72 games for too long and am happy with the rebuild plan.

    The Astros did this 10 years ago when their payroll was one of the lowest and lost 100+ games three years in a row while they developed young players. I wonder if their fans were like this.

    • Chad Jones

      And once the Astros got some of the youngsters developed they began to spend money and win. I understand the plan, but I don’t trust these buffoons to execute it in any way that will be successful. I don’t trust our player development, our management, or our willingness to spend money to compete. It’s fine to tear down and rebuild, but you can’t just do it with prospects. There will need to be shrewd trades and signings. I don’t trust this organization in its current structure to do any of it.

    • Doug Gray

      Rebuilding through scorched earth choices is a decision that is made, not a necessity.

      • Chad Jones

        I agree Doug. The Reds NEVER had to go scorched earth. However, I understand if that’s the plan like Houston did in the early 2010’s. Look at them now, but it has to be a plan that is executed and done correctly, then it can lead to sustained success if, and only if, money is spent once the competitive window opens. I don’t trust this front office to do any of this.

      • Doug Gray

        The difference with the Astros plan is that the rules in place then meant it made more sense. If you had the worst record in baseball you got the #1 pick in the draft. Now that isn’t the case because there’s a draft lottery. Back then you could spend as much money as you wanted to on the international market to sign amateur players, so you could in theory not spend money on big leaguers but spend $30M on amateurs and hope it worked out for the future because you signed 10 of the top 30 prospects on the market. That’s impossible now as there are hard cap limits on how much you can spend.

        The “Astros” or the “Cubs” plans no longer have any chance of working without a lot of luck along the way because what they did to get where they got isn’t really guaranteed anymore because the rules have been changed.

      • Jim Walker

        +1000. Excellent explanation of the changed realities Doug.

    • gonzarro

      How many rebuilds has this franchise done in the last 20 to 25 years and how far has that gotten them in the playoffs? A lot of one and done.

  25. LDS

    The Cubs continue to add to their roster, adding Mancini on a 2 year contract. While they haven’t been signing A-listers, they have signed a good number of players that are far better than the Reds have. Bellinger, Mancini, Hosmer, Barnhart et al have a bigger upside potential than Henry Ramos and Tayron Guerrero. Myers & Casilli are the Reds biggest off season moves and that’s not keeping them out of last place. So, Phil, out of it on opening day is a self-fulfilling prophecy. It didn’t have to be this way.

    • Jeff Burt

      Agree to a point but they could take a page out of the bengals play book. Sign guys to fill a hole or two and develop and draft for the future. The guys they sign can always be traded for even more young talent. What’s going to happen 4 years from now when green and lodolo are free agents they will get traded and we start again. There just is no plan and if the Astro plan was what they are doing I am all for it but stick with it and invest in it don’t half ass it which is what they will do based off of history

    • Redsvol

      We’re not really worried about Mancini, Hosmer and Barnhart are we? Boston wouldn’t even keep Hosmer for the league minimum (san diego paying his salary).

      Sure we haven’t done much this off-season but 20 other clubs haven’t either. Besides, I like the Will Myers & Curt Casali signings better than those 3.

      • LDS

        It’s not Mancini specifically. It’s the difference between a team that’s trying to improve and one that isn’t. The Reds are challenging the Pirates for last place and will likely succeed in their quest. There have been plenty of FAs that would have helped the Reds for years into the future and which costs less than Moustakas. The Reds continue to opt for rehab pickups that are cheap, e.g., Weaver instead of trying to shore up the team to compete in 2024 and beyond. Prospects aren’t going to get them there.

  26. Hotto4Votto

    What a moron Phil C is. I guess it’s good for him he’s a nepo baby. Good article Doug, succinctly puts into words the fanbase’s frustrations.

  27. Dan

    Serious question: What point was he trying to make with the “more and more teams are out of contention before opening day” slide?

    Is this the brain-dead “But everybody’s doing it” argument? Or is there more here that I’m not getting?

    • Old-school

      He is playing the victim card to an audience to gain sympathy and understanding and support for his narrative the Reds dont have a chance this season or last season because of small market status- like other similar markets and its a trend in MLB.

    • Doug Gray

      I would imagine it’s the “feel bad for us, the small market team, who it isn’t fair to”

      • Tom Mitsoff

        Exactly. You couldn’t have said that any better.

      • Dan

        Oy… thanks Doug. You’re probably right.

        What an entitled doofus.

      • DaveCT

        Phil’s only recourse has been and continues to be a troll, not to agents or others, but to the fans. Whether it’s ‘where are you gonna go?’ or ‘poor, poor pitiful me,’ Phil’s a troll.

  28. JB WV

    I despise this kind of privileged arrogance from someone who has never had to value a hard days work. The Castellini’s are ruining the Reds.

  29. Mark Moore

    I’ve been reading through the comments and story points. I’m in agreement with most that Phil’s voice is muddled because he doesn’t take the silver spoon out of his mouth. He’s a representative of a generational stereotype where Daddy “made him tough” and he’s got to show that to everybody. Frankly, he doesn’t know any better and may be past the point where he can learn. It’s pretty much the Peter Principle on display for all of us to watch. for me probably when it hit’s 50% off in June. Beyond that, it’s back to the days of being a fan where I get my information via sources other than watching the game. This forum will remain atop that list for me. Thanks Doug and everybody for giving voice to our pain. Lord knows Bob & Phil aren’t going to make it go away.

    • Colorado Red

      Have not decided if I get this year or not.
      Cut the cord, so I no longer watch the Rockies lose.
      Even though I get 30% off (as a vet). not sure.
      I have followed the Reds since 1970, so I still have my memories (while the gray matter lasts)

  30. tseramid

    “he was going to point out how there’s been an increase in teams being out of contention by Opening Day with a fancy slide that someone else probably made for him.”

    Thanks, Doug. The words “someone else probably made for him” caused me to fall out of my chair and now I have to go see a chiropractor. In reality — bravo. That was a spectacular line and great article.

  31. William

    Phil is good at opening his mouth and inserting his foot. He is the the owners’ spokesman.

    • TR

      Phil is a sign of the times: information, of no value, overload.

    • Mark Moore

      Phumblin’ Phil (I love that name now) NEVER puts his foot in his mouth. He just opens up and changes feet. 😀

  32. Michael B. Green

    The average PR consultant salary is $75k per year. If CIN cannot afford that salary to take the mic from Nepo-Man before he speaks and consult on what to say and what not to say, then somebody that cares about the Reds needs to form a team to buy a controlling interest in the Reds.

    When the Williams family was the face, we did not hear this. Krall does what he can to save face, but nobody cares because Phil just blows up any momentum when he speaks. Give him a toy mic that is not plugged into anything.

    I absolutely triple dog dare any MLB franchise to open their books to the public. I refuse to believe any team run half way normal can lose money in this sport, particularly with the guaranteed TV money and other sources of revenue.

    I think the City of Cincinnati would agree to renegotiate terms with a NEW ownership group and move some of the stadium operation costs to the public or the surrounding business owners IF ownership changed and Nepo-Man types of any kind fade away into the ether.

    Regardless, 2023 is a growth year. If Lodolo and Greene are all-stars and EDLC gets called up and shines, this team will look to contend in 2024.

    MLB needs to take a closer look at how this ownership is running the oldest franchise in baseball. They did not go along with nor have they honored anything that was agreed to in the CBA.

    • Old Big Ed

      “Give him a toy mic that is not plugged into anything.”


      • Mark Moore

        Like on an episode of The Andy Griffith Show to keep Barney Fife from singing … 😀

      • Melvin

        @ Concepcion – Yeah. His “glorious” voice coming through that “powerful” mic. hahaha Can never get enough of the classic Any Griffith Show and Barney Fife. It’s ageless. 🙂

  33. 2020ball

    Lol, exactly what ive come to expect from this terrible ownership group.

  34. Old Big Ed

    Well, let’s face it. Other than for a few years in the Barry Larkin era, this franchise hasn’t really been consistently good for 40+ years now. Since they fired Sparky Anderson after 1978, they have won as many as 92 games only twice, in 1999 and the very good 2012. To their credit, they are excellent in strike-shortened seasons, winning at .611 in 1981 (although it was a Pythagorean miracle), at .579 in 1994 and at .590 in 1995.

    They present ownership is bad, and probably the worst, but ownership has pretty much either been incompetent or indifferent for 40 years. While none of us like it, there is no real indication that the present ownership is going to sell the franchise anytime soon.

    The idea of giving Phumblin’ Phil a toy mic — not plugged in — is a good one. Guys worth hundreds of millions have no standing to complain about anything, ever. The Reds, Royals, A’s etc. are not entirely wrong in believing that intractable revenue disparities are a long-range industry problem. But publicly whining about it, especially to the Rosie Reds, does not sell tickets and does not convince the MLBPA to make changes that would benefit the rank-and-file union member.

    I have speculated before that Reds’ ownership panicked after 2021, due in part to concerns that the owner of Bally Sports would file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, reject some of the executory contracts like the one with the Reds and Padres, and thereby throw some chaos into the Reds’ revenue. That issue has not yet resolved itself, and it appears that MLB hopes that the tech giants — hungry for content — will bail them out.

  35. TXRedLeg

    I had to take a look at Phil’s background. Had to. His background info for his position of trustee of TriHealth informs us he got his degree from…Babson College with a BA in science, marketing, and “entrepreneurial studies,” and furthered his “entrepreneur” studies in University of Pittsburgh Semester at Sea program. I’ll save you click and tell you this is essentially sailing in a cruise ship and attending “classes.”
    To say this guy is out of touch and out of his league can go without saying. I’m so glad daddy took care of his future and made the world suffer his unfounded entrepreneurial ego.
    I’ll say something unpopular here, what the Reds are doing they learned from the Bengals. Mikey Brown lead the wave of owners that found out to make money with a pro team, you don’t need to be competitive, you just need a space at the trough. The bengals are where they are today by luck and circumstance – no one is more shocked by their success than Mikey Brown. I would imagine Mikey in private complains that success has led to him having to pay more taxes.

    • TR

      Quite a contrast between the offspring of the Reds and Bengals controlling owners where the daughter of Mike Brown has convinced him to spend some money on the offensive line to protect Joe Burrow. Wouldn’t it be nice if the son of Bob Castellini could convince him to spend some real money to support the Reds emerging young outstanding pitching.

      • jessecuster44

        Post edited

        Going to be the only warning….. you know, or should know that you can’t post that kind of comment here.

  36. Bill J

    We need more of Gary Burbank’s “Hunt for Reds October”.

  37. Rob

    I don’t know what the answer is. We are being asked to support a substandard, inferior product that is very poorly managed. There is no effort at improving the team and in fact, just the opposite. The better employees or players are let go for cheap, young prospects, several of who will not be MLB ready until 2025. Yet we still have 10,000 folks a game paying $75 a seat to watch Fraley, Dunn, Papierski, Barrero, etc. Or a used to be good cleanup hitter who bangs 14HRs and hits 220. I suspose some of it is “what else are you going to do?” Family entertainment likeKings Island. Or die hard fans who hope beyond hope. I think the only thing us fans who care about having a competitive product can do is continue to boycott this product and hope someone else buys the team or moves it out of town. The team has a legacy but no future as presently structured. Everybody continues to talk about next year. Do we realize how many real free agents will have to be brought in to make this an 85-90 win team? Probably 3-4-5 guys at $20M a piece. We really think that is in the plans for thisDecember?

    • David

      I think it is more than just the “Management” propaganda about being a small market team, and they reluctance to spend any money.

      I actually think that the Reds’ Top Management are kind of….dumb. No, really. They make poor decisions on a lot of subjects, and they put Phil Castellini out there to give this paltry explanation about why things are SO HARD for them.
      They treat the fans like they are all dummies, because…I think they are.

      Dick Williams (the younger) had some good ideas about fixing, not only the team on the field, but some other, broader organizational issues. Some of these were plainly obvious, when they were revealed to us dumb fans.
      How does this crap go on, year after year? Well, “Top Management” is lazy and not too bright. That’s how. It’s easy to mock Phil Castellini; it’s like he came from central casting as the entitled rich kid who was born on third base and thinks he hit a home run. It’s not just him, it’s all of them.
      And…I think this hope of getting New Management is just wishful thinking. Who, out there, has the kind of money (in Cincinnati) to buy into this floating crap game?
      And when any of the ownership “family” sell their share, they will walk away with a lot of money in their pocket. Even a lousy, losing franchise like the Reds is still worth (in total) nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS! (pinky in front tooth).

      • Doug Gray

        To clear things up, the Reds aren’t worth “nearly one billion dollars”, they are worth hundreds of millions more than one billion dollars.

  38. Rob

    Rooting for this team is fine. Supporting this team is counter productive. But I have no right to impose my opinions on others.

    After the trade deadline, we were like 15-20 games under 500 in just 2 months! That equates to something like 50 games under in the course of a season. 56-106. Studs like Minor, Andersen, Friedl, Papierski, Barrero, Robinson, and Fairchild in lieu of Luis, Tyler, Pham, Naquin, and Drury. No, I don’t expect that this year because injuries to contributors like Antone, Sims, and Stephenson should logically be significantly reduced. But I could see something like 65-97. Which Krall has labeled as “unacceptable”. So my question is why should we expect this year’s team to be any better? We have 3 promising young pitchers who won like 16 games between them. Primarily because of no offense. And sorry, I don’t see who is going to replace the HRs of Drury, Pham, and Naquin. And Farmer. Senzel? Fraley? Steer? Heck, we are not even sure these guys are not going to be showing their stuff at Louisville.