2011 Reds

On Bob Castellini

I’m not sure any Cincinnati baseball fan can question Bob Castellini’s commitment as owner of the Redlegs. The Fayman has a pretty good piece here about Castellini, and his first promise:

It was just over four years ago that Bob Castellini famously promised to bring a championship baseball back to Cincinnati. It was Castellini first public act as the new owner.

It was the smart thing to say. But it was greeted with a healthy dose of skepticism.

After all, what else can a new owner say?

But what Castellini has done over the last several weeks should prove he’s willing to back his words with his wallet.

The Reds have quietly spent more money this offseason than they ever have in their history. They’ve handed out $151 million in long-term contracts.

The moves haven’t made big national headlines because all of the contracts went to players currently on the roster and none have set any records.

“It’s a huge commitment,” general manager Walt Jocketty said.

It’s a huge commitment indeed and, other than the ill-advised (says my head, not my heart) extension handed out to Bronson Arroyo, all that money made good baseball/business sense. Castellini has been at the helm as a ship that had been drifting for a decade was finally set back on course. He deserves immense credit for leading this resurgence, and getting the right baseball people in the right places.

Fun time to be a Reds fan, isn’t it?

15 thoughts on “On Bob Castellini

  1. From a baseball/business sense, I don’t think this winter’s moves were all that great. While they at least got a year free agency from Bruce and Cueto, they essentially bought high on all three guys (Votto being the third), without any need to do so.

    There just wasn’t any NEED to buy out arb years.

  2. I agree . As a lifelong Reds fan I would like to thank Mr. Castellini for all his efforts. We as Reds fans are very lucky indeed to have him as the Reds owner. I hope the fans will realize this coming season all the positives that have happened within this franchise the last four years and show up at the ballpark in droves !

  3. Good point. This will all go for naught if the fans don’t show up. Still, it seems Mr. C understands that growing the farm system is the key to maintaining consistency in a competitive climate.

  4. I’ll be honest, I don’t expect attendance to increase all that much….I hope it does and I’m planning on going down more. But driving 45 minutes each way, finding a place to park, walk to the park, etc, etc, etc…

    Or turn on my tv and sit in my chair and watch the game and not get to bed late, etc…?

    Which way do you think most people will go? I think having so many games on tv REALLY hurts attendance.

    • I’ll be honest, I don’t expect attendance to increase all that much….I hope it does and I’m planning on going down more. But driving 45 minutes each way, finding a place to park, walk to the park, etc, etc, etc…Or turn on my tv and sit in my chair and watch the game and not get to bed late, etc…?Which way do you think most people will go? I think having so many games on tv REALLY hurts attendance.

      I’ve only been in GABP once. Period. But in this day and age, fan response and dollars are measured in a lot of ways besides rear ends in the seats. Watching from home, buying merchandise, thanking advertisers, and even following on Twitter 🙄 are counted in the big picture.

      • I’ve only been in GABP once.Period.But in this day and age, fan response and dollars are measured in a lot of ways besides rear ends in the seats.Watching from home, buying merchandise, thanking advertisers, and even following on Twitter are counted in the big picture.

        But most of the things you mention don’t put $$ in the bottom line…which is the problem.

  5. I have to agree with Bill. Local fans, or even fans within an hour or so radius of Cincinnati would be crazy to attend a lot of games when a majority of games are televised. Id would assume most fans outside of that hour radius probably treat going to games similar to me. I live 4 hours away and try to make 2-4 trips to Cincinnati every season, managing to take in anywhere from 4-8 home games a year. I’m not in the Cincinnati viewing area and pay the $200 or so for MLB Extra Innings.

    I have learned as I have gotten older, it is hard to beat the comfort of my own seat, refrigerator, bathroom etc… when it comes to viewing any sporting event.

  6. I somewhat agree with Chris G. I would grade the offseason signings as…

    Bruce: A
    Cueto: B-
    Votto: C+
    Arroyo: C-

    The reasons behind the grades have already been hashed out in previous posts. Point is, far from earth shattering. I do like the willingness to spend, but as the article points out, any one of them can become an albatross if things don’t work out as planned.

  7. To me a ‘happy’ player is a better player. All those signed this offseason know the team wants them and is willing to avoid the yearly go around of haggling over a contract each year. It also provides stability in that Walt now knows what the base payroll will be over the next 3-4 season. To me this is a strong building block of becoming the NL version of the Minn Twins.

    • To me a ‘happy’ player is a better player.

      Eric Milton was pretty happy as a Red.

  8. Rockies Sign Willy Taveras…………….. 😀 😀 Glad to see Willy T. won’t be invited to Reds Spring Training this year! :mrgreen:

  9. @dn4192: Or players can take the Adrian Beltre approach, e.g. only play well when they’re in a contract year.

  10. @dn4192: This is a good point, at least about these players. Rob Dibble (who isn’t always wrong) said the most stressful period in a player’s career is when he’s young and doesn’t know how long he’s going to be around or how much he’s going to be paid the follwoing year.

    Right now Bruce, Cueto, and Votto can all focus on baseball.

    I don’t understand how anyone can knock the Bruce deal. I also like the Cueto deal. And I prefer the Votto deal to going to arbitration with him 3 years in a row.

  11. I’m a fan of Castellini’s. I had a good feeling about him from the start. It’s good to have a passionate owner who’s been a lifelong fan of the team. He and I are about the same age, and as kids both went to bed listening to Reds games with a radio under the blanket, so our parents couldn’t hear. (Bob tells a story where this led to a fire one nite.)

  12. 1 – attendence will go up because I expect that the season ticket base will be larger in 2011 than it was in 2010.

    An interesting article on the Brewers 3 days after they traded for Zack Greinke. In those 1st 3 days, they sold 1500 season tickets. Up to that point (Dec 19) they had added only 400 season ticket holders. So, Greinke makes $15 million+ the next couple of years. In 3 days of ticket sales alone (assuming avg $tix of $25-30) he added $3M-$3.5 to the clubs bottom line. And that doesn’t include concessions and merchandising.

    They obviously didn’t add a Greinke this year, but I would expect a pretty hefty boost from their 2010 season performance and expectations for 2011.

    2 – IMHO 145 games on TV helps attendence more than it hurts it. I don’t see how having their product out there to a wide audience for all their games hurts attendence. I understand the stay at home vs go to the ballpark, but I think that it is advertising/marketing for their club. The club won last year. They have likeable talent that they have marketed well, and have locked up to long-term deals. You are quite likely to see a good pitcher and a good pitching performance if you are from out of town and plan a trip to Cincinnati around a future Reds game.

    I’m like Chris W. I live 2+ hours away, and I can’t just pick up and go to a game after work. If they weren’t on TV, I’d see fewer games – it wouldn’t coerce me to go to the ballpark more frequently.

    3 – If TV viewership stays high (they had record audiences last year) that increases their TV/advertising revenue.

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