Nick Castellanos Fires Direct Shot at Cincinnati Reds Ownership

The majority of headlines around the MLB this week have been about a mediocre team: the Cincinnati Reds.

Following a joke of an offseason in which the Reds got rid of numerous star players, team president Phil Castellini – also the son of owner Bob Castellini – challenged Cincy’s fans. He essentially mocked their knowledge of baseball’s economic climate and claimed that moving the team would be the only way for it to become more profitable.

Coincidentally enough, former Reds player Nick Castellanos spoke out about Cincinnati’s ownership this week. It wasn’t in response to Castellini’s comments but rather just perfect timing.

His message was clear: Reds fans simply deserve better.

Nick Castellanos fired a shot at Reds ownership

Former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos, who recently called out the team's ownership.
Former Cincinnati Reds player Nick Castellanos during a game against the Philadelphia Phillies on June 28, 2021. | Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Nick Castellanos quickly became a fan favorite in Cincinnati. After a 2020 season that was shortened by COVID-19 (but saw the team make the playoffs for the first time since 2013), Castellanos had a tremendous year in 2021.

The outfielder earned his first-ever All-Star selection with a .309 batting average, 34 home runs, and 100 RBIs. He also displayed his confident and endearing personality on a nightly basis, and he and his family embraced the team’s fan base.

So, after Castellanos opted out of the final two years of his contract this offseason, Reds supporters, obviously, wanted him back in the Queen City. However, the team essentially refused to pay him the money he deserved.

The 30-year-old then signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

It was one of many questionable decisions the Reds made this offseason. They traded Gold Glove catcher Tucker Barnhart, All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker, former All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suarez, and starting pitcher Sonny Gray. The Reds also refused to pick up the option on starting pitcher Wade Miley’s contract.

They went from a fringe playoff team to a National League laughingstock.

“It’s just a classic example of ownership using organizations as profit,” Castellanos recently said to ESPN. “When … there are no consequences for losing, you’re not held accountable for your performance.”

He then essentially said that fans deserve better than what ownership has given them.

“What sucks is in a great city like Cincinnati where the fan base is impeccable, it’s suffocating,” he added, per ESPN, “because of ownership. I’m not saying that they are bad people. The system is bad.”

Cincinnati Reds ownership should be ashamed of itself

The Reds haven’t won a playoff series since 1995. Bob Castellini became owner in 2006, but Cincinnati has only had five winning seasons and four playoff appearances during that time.

In light of the team’s ridiculous offseason moves, fans have been calling for the Castellini family to sell the team. But instead of trying to win the die-hard supporters back over, Phil Castellini challenged the fan base before the Reds’ home-opener this week.

“Well, where you gonna go? Let’s start there. Sell the team to who?” he said to 700 WLW “… If you want to have this debate, if you wanna 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, it would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. So, be careful what you ask for.”

Phil has since apologized, but the damage is already done.

Reds fans want a winner, and the Castellini family will never give them that. They deserve players like Nick Castellanos and Jesse Winker, but are instead getting Tommy Pham and Jake Fraley.

Castellanos was right to blast ownership, and hopefully, more former Reds players will follow suit. It’s time to push the Castellini family out of Cincinnati.

Stats courtesy of Baseball Reference

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