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Cincinnati Reds fans call for team to be sold following worst start to season in franchise history.
After getting blown out on Sunday, the Cincinnati Reds are 3-19 to start the season.
It’s officially the worst start in franchise history, and fans have had enough.
On Sunday, #SellTheTeamBob trended on Twitter, as fans called for Bob Castellini to let go of a team he clearly has no intention of building into a contender. One account is advertising t-shirts with the owner’s face wearing a clown nose, while another said that getting stung by a wasp on Sunday was “a better experience than watching the Reds.”
While Castellini has the endorsement of franchise legend Johnny Bench, who called said the owner’s “passion is second to none,” the organization’s actions speak louder than any words of support. When MLB lifted the lockout in early March, the Reds traded away LHP Amir Garrett, Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker, and Sonny Gray.
The Reds also let star slugger Nick Castellanos walk right into the open arms of the Philadelphia Phillies, despite his agent, Scott Boras, calling Castellini directly about negotiating a deal to stay. Understandably, Castellanos didn’t mince words last month, saying Reds ownership was using the club “as profit,” and that their “impeccable fans were “suffocating because of ownership.”
“At the end of the day, baseball comes down to ownership. The owner either wants to invest, and cares about winning, or doesn’t. So it speaks a lot to who he is,” Castellanos said.
Castellini’s son Phil, who is also the Reds’ president, hasn’t helped the situation with his comments firing back at fans begging for the team to be sold:
“Well, where are you going to go? Sell the team to who? That’s the other thing: You want to have this debate? …. What would you do with this team to have it more profitable, make more money, compete more in the current economic system that this game exist? It would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. Be careful what you ask for.”
The new Collective Bargaining Agreement has protocols in place to discourage tanking, but given their historically-bad record, the Reds don’t seem particularly concerned or motivated. Their -56 run-differential is the worst in MLB and they’re currently on pace to win 24 games this year, which would be the worst season by any team in the modern era (since 1900.) That dishonor currently belongs to the 1916 and 1919 Philadelphia Athletics, who went 36-117 twice.
It’s one thing to try and fail. It’s another thing not to try at all.