Reds president apologizes after comments about unhappy fans

Credit: David Jablonski

Credit: David Jablonski

Phil Castellini draws criticism after radio interview

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati Reds President Phil Castellini apologized to fans Tuesday night after comments he made earlier in the day on 700 WLW radio.

In a wide-ranging interview before the home opener against the Cleveland Guardians at Great American Ball Park, Castellini was asked about fans frustrated by the team’s cost-cutting moves in the offseason. A “SellTheTeamBob” hashtag, which references Phil’s dad Bob Castellini, has become popular on social media and even appeared on a billboard.

“Well, where are you going to go?” Phil said in the radio interview. “Let’s start there. I mean, sell the team to who? That’s the other thing. You want to have this debate? If you want to look at what would you do with this team to have it be more profitable, make more money, compete more in the current economic system that this game exists (in), it would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. And so be careful what you ask for. I think we’re doing the best we can do with the resources that we have. We’re no more pleased with the results than the fans. I’m not sitting here saying anybody should be happy.”

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Bob Castellini became majority owner of the Reds in 2006. The Reds have made four playoff appearances in the 16 seasons since but have not won a playoff series since 1995.

“I want to make a promise to Reds fans, a promise from one Reds fan to another,” Bob said in 2006. “We will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati. This is just our first day on the job. From this moment forward, we will work toward that dream and not rest until we exceed the expectations of our fans and we will bring championship baseball back to Cincinnati.”

After the Reds lost 10-5 to the Guardians, the Reds released Phil Castellini’s statement of apology.

“I apologize to Reds fans and regret the comments that I made earlier today,” it read. “We love this city, we love this team, and we love our fans. I understand how our fans feel and I am sorry.”

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