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timmario66
11-02-2005, 05:02 PM
http://news.enquirer.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051102/SPT04/51102012

Joseph
11-02-2005, 05:05 PM
Castellini group expected to buy majority stake in Reds

By Cliff Peale, John Erardi and John Fay
Enquirer staff writers

An ownership group led by local businessman Robert Castellini is expected to buy a majority stake in the Cincinnati Reds and will likely assume operating control of the team, sources said today.

The team is expected to issue a press release at 4 p.m.

Under terms of the agreement, it’s believed that Reds owner Carl Lindner will give up control of the team.

Castellini, 64, is the president of Castellini Co., a fruit and vegetable wholesaler, and has ties to baseball. He is part of the St. Louis Cardinals’ ownership group headed by Cincinnatian Bill DeWitt, who is that team’s chairman. Castellini and DeWitt previously invested in the Baltimore Orioles.

Sources say brothers Thomas L. and W. Joseph Williams are in Castellini’s ownership group. Tom Williams is the president of North American Properties, which is headquartered in Cincinnati. Joseph Williams is the chairman.

North American Properties has offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Ft. Myers and Minneapolis.

It was started in 1954 by William J. Williams, who owned the Reds with his brother James from 1980-84.

Three minority owners of the team put shares totalling 51.5 percent up for sale on March 8. That consortium included the Louise Dieterle Nippert Trust, local investor George Strike, and a subsidiary of Gannett Co., which owns The Enquirer.

Although more than 50 percent of the team went up for sale, owner Carl Lindner is “CEO for life” of the Reds, per his ownership agreement. Lindner owns 37.5 percent of the club.

Lindner has first right to match any offer for the shares on sale, along with William Reik, an investment manager in New York who controls about 11 percent of the team. A source today said Reik will retain that percentage of ownership in the team. It’s not known whether Lindner will keep his share of the team.

Assuming an agreement is reached with the Castellini group and a contract is signed, the next step in the deal requires approval by Major League Baseball owners.

While the sale would end the mystery of who controls the Reds, only time will tell the answer to this question: How much money will the new owners spend on the Reds, and what is the status of chief operating officer John Allen, general manager Dan O’Brien, and manager Jerry Narron.

O’Brien and Narron each have one year remaining on their contracts.

In 2005, the Reds’ payroll was just under $62 million. Although that represented a $16 million increase over 2004’s payroll, the returns were modest. The team finished 73-89, good for fifth place in the six-team National Central League Division. Cincinnati has not had a winning season since 2000. It’s the longest losing streak since the team endured 11 straight losing seasons, from 1945-55.

By way of comparison, the New York Yankees’ payroll last year was the highest in the league at $208,306,817. The World Champion Chicago White Sox’s payroll was just over $75 million.

Tom Williams became president of North American Properties in 1991. He was a lawyer at the law firm of Frost & Jacobs, has a bachelor of arts degree from Georgetown University, and a law degree from the University of Cincinnati.

Joe Williams has a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University. The brothers were also part of the Cardinals ownership group.

Joseph
11-02-2005, 05:07 PM
I don't know what to say. It's another local guy, and while I don't know if that's necessarily bad, it gives me the immediate negative vibe. Hopefully they'll dispell that vibe swiftly though with mass firings of current FO people.

savafan
11-02-2005, 05:08 PM
Being part of the Cardinals' ownership group can't be a bad thing, can it?

paintmered
11-02-2005, 05:09 PM
Let the firings begin!

westofyou
11-02-2005, 05:11 PM
It's another local guy,
If IIRC the Reds haven't been owned by a non local owner since John Brush owned the team in the 1890's and early 20th century, and he was in Indy.

Joseph
11-02-2005, 05:15 PM
If IIRC the Reds haven't been owned by a non local owner since John Brush owned the team in the 1890's and early 20th century, and he was in Indy.

You may well be correct, I haven't gone researching it myself. My reasoning for my statement is that there is obviously the room to now say the best option wasn't chosen because Lindner etal pushed for local rather than best. I don't know that is the case, just saying this choice leaves that speculation open. I hope they are the best choice and turn things around and build something here. I hope no one took my comments as intentionally negative, because I'm glad the news is out finally.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 05:16 PM
This is GREAT NEWS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i like the fact they are local. i wanted it, i just didnt want it at the expence of a better option. i like the fact that they were part of the cardinal organization. hopefully, even though just owners, they share and bring the same views of how to RUN a team from top to bottom.

im pissed its only minor ownership and lindner didnt sell his shares. hopefully in time he will. i like that he gave up control, but thats just words. ill believe it when i see it

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:17 PM
Let the firings begin!I would be happy for the Reds and it would certainly signal to the fans that

"business as usual"

will not be tolerated.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 05:17 PM
You may well be correct, I haven't gone researching it myself. My reasoning for my statement is that there is obviously the room to now say the best option wasn't chosen because Lindner etal pushed for local rather than best. I don't know that is the case, just saying this choice leaves that speculation open. I hope they are the best choice and turn things around and build something here. I hope no one took my comments as intentionally negative, because I'm glad the news is out finally.
i agree, and we dont know all options. but I THINK this was the best option of the ones i know of

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 05:18 PM
I would be happy for the Reds and it would certainly signal to the fans that

"business as usual"

will not be tolerated.
one can only hope. every front office guy should get the axe. anyone who had decision making powers, gone. scouts, gone. minor league guys, gone.

can you tell i dont like who is here anywhere ;)

Strikes Out Looking
11-02-2005, 05:23 PM
Before they were part owners of the Cardinals, the Castellini's were minority owners of the Orioles. This was around the time Camden Yards was built. They sold out to Angelos shortly after or during the strike (1995). The O's were a good time back then.

This is great news, not just because they are local, but because they have experience with franchises that know what to do to put a good product on the field. I don't think they'll put up with the nonsense that has gone on at the Great American Ballpark for the last few years, Linder or no Linder.

westofyou
11-02-2005, 05:25 PM
You may well be correct, I haven't gone researching it myself. My reasoning for my statement is that there is obviously the room to now say the best option wasn't chosen because Lindner etal pushed for local rather than best. I don't know that is the case, just saying this choice leaves that speculation open. I hope they are the best choice and turn things around and build something here. I hope no one took my comments as intentionally negative, because I'm glad the news is out finally.
I think it goes

Stearns
Brush
Flieschmen/Herrmann Machine
Weil
Central Trust Bank
Crosley
DeWitt
Dale
Williams Bros
Marge
Lindner

Neo
11-02-2005, 05:29 PM
Well, it's 4:28 pm...

Redsland
11-02-2005, 05:32 PM
Out with the banana man, in with the vegetable man.

:dancingco

creek14
11-02-2005, 05:39 PM
:evil: Maybe he'll bring Tony along :evil:

timmario66
11-02-2005, 05:39 PM
Press Release:

From the Reds:

The Cincinnati Reds, LLC, the entity which owns the Cincinnati Reds Major League Baseball franchise, today announced that its owners intend to sell a controlling interest in the Club to a group of Cincinnatians led by Robert H. Castellini, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Castellini Company. Other members of the purchasing group include Thomas L. Williams and William J. Williams, Jr., President and Chairman, respectively, of Cincinnati-based North American Properties. The purchase price of the interests sold will be based on an enterprise value for the Club of approximately $270 million. Upon consummation of the transaction, it is expected that Mr. Castellini will become the CEO of the Reds.
Several of the existing owners, including Reds’ Chief Executive Officer Carl H. Lindner, George L. Strike, and William J. Reik, Jr., intend to retain an interest in the Club. The owners of the Club who intend to sell all their current interests are Great American Insurance Company and a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc.
Mr. Castellini stated that, "Carl has meant so much to the Reds and the City of Cincinnati. As such, we are thrilled that he has agreed to continue his association with the Club as a significant partner in our ownership group. I look forward to finalizing the agreement and submitting our group for MLB approval in the very near future as we are very excited about this opportunity and are eager to get started on the work ahead."

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:42 PM
"Fire 'em all, Fire 'em all, the long and the short and the tall."

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:46 PM
"Fire all the GMs and the CFO ones, Fire all scouts and their blinking sons"

CincyRedsFan30
11-02-2005, 05:47 PM
I especially liked this part of the press release:


"...we are very excited about this opportunity and are eager to get started on the work ahead."

At least initially, he sounds interested, yet also seems to understand that our resident COO/GM must go. At least that's what I'm hoping he means when he says that there is work ahead. ;)

Milezinni
11-02-2005, 05:47 PM
I too am excited to hear the the Reds org will have a new owner. Very excited.


But, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high for 2006. I would imagine that Castellini and Co (if approved by MLB) will probably stand pat, and just evaluate the organization for 06 with changes to be made in 07.

Narron, Allen and O'Brien do have contracts.

Just a hunch though....

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:48 PM
"For we're saying good-bye to them all as back to GABP we crawl"

creek14
11-02-2005, 05:48 PM
Great. Woohoo. Blah blah blah. We were all twitterpatted when Jimbo got the boot and look where that got us.

I'm not running naked though the streets of Beavercreek until I see some action.

Unassisted
11-02-2005, 05:48 PM
I'm just utterly underwhelmed. What a great victory for the status quo. :sleep:

The team was in no real danger of moving, so I hope that other out-of-town offers weren't pushed aside in favor of the local crew. The Lindner and Castellini families probably belong to the same country club, go to all of the same charity balls and swap hoary stories about the produce industry. Thus, it seems unlikely there will be much boat-rocking from the new majority partner.

OTOH, maybe we can look forward to more vegetable fare at GABP concession stands in seasons to come?

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:52 PM
I'm not running naked though the streets of Beavercreek until I see some action.DanO might just fire himself for that.

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:53 PM
Thus, it seems unlikely there will be much boat-rocking from the new majority partner. we can always dream.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 05:53 PM
I too am excited to hear the the Reds org will have a new owner. Very excited.


But, I wouldn't get my hopes up too high for 2006. I would imagine that Castellini and Co (if approved by MLB) will probably stand pat, and just evaluate the organization for 06 with changes to be made in 07.

Narron, Allen and O'Brien do have contracts.

Just a hunch though....

i think thats a good thing though. is anybody left now that we would want. i think you want to have the shot at all available parties when filling a spot. we wouldnt have the shot at doing that now. as for ceo, he can go now

M2
11-02-2005, 05:54 PM
I'm not running naked though the streets of Beavercreek until I see some action.

Well, so much for local tourism.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 05:54 PM
I'm just utterly underwhelmed. What a great victory for the status quo. :sleep:

The team was in no real danger of moving, so I hope that other out-of-town offers weren't pushed aside in favor of the local crew. The Lindner and Castellini families probably belong to the same country club, go to all of the same charity balls and swap hoary stories about the produce industry. Thus, it seems unlikely there will be much boat-rocking from the new majority partner.

OTOH, maybe we can look forward to more vegetable fare at GABP concession stands in seasons to come?
i feel sorry for you

flyer85
11-02-2005, 05:55 PM
Well, so much for local tourism.... everyone will forget about the stolen beavers.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 05:56 PM
too bad this didnt happen a few years ago and we could have built a field thats closer to the quality of baltimore's and st. louis' and not the one we got

Unassisted
11-02-2005, 06:03 PM
i feel sorry for youHow many 64 year-olds do you know who would be inclined to light a fire under a moribund franchise? I really don't think bringing this group in is likely to help the situation at all. I would bet that the number of rounds of golf he's played with Uncle Carl is higher than the number of Reds games he's attended.

RFS62
11-02-2005, 06:14 PM
Why would anyone sign up for this cruise if they thought things couldn't be improved?

M2
11-02-2005, 06:21 PM
Why would anyone sign up for this cruise if they thought things couldn't be improved?

It doesn't make sense to me either, but then I remind myself that I've got next to nothing in common with guys like this.

Roy Tucker
11-02-2005, 06:27 PM
Why would anyone sign up for this cruise if they thought things couldn't be improved?
It smells of Mr. Lindner getting old and wanting to pass the team on to someone in the circle of trust.

I'll be pleasantly surprised if he makes FO changes before the 2006 season.

I won't be shocked if no changes are made and the status remains quo.

KronoRed
11-02-2005, 06:43 PM
Why would anyone sign up for this cruise if they thought things couldn't be improved?
Profit to be made, as a new owner he'll get a clean slate with the fans.

Chip R
11-02-2005, 06:59 PM
:evil: Maybe he'll bring Tony along :evil:

You just want to get negged, don't you? ;)

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 07:05 PM
how many other potential owners have experience with not one, but two other franchises? answer, i bet none. not to mention, both were successfull while he was there.


second, why is everyone saying that this is lindner passing on the team to another local? last i checked lindner still owns his stake. last i checked, it was not lindner selling anything, it was other people. it was the other peoples DECISION to sell to this guy, not carls

Falls City Beer
11-02-2005, 07:07 PM
I'm just utterly underwhelmed. What a great victory for the status quo. :sleep:

The team was in no real danger of moving, so I hope that other out-of-town offers weren't pushed aside in favor of the local crew. The Lindner and Castellini families probably belong to the same country club, go to all of the same charity balls and swap hoary stories about the produce industry. Thus, it seems unlikely there will be much boat-rocking from the new majority partner.

OTOH, maybe we can look forward to more vegetable fare at GABP concession stands in seasons to come?


My take precisely.

"Dream small."

BTW, this has to be one of the funniest things written on this site in a long time: "[they] go to all of the same charity balls and swap hoary stories about the produce industry." Choice.

Newport Red
11-02-2005, 07:10 PM
I'm just utterly underwhelmed. What a great victory for the status quo. :sleep:

The team was in no real danger of moving, so I hope that other out-of-town offers weren't pushed aside in favor of the local crew. The Lindner and Castellini families probably belong to the same country club, go to all of the same charity balls and swap hoary stories about the produce industry. Thus, it seems unlikely there will be much boat-rocking from the new majority partner.

OTOH, maybe we can look forward to more vegetable fare at GABP concession stands in seasons to come?

I can see your point, but I think could have bought the 51.5% shares and waited until Carl passed to get the others if he wanted status quo.

I think he wanted those controlling shares for a reason.

cumberlandreds
11-02-2005, 07:31 PM
I think being a part of the Cardinals and the early 90's version of the Orioles isn't all bad. I'm cautiously optimistic about this new ownership group. But don't expect any major changes until the end of next season especially if it was like the last two seasons. Then it will be "Good-bye DanO,Good-bye John and Good bye Jerry. Don't let door hit you where the good lord split you." ;)

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 07:33 PM
I think being a part of the Cardinals and the early 90's version of the Orioles isn't all bad. I'm cautiously optimistic about this new ownership group. But don't expect any major changes until the end of next season especially if it was like the last two seasons. Then it will be "Good-bye DanO,Good-bye John and Good bye Jerry. Don't let door hit you where the good lord split you." ;)
and to me, that isnt bad, though these pessimistic reds fans will whine every day about it. cause they see bad in anything. the fact is, the new owners have to determine if there is anyone out there that they want. no reason to settle for a bad guy just to get it done now. when you could get who you want next year. also, im sure they will want time to review everything in person

CrackerJack
11-02-2005, 07:35 PM
So, is Theo up for a real challenge or just inheriting more high priced talent and buying the most expensive FA's? :)

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 07:40 PM
just said there will be more owners than the 3 mentioned. and they will own 70-80% of the team

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 07:43 PM
said people say he is very passionate about the reds and very knowledgable

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 07:44 PM
doherty with a man crush of the broadway guys, ok, whats his handle on here

wheels
11-02-2005, 07:47 PM
doherty with a man crush of the broadway guys, ok, whats his handle on here

What are you talking about?

M2
11-02-2005, 07:47 PM
doherty with a man crush of the broadway guys

Can't blame him. They were as far away as you could have gotten from the current regime. What we're hoping for now, perhaps even against hope, is that the similarities between this new ownership and the old are only superficial.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 07:53 PM
Can't blame him. They were as far away as you could have gotten from the current regime. What we're hoping for now, perhaps even against hope, is that the similarities between this new ownership and the old are only superficial.
i agree, but how does what they want to do as far as marketing show what they know about running a baseball team. for all we know we could have the cast of cats as our starting 8 :) people can say what they want, but the new owners come from experience, and WINNING experience as their background

Chip R
11-02-2005, 07:57 PM
and to me, that isnt bad, though these pessimistic reds fans will whine every day about it. cause they see bad in anything. the fact is, the new owners have to determine if there is anyone out there that they want. no reason to settle for a bad guy just to get it done now. when you could get who you want next year. also, im sure they will want time to review everything in person

I'm an optimist by nature but I think a lot of people on here would have been happy with anyone else as long as it wasn't Lindner. I think someone who wasn't a local person would have been better. We have problems on the baseball side of operations but there are also huge problems with the marketing and PR side of the Reds. A local owner probably doesn't believe anything is wrong in that area and won't make any significant changes. It's not that they are bad or evil for not seeing that it's just they probably don't know any better. For all we know these new guys just want to buy the team just so they can brag about it to the boys at the country club and to get a tax break. I'd like someone who has "seen the world" so to speak and realizes that the status quo - both in baseball and marketing - isn't going to cut it.

M2
11-02-2005, 07:58 PM
i agree, but how does what they want to do as far as marketing show what they know about running a baseball team. for all we know we could have the cast of cats as our starting 8 :) people can say what they want, but the new owners come from experience, and WINNING experience as their background

That's the hope. The question is were they involved with the operation or did they just sip highballs in the luxury boxes? The Broadway guys were guaranteed to eliminate the worst case scenario, namely status quo. These guys aren't.

I'm glad to see the change even if these guys are just more of the same. At least for one month or so until the deal gets finalized I've got hope.

oregonred
11-02-2005, 08:06 PM
Why would anyone sign up for this cruise if they thought things couldn't be improved?

Insert Minnesota Vikings joke here _____________________________

MWM
11-02-2005, 08:22 PM
Why would anyone sign up for this cruise if they thought things couldn't be improved?

Of course the WANT to improve the situation. That's common sense. I'm sure whoever is buying the team will want to improve. I only hope they have the competence to do so. Desire does not equate to ability. Let's hope the new regime has both.

REDREAD
11-02-2005, 08:43 PM
If the new owners fire John Allen and only retain DanO for at most one more year, there's hope for the future.

As long as Allen was running the team, we were guaranteed to not contend.

I know this is a bad thing to say, but I can't possibly see how it could get much worse. We're living off the offense that Bowden brought in and developed. At least with new ownership, we have a hope that the current regime will be replaced with someone with a clue. With Allen/Lindner there was no such hope. Allen thinks DanO is doing a good job. On the status quo path, the current offense gets too old/expensive within 2-3 years and we have basically zero talent.

At least with a new owner, there's hope. That's all we can ask for at this point. I'm going to give the new owner a fair shake before declaring this a bad day. How can it get any worse? We've been laughingstocks of the league since 2001, and the farm has meager talent.

MWM
11-02-2005, 08:51 PM
Retain DanO? Are you serious?

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 09:21 PM
I'm an optimist by nature but I think a lot of people on here would have been happy with anyone else as long as it wasn't Lindner. I think someone who wasn't a local person would have been better. We have problems on the baseball side of operations but there are also huge problems with the marketing and PR side of the Reds. A local owner probably doesn't believe anything is wrong in that area and won't make any significant changes. It's not that they are bad or evil for not seeing that it's just they probably don't know any better. For all we know these new guys just want to buy the team just so they can brag about it to the boys at the country club and to get a tax break. I'd like someone who has "seen the world" so to speak and realizes that the status quo - both in baseball and marketing - isn't going to cut it.
dont you think they will, since they were owners of another team, in another state, that was successful. i would agree if it was just a rich man in cincy. but these guys were owners of another franchise.

oregonred
11-02-2005, 09:22 PM
Retain DanO? Are you serious?

That kind of comment is about as popular around here as airmailing a bird flu package onto the Mayo Clinic.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 09:22 PM
Retain DanO? Are you serious?
im sure he is, as am i. like i said in another thread. you dont just hire someone cause he is available to be able to do it now. if you have to wait a year for guys to become available you do. id rather spend one more year with dano to get the right guy then to get a horrible guy just so we can fire dano now

KronoRed
11-02-2005, 09:29 PM
Looking around the avalible GM's I don't see how next year will be a better time to hire one.

Shaknb8k
11-02-2005, 10:19 PM
It would be nice to see the new owners to hit the ground running and get rid of Allen and O'Brien but im not sure that will happen. But if they just give the Pepsi Squad their pink slips then that will hold me over untill the 2006 offseason for some major changes.

Topcat
11-02-2005, 10:19 PM
Compared the marge and uncle carl how is this not to be looked at in an optimistic way?

M2
11-02-2005, 10:26 PM
im sure he is, as am i. like i said in another thread. you dont just hire someone cause he is available to be able to do it now. if you have to wait a year for guys to become available you do. id rather spend one more year with dano to get the right guy then to get a horrible guy just so we can fire dano now

If the new ownership knows what it's doing, it should have that new GM lined up to go the day MLB puts a stamp on the sale.

And it's not like no one's available in early December. It's an industry standard that assistant GMs get to interview for GM openings. If the new regime knows what it's doing it won't hire "a horrible guy," it will find someone competent and put the DanO era to a merciful end.

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 10:34 PM
Looking around the avalible GM's I don't see how next year will be a better time to hire one.
and who thought theo, depodesta would be out. towers would be switching teams, etc

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 10:35 PM
If the new ownership knows what it's doing, it should have that new GM lined up to go the day MLB puts a stamp on the sale.

And it's not like no one's available in early December. It's an industry standard that assistant GMs get to interview for GM openings. If the new regime knows what it's doing it won't hire "a horrible guy," it will find someone competent and put the DanO era to a merciful end.
so you just want a competant assistant gm? not me

westofyou
11-02-2005, 10:35 PM
and who thought theo, depodesta would be out. towers would be switching teams, etcBut you also thought that the St. Louis group was never going to happen.;)

RDriesen16
11-02-2005, 10:42 PM
But you also thought that the St. Louis group was never going to happen.;)
which proves pigs can fly. but you know what, it happened because i was the minority. most wanted the dancin girly men ;)

M2
11-02-2005, 11:05 PM
so you just want a competant assistant gm? not me

I want someone who can enact a plan to get this team on the right track and I'm not so myopic as to think there's only two or three people capable of doing that on this entire planet. I don't think the Reds require a "name" GM. You limit yourself to that only if you don't know what you're looking for.

I want an ownership that can pick good leadership instead of its nose. If it can do that, it can do that this winter. If it can't do that this winter, then I submit chances are slim it ever will.

foxfire123
11-02-2005, 11:23 PM
Hmm, isnt it conflict of interest tho to own shares of two teams in the same division? Or in baseball for that matter?

Foxfire123

M2
11-02-2005, 11:28 PM
Hmm, isnt it conflict of interest tho to own shares of two teams in the same division? Or in baseball for that matter?

Actually it's forbidden and that's why Castellini will have to sell his Cardinals shares as part of this transaction. It's not really that difficult to do. Just a few years ago the ownership of the Marlins bought the Red Sox, the ownership of the Expos bought the Marlins and MLB bought the Expos all in one fell swoop.

Shaknb8k
11-02-2005, 11:44 PM
Im from West Virginia and dont really know a lot about Robert H. Castellini. I have gotten the basics about the man from what has been written here. Im sure there will be a bio written up in the newspapers over there but does anyone know where i can find a bio about him on the net. Im not really looking for his baseball history cause ive already found that im kinda looking for like a personal background info and about his companies and things like that. Anything would help out. thanks in advance

RDriesen16
11-03-2005, 12:04 AM
I want someone who can enact a plan to get this team on the right track and I'm not so myopic as to think there's only two or three people capable of doing that on this entire planet. I don't think the Reds require a "name" GM. You limit yourself to that only if you don't know what you're looking for.

I want an ownership that can pick good leadership instead of its nose. If it can do that, it can do that this winter. If it can't do that this winter, then I submit chances are slim it ever will.
when the HE%% did i say that

TeamBoone
11-03-2005, 12:20 AM
Local news tonight said 70 to 80% of the shares will be sold to the Castellini group as soon as MLB puts it's stamp on the deal, and is thought to be a done deal around December 1.

savafan
11-03-2005, 12:25 AM
This is odd.

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2002/12/23/story3.html

Lindner kept stake in Castellini Co. quiet
Financier owned firm during crucial land sale
Lucy May and Dan Monk
Courier Staff Reporters

In days, one of the last remnants of Cincinnati's old riverfront, Cinergy Field, will be imploded, blown into a million tiny pieces on the shores of the Ohio River. The timing is ironic, coming just weeks after the discovery of a missing puzzle piece for how Cincinnati's new riverfront took shape.

That puzzle piece was revealed Dec. 13 in an unlikely place, a one-page news release in which Chiquita Brands International Inc. announced it was selling its ownership stake in Greater Cincinnati's largest produce distribution firm, the Castellini Co., for $45 million. Chairman Robert Castellini and members of his management team bought the company back from Chiquita for $21 million in cash and assumption of debt.

The news registered barely a blip on the business radar screen, a relatively small deal that will give Chiquita a $10 million gain and decrease its annual earnings before taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by $8 million.

What made the deal interesting was that Chiquita, controlled until this year by Cincinnati financier Carl Lindner, had never previously disclosed that it owned Castellini, despite years of speculation that the ownership ties existed. That speculation reached a peak in the late 1990s, when some observers felt Lindner influenced the siting of Paul Brown Stadium to force Hamilton County to acquire Castellini's riverfront land. The county paid $36.5 million for Castellini's 24-acre riverfront property in 1998, although county officials now say Lindner had no impact on the decision.

Chiquita spokesman Michael Mitchell said Castellini got "the great bulk of the proceeds" from the land sale, since the real estate was owned by the Castellini family, not by the company.

Mitchell said Chiquita received a small share of the proceeds related to the county's purchase of lease agreements involving the Castellini Co.

Mitchell also said the banana company acquired "substantially all of the equity interest in Castellini" in 1988. Another news release, issued by Castellini Co., said Robert Castellini retained a majority of the voting stock.

"There was voting stock, and there was nonvoting stock," said Mitchell. "(Robert Castellini) owned a majority of the voting shares."

The voting stock gave Castellini control over the company's operations.

Both companies and Lindner, through a spokeswoman, declined to say how the ownership arrangement came about or say why it was never disclosed.

"It was not required under SEC disclosure rules," said Mitchell, "and we chose not to disclose it."

What all of that means in the context of Cincinnati's reinvented riverfront remains murky. By the time Paul Brown Stadium gave Castellini a way out of his riverfront property, Castellini had tried to redevelop the land himself for nearly a decade, first proposing a floating entertainment complex, then a mixture of hotels, retail and housing. Hampering those efforts was the fact that much of Castellini's land was in a flood plain, making it more costly to develop.

Nevertheless, Castellini was still working to develop the western riverfront when the Bengals began the stadium-development process by threatening to leave town in 1995. The Bengals' original goal was a new stadium located just west of the Roebling Suspension Bridge, a spot also coveted by the Cincinnati Reds, then owned by Marge Schott, with Lindner holding a minority stake.

After intense negotiations among business leaders and a lengthy public planning process, city and county officials moved the Bengals west. The Reds moved east, making way for The Banks, a mixed-use development that city and county leaders hope will produce housing, retail, office buildings and a hotel on the land between the stadiums.

Hamilton County Administrator David Krings said Lindner's ownership interest in the Castellini group had no impact on the county's stadium planning or negotiations. He said he wasn't even sure that he knew of Lindner's ownership stake. Other local business leaders, who did not want to be quoted, agreed with Krings that Lindner's ownership had no impact. Others aren't so sure.

Rob Fredericks, a legislative aide to Hamilton County Commissioner John Dowlin, said former Commissioner Bob Bedinghaus changed his bargaining stance on the Castellini land after receiving a phone call from Lindner. Fredericks said he attended a meeting where Bedinghaus disclosed the call.

Attorney Robert Manley, who represented several produce houses relocated by the Bengals' stadium project, said one of his clients told him Lindner directly negotiated Castellini's land sale with Bedinghaus. Manley said his client got that information from either Lindner or Bedinghaus. He wouldn't say which, nor would he identify the client.

Bedinghaus declined to comment for this story, but a local business leader, who didn't want to be identified but was close to the negotiations, downplayed Lindner's influence.

"I never saw his hand in that thing," he said.

Whatever Lindner's involvement, this much has long been clear: The Bengals siting decision added millions to the project's price tag. It meant the county had to purchase more land than originally expected and grant the Bengals concessions, including the placement of the team's three practice fields on the western riverfront.

Hamilton County initially budgeted $50 million for stadium land. In the end, it paid $68 million, including more than $1 million per acre for the Castellini property. The land-acquisition process also took longer than expected, forcing design changes and construction delays. The county once estimated moving Paul Brown Stadium further west added more than $100 million in stadium cost.

When asked if it was worth it, Krings said, "I think that the region is getting an excellent riverfront that it wouldn't have had otherwise."

Yet it has come at a cost the county continues to bear due to lower-than-expected sales tax revenues.

"Sometimes leadership is painful," Krings said.

M2
11-03-2005, 12:34 AM
when the HE%% did i say that

You said it might take the new ownership a year to find its GM. I think that's a cop out, a glaring example of indecision. Good ownership should be able to come in and install quality leadership from day one.

smith288
11-03-2005, 09:31 AM
So, is Theo up for a real challenge or just inheriting more high priced talent and buying the most expensive FA's? :)

Havent you heard? The new ownership is lunatic right wingers that may enact McCarthyism and nepotism... No chance Epstein will be hired here. :rolleyes:

Seriously... Epstein may or may not be a good fit here but it has nothing to do with politics and everything to do with a big fat wallet.

Unassisted
11-03-2005, 10:00 AM
But if they just give the Pepsi Squad their pink slips then that will hold me over untill the 2006 offseason for some major changes.I know what you mean here. Since Pepsi pays real money for the squad to be "Pepsi," I doubt you'll get your wish, though. I don't think anyone's subsidizing Gapper, though. ;)

remdog
11-03-2005, 10:40 AM
You said it might take the new ownership a year to find its GM. I think that's a cop out, a glaring example of indecision. Good ownership should be able to come in and install quality leadership from day one.

I'm laughing my butt off over this one. 'Good ownership' is ultimately defined by results rather than methods. Patience and attention to detail and a long-term plan is often far more effective than simply laying waste just to lay waste. 'Quality leadership' is just that: quality. And it doesn't just sit around in a vacuum waiting for you to come along. One has to be able to acquire it and sometimes that takes time. Of course, M2 left himself a nice out on that one---just say that it wasn't quality leadership (a very nebulous term) that was installed. How convenient. Talk about your cop outs...

This deal isn't even 24 hours old and already the new ownership is getting bashed. I swear, some of the people on this board hope for failure in anything the Reds do so that they can proclaim their brilliance in being able to know the answer after the fact!

I know nothing about these guys except what I've read over the past 9 hours or so. I do see that they've been a part of two successful (when they were there) teams. I do see where they are supposed to be fervent Reds fans. I am willing to see what else develops on a story that is less than 18 hours old before jumping to a conclusion.

With the protocol of MLB being what it is, it's going to be difficult (but maybe not impossible) to get this ownership team in place in time to make major deals. Internal changes can happen quickly once the ownership change takes place but still, 2006 looks a lot like a treading water position to me. Hopefully, the situation can be 'fast-tracked' but.....

On top of that, who's to say that the new owners aren't the quality leadership that this team needs? After all, leadership generally starts at the top.

Rem

TeamBoone
11-03-2005, 10:50 AM
Thursday, November 3, 2005

What the Reds sale means


What happened?

Though the sale is not finalized, the Reds are about to have a new CEO, replacing Carl Lindner. Produce magnate Robert Castellini leads a group that will purchase controlling interest of Cincinnati's major-league baseball team. Brothers Thomas and W. Joseph Williams Jr. are also in the group.

What's next?

The baseball owners' meetings are Nov. 16-17 in Milwaukee. The Reds' deal probably will be discussed there, but it won't be approved that quickly, because too much has yet to be decided within the Reds' ownership group. It figures to take about 30 days to get the deal approved, and it probably will happen via an owners' teleconference call.

Who said what?

Nobody is saying much because of strict Major League Baseball rules prohibiting new owners in a pending sale from giving public comment beyond the barest essentials. Castellini did say Wednesday in a press release issued by the Reds: "... We are very excited about this opportunity and are eager to get started on the work ahead."

What it means to fans

We can't be sure just yet. Ultimately, it might mean a better team on the field. Fans can only hope Castellini will follow the lead of the St. Louis Cardinals, of which he holds some minority ownership shares that he will have to relinquish.

What it means to players

Again, who knows, really? The players certainly can't say publicly what they might be feeling, but they have to hope, just like fans, that the new CEO will spend more money and work harder to put a winning team on the field.

What it means to Reds officials

General manager Dan O'Brien and manager Jerry Narron have one year left on their contracts, and early indications are that they are safe for the time being. Reds chief operating officer John Allen is not believed to have a contract for 2006.

John Fay and John Erardi

http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051103/SPT04/511030422/-1/CINCI

MWM
11-03-2005, 11:02 AM
Indecision is a hallmark of bad leadership. Always has been, always will be. There's enough data out there to know if the current leadership group should be retained or let go. Wer'e not talking high level strategic decisions on which businesses to get in or which ones to get out of, whether or not they're going to do business in certain countries. This is a baseball team. There's not that much in this situation that needs to be analyzed. Standing around because you want to take your time in a business they're already involved in would be a good indication of what to expect, IMO. Good leadership spends a hell of a lot more time implementing than they do "assessing the situation." That's the copout of copouts.

Milezinni
11-03-2005, 11:12 AM
Excellent, excellent post Remdog.....it couldn't have been said any better than that.

Cooler heads always prevail.

savafan
11-03-2005, 11:17 AM
http://www.daytondailynews.com/sports/content/sports/reds/daily/1103mccoy.html

By Hal McCoy

Dayton Daily News

CINCINNATI | When the concrete circle that was Riverfront Stadium stood on the banks of the Ohio River, fans driving to the park on Mehring Way passed a group of buildings with a large sign that read "Castellini Produce."

Those buildings are gone, replaced by Paul Brown Stadium on a 24-acre parcel for which Hamilton County paid $36.5 million to Castellini in 1998.

And now Robert H. Castellini and his group want to purchase controlling interest in the Cincinnati Reds.

With few details and fewer comments, it was announced Wednesday that CEO Carl Lindner agreed to sell enough of his shares to make the Castellini group the controlling partner of the Reds. Lindner, though, is staying on, although Castellini is poised to replace Lindner as chief executive officer.

Because Major League Baseball places a gag order on prospective purchasers of franchises until approval is given, nobody is talking.

That, of course, leaves questions, questions, questions ... with no answers.

Will the Castellini group increase payroll from the current $60 million to enable the team to compete for free agents?

Will Chief Operating Officer John Allen be retained to run the business side, and will general manager Dan O'Brien be retained to run the baseball side?

With Lindner still peeking from behind a pillar, it is likely Allen and O'Brien are safe. A complete office cleaning isn't likely.

What is known is that the group would be a bit incestuous. Castellini and Lindner are as close as a banana and a peel.

When Lindner owned Chiquita Brands International Inc., he was closely linked with Castellini in his produce business. When the Castellini property sale was made for the building of Paul Brown Stadium, some thought Lindner was a major behind-the-scenes player.

So things may not change much.

On the plus side, Castellini and two of his partners — Cincinnati-based William Williams Jr. and Thomas Williams — are part of Bill DeWitt's ownership group in St. Louis.

To get approval from MLB to own the Reds, they will have to divest their interests in the Cardinals.

If they bring to Cincinnati what is in place in St. Louis, things might change greatly. St. Louis and Cincinnati are similar in size, but the Cardinals have been highly successful because of better management and the willingness to not only spend but to spend wisely.

Reds minority owner Bill Reik Jr., a New York investment broker, and minority owner George Strike plan to keep their shares.

There was no press conference to address the proposed sale, and for good reason. The group and the Reds knew there would be questions asked that couldn't be answered – the direction of the club, the status of Allen and O'Brien, the payroll question. "Things that can't be answered until the sale is approved," said Reds director of media relations Rob Butcher. "You can bet as soon as the deal is approved, there will be a press conference."

Until then, there is little reason to jump to conclusions about the future of this storied franchise that has fallen on hard times the past 15 years.

First, it is up to Commissioner Bud Selig and the MLB folks to say yes or no. Then, if approved, it will be up to Castellini and his guys to set the course.

Right now, Reds fan hope that direction points westward, toward St. Louis.

remdog
11-03-2005, 11:25 AM
Indecision is a hallmark of bad leadership. Always has been, always will be. There's enough data out there to know if the current leadership group should be retained or let go. Wer'e not talking high level strategic decisions on which businesses to get in or which ones to get out of, whether or not they're going to do business in certain countries. This is a baseball team. There's not that much in this situation that needs to be analyzed. Standing around because you want to take your time in a business they're already involved in would be a good indication of what to expect, IMO. Good leadership spends a hell of a lot more time implementing than they do "assessing the situation." That's the copout of copouts.

I see you've been there before, put your money on the line and come away a better (business)man. :rolleyes:

Rushing into a situation with pre-concieved notions is more folly that knowing all the facts. Always has been, always will be.

Did you ask your wife to marry you on your first date? Why analyze that situyation? You've dated before (I hope). You wanted to jump on her. Why analyze the situation or consider the long-term concequences? After all, you're only going to be implementing the situation for the rest of your life based upon that 20 minute analysis of the situation. Duhh....

Rem

MWM
11-03-2005, 11:35 AM
If the new ownership group has only done 20 minutes of analysis before deciding to spend millions of dollars to invest in this business, then we're in bigger trouble than we were with Lindner.

savafan
11-03-2005, 11:41 AM
Seems that keeping ownership local was once again the deciding factor.


http://www.onnnews.com/Global/story.asp?S=4066356

http://wxix.images.worldnow.com/images/115165_G.jpg

The nation's oldest professional baseball team is once again changing owners.

If approved by Major League Baseball, an ownership group led by Cincinnati businessman Robert Castellini, seen here, will buy a majority share of the Reds. Castellini will become CEO of the Reds, a job Carl Lindner's held for six years.

Castellini is the President of The Castellini Company, a national distributor of fruits and vegetables. He's also part of the St. Louis Cardinals ownership group and previously invested in the Baltimore Orioles.

No one involved in the deal is speaking on camera, but in a statement Reds co-owner George Strike says, "The Commitment of Bob Castellini and Tom and Joe Williams to our community was a very important factor to all of us."

New CEO

Roughly 51% of the Reds were put up for sale eight months ago, but at the time it was announced that Carl Lindner would remain the CEO. But with this sale, the Reds will take the field next April without Carl Lindner in charge.

The ownership swap has grabbed the attention of Reds fans around the Tri-State.

On the air Wednesday at 1360AM, The Sports Animal, Reds fans lit up the board with their two cents on the sale. The consensus among fans seemed to be that Castellini should spend money on pitching.

1360AM host Lance McAllister says, "The payroll's been around $60 million. If new ownership bumps it up to $75 million, and that's not a huge stretch, then you get in the game with the Cubs, Astros, and Cards in the division."

Cincinnati City Councilman Jim Tarbell grew up with Castellini and believes the team is in good hands and is glad ownership will stay local. "The oldest team in baseball? Seeing that go out of town would be unsettling," says Tarbell, "I think it's very important keeping it here."

M2
11-03-2005, 11:42 AM
I'm laughing my butt off over this one. 'Good ownership' is ultimately defined by results rather than methods. Patience and attention to detail and a long-term plan is often far more effective than simply laying waste just to lay waste. 'Quality leadership' is just that: quality. And it doesn't just sit around in a vacuum waiting for you to come along. One has to be able to acquire it and sometimes that takes time. Of course, M2 left himself a nice out on that one---just say that it wasn't quality leadership (a very nebulous term) that was installed. How convenient. Talk about your cop outs...

This deal isn't even 24 hours old and already the new ownership is getting bashed. I swear, some of the people on this board hope for failure in anything the Reds do so that they can proclaim their brilliance in being able to know the answer after the fact!

I know nothing about these guys except what I've read over the past 9 hours or so. I do see that they've been a part of two successful (when they were there) teams. I do see where they are supposed to be fervent Reds fans. I am willing to see what else develops on a story that is less than 18 hours old before jumping to a conclusion.

With the protocol of MLB being what it is, it's going to be difficult (but maybe not impossible) to get this ownership team in place in time to make major deals. Internal changes can happen quickly once the ownership change takes place but still, 2006 looks a lot like a treading water position to me. Hopefully, the situation can be 'fast-tracked' but.....

On top of that, who's to say that the new owners aren't the quality leadership that this team needs? After all, leadership generally starts at the top.

I'm laughing my butt off that a guy who insisted the Reds had a real good business plan heading into the GAB and who has a long record of praising the failed moves of this franchise thinks anyone familiar with his swing-and-miss history will pay much attention to this screed.

A good ownership team should be prepared to move in and immediately install new leadership. At the very least, they should have their team president/CEO lined up. It's pretty much an industry standard method of operation. For instance, when John Henry bought the Red Sox, he walked in with Larry Lucchino in hand.

BTW, my expectation, or certainly my hope, is the new ownership will do this. It's the right, proper and sane thing to do and I have no reason to believe this new group isn't a sane bunch. That said, when someone makes the case for stick-in-the-mud insanity (e.g. they won't be able to install new leadership for a year), then I'm damn well going to call for it what it is. How quickly will the new leadership in the business and baseball operation be able to institute sweeping changes? No one knows, but the changes can't start until the new leadership arrives. That's the trigger the new owners need to pull.

scounts22
11-03-2005, 11:55 AM
So, is Theo up for a real challenge or just inheriting more high priced talent and buying the most expensive FA's? :)


I hope so!!! I wouldn't mind seeing him around the ballpark!!! :jump: :luvu:

M2
11-03-2005, 11:55 AM
If the new ownership group has only done 20 minutes of analysis before deciding to spend millions of dollars to invest in this business, then we're in bigger trouble than we were with Lindner.

Bingo.

Rem, you claim to have started your own business a few times. I'll assume that on opening day for those businesses you didn't open shop and say, "Golly what should I do?"

Anyone ever involved in any business endeavor or project knows the amount of preparation that occurs before the actual launch, transaction, turnover takes place. For all your bravado about how some people want to see the worst, I can't think of anything more insulting than to think Castellini and Co. have bought the Reds and not done significant market research or familiarized themselves with the state of the organization or worked to put together their own team.

I said it one of these threads and I'll say it again, you only get one chance to make a first impression and if the new ownership has done its homework (and for the time being I'm assuming it has) it will take action to show that new leadership is in place ready to lead the franchise in a new direction.

remdog
11-03-2005, 11:59 AM
....but the changes can't start until the new leadership arrives. That's the trigger the new owners need to pull.

The new ownership is the new leadership. Sorry you missed it.

And new leadership is/will be pulling triggers even if it isn't with the permission and acceptance of the all-knowing, imperial M2. (Thank God.) :rolleyes:

Rem

scounts22
11-03-2005, 12:00 PM
Compared the marge and uncle carl how is this not to be looked at in an optimistic way?

AMEN! :thumbup:

westofyou
11-03-2005, 12:04 PM
The new ownership is the new leadership. Sorry you missed it.
Not player development and management.

M2
11-03-2005, 12:06 PM
The new ownership is the new leadership. Sorry you missed it.

It's only leadership if it actually leads the organization somewhere. Leadership isn't signing a check, it's setting a direction and installing the people to move you in that direction.

What we're talking about here is the difference between leadership in action and inaction. You've long been a staunch defender of the latter when it comes to the Reds and it always blows up in your face.

remdog
11-03-2005, 12:07 PM
By M2: Rem, you claim to have started your own business a few times. I'll assume that on opening day for those businesses you didn't open shop and say, "Golly what should I do?"

Glad yop brought this up. I was going to address this to MWM, he of book learning, but this applies to your post also.

You do all the homework you can, all the preparation possible, and no mater what, three things are a given: 1. You don't know all you think you know. 2. You don't know all you need to know. 3. You can't know everything about the business until you are actually a part of the business.

This was told to me by a major venture capital firm that we did business with in the mid-80's. The guy was right and, as far as I can see, it's been that way since someone bought the first lemonade stand.

Rem

remdog
11-03-2005, 12:09 PM
If the new ownership group has only done 20 minutes of analysis before deciding to spend millions of dollars to invest in this business, then we're in bigger trouble than we were with Lindner.

See post #92.

Rem

zombie-a-go-go
11-03-2005, 12:12 PM
Cool it with the statements bordering on personal attacks, you rascals.

M2
11-03-2005, 12:13 PM
Glad yop brought this up. I was going to address this to MWM, he of book learning, but this applies to your post also.

You do all the homework you can, all the preparation possible, and no mater what, three things are a given: 1. You don't know all you think you know. 2. You don't know all you need to know. 3. You can't know everything about the business until you are actually a part of the business.

This was told to me by a major venture capital firm that we did business with in the mid-80's. The guy was right and, as far as I can see, it's been that way since someone bought the first lemonade stand.

In order:

1. Duh
2. Duh
3. Duh

That's still not a blanket excuse not to know the things you should know and make the preparations you can make. Ignorant and unprepared is no way to do anything.

RDriesen16
11-03-2005, 12:25 PM
I hope so!!! I wouldn't mind seeing him around the ballpark!!! :jump: :luvu:
yea, like going out and getting ortiz, what the heck had he done, certainly not what he did for the sox, what about all the trades, including nomar, to bring all the parts to their team to win the ws. what about convincing schill to come to boston

RDriesen16
11-03-2005, 12:28 PM
In order:

1. Duh
2. Duh
3. Duh

That's still not a blanket excuse not to know the things you should know and make the preparations you can make. Ignorant and unprepared is no way to do anything.not throwing everything out the door and hiring who ever is on the side of the street is not ignorance. ITS BRAINS!

look at it from a recent situation. the cavs owners took over last year and got bashed up and down for not doing exactly what you want. they waited, they observed things in person. now look at em. they have what appears to be a great young gm, great young coach(both coming from great organizations, the spurs and pacers, that they wouldnt have had if they went after the first guy who was available. or the most expensive) they did their homework. look what its gotten them

Shaknb8k
11-03-2005, 12:35 PM
I can already tell these are probably going to be the longest 30 or so days of my life.

M2
11-03-2005, 12:37 PM
not throwing everything out the door and hiring who ever is on the side of the street is not ignorance. ITS BRAINS!

Brains is putting together a business plan before you complete the purchase. Brains is assessing the performance of the current business and baseball leadership prior to that purchase and making a call on whether that performance is something you want running your business plan.

Brains is bringing in some of your own people in key positions to perform a larger assessment of the enterprise's operation rather than rely on the old regime to do it. No one said throw everything out the door, just make sure you reconfigure the top tiers of the chain of command and empower those people to make changes.

westofyou
11-03-2005, 12:39 PM
Brains is putting together a business plan before you complete the purchase. Brains is assessing the performance of the current business and baseball leadership prior to that purchase and making a call on whether that performance is something you want running your business plan.

Brains is bringing in some of your own people in key positions to perform a larger assessment of the enterprise's operation rather than rely on the old regime to do it.
Purchasing a team involves all of the above.

Folks shouldn't act like the Castellini's won the Reds in a poker game and now they have to run the team.

This isn't a sitcom.

remdog
11-03-2005, 12:44 PM
In order:

1. Duh
2. Duh
3. Duh

That's still not a blanket excuse not to know the things you should know and make the preparations you can make. Ignorant and unprepared is no way to do anything.

Guess you missed the part that says, "...all the homework you can, all the preparation possible...."

No one said ignorant or unprepared. It's just like combat, you can have all the preparation you want but it's different when it's in real time. (But, I'd guess you never did that either so I can't fault you for not knowing that.)

Rem

RFS62
11-03-2005, 12:50 PM
These guys aren't coming from a produce business to run the Reds. They are already in the business of baseball, in an environment that has a lot of resemblance to the Reds market, St. Louis.

They didn't just fall off the back of the turnip truck and find themselves with a baseball team.

I can't believe they don't already have an action plan in place, and if any of it involves keeping the Reds front office that has proven itself to be lacking, I'd be stunned.

You think they bought this team to keep it as it is?

RDriesen16
11-03-2005, 12:55 PM
These guys aren't coming from a produce business to run the Reds. They are already in the business of baseball, in an environment that has a lot of resemblance to the Reds market, St. Louis.

They didn't just fall off the back of the turnip truck and find themselves with a baseball team.

I can't believe they don't already have an action plan in place, and if any of it involves keeping the Reds front office that has proven itself to be lacking, I'd be stunned.

You think they bought this team to keep it as it is?
they may well have a plan in place. but you still want to see things in person for a few months. also, their plan may not be able to be implemented at the time. they may know who they want for gm and know he cant be had right now, but should be in the next year. we dont know these things. the whole point, at least on part, is that no matter what you know, you cant come in and in the first 5 sec hire everyone

M2
11-03-2005, 12:56 PM
Guess you missed the part that says, "...all the homework you can, all the preparation possible...."

No one said ignorant or unprepared. It's just like combat, you can have all the preparation you want but it's different when it's in real time. (But, I'd guess you never did that either so I can't fault you for not knowing that.)

You are the master of bad analogies. Correct me if I'm wrong, but on the date of battle generals don't go charging into the fray all by themselves in nothing but a union suit do they?

The new ownership has a target date for when the sale will be completed and they should have some deliverables ready for that date.


Folks shouldn't act like the Castellini's won the Reds in a poker game and now they have to run the team.

This isn't a sitcom.

I didn't think so, but perhaps we're wrong about that and this is just Billy Connolly replacing Howard Hesseman.

savafan
11-03-2005, 01:00 PM
I didn't think so, but perhaps we're wrong about that and this is just Billy Connolly replacing Howard Hesseman.

Please, no Head of the Class analogies.

The Devil Rays control change hasn't been approved by MLB yet, has it? Yet, they are already making decisions on the direction of the team.

westofyou
11-03-2005, 01:03 PM
I didn't think so, but perhaps we're wrong about that and this is just Billy Connolly replacing Howard Hesseman.
Ughh... will there be a test on this?

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/2079/1254/1600/arvid%2011.jpg

OldRightHander
11-03-2005, 01:08 PM
No one said ignorant or unprepared. It's just like combat, you can have all the preparation you want but it's different when it's in real time. (But, I'd guess you never did that either so I can't fault you for not knowing that.)

Rem

A friend of mine who spent a fair amount of time in Iraq told me once, "There's not a big difference between combat and training, except that in combat they shoot at you with live rounds."

Josephus said of the Roman Army, "Their drills were bloodless battles and their battles were bloody drill."

So it is a lot like combat. If your preparation and drill are good enough, you will be prepared for the real thing because it won't be too much different from what you've been doing all along. (with the exception of the annoying live ammo)

M2
11-03-2005, 01:14 PM
The Devil Rays control change hasn't been approved by MLB yet, has it? Yet, they are already making decisions on the direction of the team.

Exactly. It's not a lot to ask that a new ownership grasp a few obvious things before it walks in the door.

RFS62
11-03-2005, 01:17 PM
It would be one thing if the Reds were currently anything approaching successful.

The public perception of the management of this team is very negative. The team has the worst pitching staff in it's history, the direct result of management failures which have all occurred on Lindners watch.

Talk about marketing? What the hell kind of marketing have we seen out of this administration? None.

I believe that any potential ownership group with the ability to pony up the money required to take over this team knows with absolute certainty the problems they face. How on earth would anyone want to consider keeping the guys in charge who've run this business into the ground?

The new group has a window of opportunity to create some real buzz in RedsNation. Coming in and sacking Allen and DanO would say a lot about intolerance for the "status quo" we've all become so apathetic about.

We need such a jolt. Lack of decisive action signals more of the same, and would be yet another missed opportunity right up there with squandering the goodwill the new ballpark afforded.

M2
11-03-2005, 01:17 PM
A friend of mine who spent a fair amount of time in Iraq told me once, "There's not a big difference between combat and training, except that in combat they shoot at you with live rounds."

Josephus said of the Roman Army, "Their drills were bloodless battles and their battles were bloody drill."

So it is a lot like combat. If your preparation and drill are good enough, you will be prepared for the real thing because it won't be too much different from what you've been doing all along. (with the exception of the annoying live ammo)

Golly, you mean that preparation, training and scouting are essential components to success on a battlefield and it's not a free-for-all?

Blimpie
11-03-2005, 01:21 PM
not throwing everything out the door and hiring who ever is on the side of the street is not ignorance. ITS BRAINS!

look at it from a recent situation. the cavs owners took over last year and got bashed up and down for not doing exactly what you want. they waited, they observed things in person. now look at em. they have what appears to be a great young gm, great young coach(both coming from great organizations, the spurs and pacers, that they wouldnt have had if they went after the first guy who was available. or the most expensive) they did their homework. look what its gotten themWhat a completely inappropriate analogy. The Cavs did their homework? They caught lightening in freaking bottle and won the lottery...literally. You can thank LeBron James for whatever fortunes that ever-putrid franchise is currently enjoying.

The Cavs didn't scour the Earth and find LeBron James in the rainforest of South America. Every GM knew his name since he was in ninth grade. They didn't do anything to turn around their fortunes except stink on ice for a few years and wait for their ping pong ball to be pulled from the hopper.

Have you forgotten that they are the same franchise authored the Carlos Boozer fiasco last year?

M2
11-03-2005, 01:26 PM
The new group has a window of opportunity to create some real buzz in RedsNation. Coming in and sacking Allen and DanO would say a lot about intolerance for the "status quo" we've all become so apathetic about.

Yep. This isn't rocket science. Replacing Allen shouldn't be that difficult. I expect the new ownership to walk in with a team president/CEO in hand.

As you move down the line, you open up a larger evaluation window though canning DanO should be a gimme. If the ownership can't find the "right" GM for 2006 it can turn over the reins to a trusted committee for caretaking purposes. That's the way the Red Sox did it.

remdog
11-03-2005, 01:32 PM
A friend of mine who spent a fair amount of time in Iraq told me once, "There's not a big difference between combat and training, except that in combat they shoot at you with live rounds."

Josephus said of the Roman Army, "Their drills were bloodless battles and their battles were bloody drill."

So it is a lot like combat. If your preparation and drill are good enough, you will be prepared for the real thing because it won't be too much different from what you've been doing all along. (with the exception of the annoying live ammo)

Did you write that while someone was shooting back at you ?

Didn't think so.

Rem

Blimpie
11-03-2005, 01:34 PM
Did you write that while someone was shooting back at you ?

Didn't think so.

RemThread derailment is officially complete.

OldRightHander
11-03-2005, 01:41 PM
Did you write that while someone was shooting back at you ?

Didn't think so.

Rem

Nope, and darn glad of it too. Just filling out the analogy a bit.

remdog
11-03-2005, 01:46 PM
Well, it's been lovely chatting with all of you. However, now I have to go do some work. Back on Monday. Ta Ta!

Rem

Blimpie
11-03-2005, 01:49 PM
Well, it's been lovely chatting with all of you. However, now I have to go do some work. Back on Monday. Ta Ta!

RemSee you around the ole foxhole on Monday...

Red Leader
11-03-2005, 01:55 PM
http://www.nonstick.com/wpics/sr1.jpg

zombie-a-go-go
11-03-2005, 02:09 PM
Back on Monday.

Rem

I wouldn't count on that, if I were you.

Z

Chip R
11-10-2005, 05:40 PM
Here's a more sober take on the possible ownership change.

http://www.citybeat.com/current/sports.shtml

Was Lindner Unlucky or Unwilling as Reds Owner?

By Bill Peterson

Carl Lindner won't go into the books as the greatest owner in Reds history, which is an unfortunate lack of achievement for one of the wealthiest fellows this town has ever seen. Because of his riches, the likelihood that he'll be remembered for tightness with the buck stands as the greatest threat to his legacy.

And that would be unfair. To a point.

The obvious notion that Lindner beefed up payroll this year to grease a contender and attract a buyer drew partial confirmation last week when Cincinnati businessman Robert Castellini, a Lindner crony, stepped up with a group to buy the club's controlling shares. The confirmation is only partial because the payroll hike backfired in a manner characteristic of Lindner's regime.

By the paper-thin accounts from the channels through which Cincinnati's blue blood flows, Castellini's ownership is "good news" for Reds fans, whatever that means. The Sunday Enquirer quoted developer Arn Bortz saying Castellini can't stand for fifth place in a squash tournament; imagine how sixth place in the NL Central would feel. But does that mean he'll avoid it?

If the good news is supposed to consist in Cincinnati ownership, that really means nothing except that a wealthy Cincinnati interest will steward the club and keep it in Cincinnati, which doesn't mean fans here will be cheering a winner anytime soon.

If Castellini operates the Reds under the pretense that keeping ownership local is a big favor to the people, then it's still a long way to the light at the end of the tunnel, if there is one. Maybe he has more in mind. He has to know Lindner's image took a beating from his performance with the Reds. He also has to know Lindner's accounts won't suffer terribly for the experience.

The Reds said last week the sale is based on an enterprise value of $270 million for the franchise (enterprise value equals market capitalization plus cash minus debt). In other words, the franchise probably is worth around $350 million before considering stadium debt, the remaining years on multi-year contracts and outstanding deferred payments to players.

Castellini's group includes brothers Thomas L. and W. Joseph Williams, whose father and uncle were the principal Reds owners during the dreadful early 1980s before giving way to Marge Schott. It's reported the group will buy 70-80 percent of the Reds. If it's 75 percent, we can figure the group will fork over about $200 million. Controlling shares included, Lindner owns 37.5 percent of the club, which is worth about $100 million.

Suppose Lindner sells all but 10 percent. He'd pocket $90 million after his group spent $67 million for most of Marge Schott's shares in 1999. So Lindner could profit to the tune of about $20 million for all his trouble and still own 10 percent of the club.

From the start of trading on Oct. 1, 1999 (the day Lindner assumed control of the Reds) until the start of trading on Nov. 4, 2005 (the day his sale to Castellini was announced), the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained all of 135 points to 10,470, a little more than 1 percent. But if Lindner's $67 million investment for control of the Reds now is worth $100 million, it returned 50 percent during that same period. He's made worse investments.

Assuming Lindner keeps 10 percent, $20 million over seven years isn't a windfall by big league standards. The Reds couldn't have signed Eric Milton to a three-year deal for that kind of money. Ballparking the Reds' operating costs around $70 million per year, $20 million over seven years is roughly a 4 percent profit margin. Which means Lindner wasn't going to add more players without spending his own money.

That's an important point to remember for those who look to the St. Louis Cardinals, with whom Castellini and the Williams brothers are minority owners, as a model for how they'll run the Reds. The St. Louis market is considerably larger to begin with, and it's become an even stronger baseball market in the past 15 years while the Cincinnati baseball market has weakened.

So Castellini is going to have to spend his money, not market money, to run $70 million payrolls. And his money isn't Lindner money. Lindner didn't spend it. Castellini might not have it.

Lindner's true home in Reds history is as their most unlucky owner, which isn't to let him off the hook for the club's worst sustained performance in more than half a century. A man of his age, 86, might have learned in his youth about making one's own luck from the Depression-era success literature of Dale Carnegie and Napoleon Hill. Lindner made some of his own luck, too.

He especially made his luck bad during summer 2003, overseeing the breakup of a charming ball club in a brand new park, setting world records for callousness, if not incompetence. In aggregate, Lindner oversaw four trades that brought no more than Aaron Harang and Brandon Claussen to the Reds in exchange for Aaron Boone, Jose Guillen, Scott Williamson and Gabe White. And they saved the Reds a few "nickels," in Lindner's vernacular.

Two years later the trades don't look quite so terrible. The Reds traded two hitters they didn't need this year for two starting pitchers who might still become big winners. But the Reds lost so much credibility in the process that they couldn't hold their fans while staying on the rebuilding path those trades initiated.

So the Reds beefed up their payroll by signing Milton and Ramon Ortiz at the combined 2005 contractual obligation of $8.9 million. Milton and Ortiz should have led the staff. Instead, they combined for 64 starts, 357 2/3 innings, a 17-26 record and a 5.93 ERA. For only a combined $760,000, Harang and Claussen took 61 starts, 380 1/3 innings, a 21-24 record and a 3.96 ERA.

That's how seven years of Lindner have worked out. When he slashes payroll, he takes an image beating because he doesn't duly consider public relations. But when he spends for payroll, it's partially motivated by public relations and it backfires.

Between Junior Griffey, Barry Larkin, Milton and Ortiz, Lindner has taken the hook for about $115 million so far, with only two decent seasons (Griffey in 2000 and 2005) to show for it. We wanted him to spend more?

Well, at least he could have. But we can't be sure that Castellini can.

Unassisted
11-10-2005, 06:09 PM
The St. Louis market is considerably larger to begin with, and it's become an even stronger baseball market in the past 15 years while the Cincinnati baseball market has weakened.Wow! This sentence in the article Chip posted above strikes me as crucial to many arguments we have here about finding money to improve the Reds. I wish the writer had elaborated on what his contention that the market has "weakened" is based on. Population decline? Loss of attention in secondary markets? (Shrinking Reds' radio network: cause or symptom?) Relatively slow population growth compared to other MLB markets? Loss of interest in the tri-state area for baseball vs. other sports?

If we knew the answer, we'd know whether the Reds are a lost cause.

wheels
11-11-2005, 12:17 AM
Wow! This sentence in the article Chip posted above strikes me as crucial to many arguments we have here about finding money to improve the Reds. I wish the writer had elaborated on what his contention that the market has "weakened" is based on. Population decline? Loss of attention in secondary markets? (Shrinking Reds' radio network: cause or symptom?) Relatively slow population growth compared to other MLB markets? Loss of interest in the tri-state area for baseball vs. other sports?

If we knew the answer, we'd know whether the Reds are a lost cause.


I'm not all that concerned about the new ownership's ability or lack thereof to throw money at things.

I'm more concerned with the ability or lack thereof to hire the right people to make the dollar amount spent (whatever it may be) work towards building a winner.

The Reds can grow their market by sustained winning.

Cleveland began drawing from all over Ohio after years of apathy. They basically stole the Columbus market from the Reds, and they still own it to this day. The Reds could get that back if only they can somehow manage to to smartly allocate funds and have that translate into wins.

Winning is the key to the whole daggone enchilada, and I'm more inclined to believe that the path to victory need not be paved entirely with gold.

Unassisted
11-21-2005, 01:46 PM
This answers the question about the Castellini group divesting ownership of their shares of the Cards.

http://cincinnati.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/stories/2005/11/21/daily3.html

Cardinals group to buy stakes when trio buy Reds

St. Louis Cardinals Chairman and General Partner Bill DeWitt Jr. has said the remaining members of his ownership group plan to buy out the shares held by Robert Castellini and brothers Thomas Williams and W. Joseph Williams Jr. when those three purchase a controlling ownership stake in the Cincinnati Reds.

"We've got a very good group, and we always felt that if someone wanted to exit, we'd spread (the available ownership stake) around the current group," DeWitt said recently. "Our plan is to have the current shareholders purchase their interest."

Castellini and the Williams brothers made their bid for the Reds Nov. 2 and expect Major League Baseball approval of the deal by the end of the year. The league will require them to sell their interest in the Cardinals before they can buy the Reds.

The Cardinals never have disclosed their ownership distribution, but Castellini is believed to have purchased about 10 percent of the ball club when DeWitt's group bought the team from Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. for $150 million in 1996. The Williams brothers together are thought to own about 3 percent of the Cardinals.

DeWitt's group reportedly put up about $60 million of its own cash for the purchase, which would put Castellini's initial investment at about $6 million and the Williamses' at about $2 million.

This year, Forbes valued the Cardinals franchise at $370 million. That represents a 147 percent increase in value over the past nine years. The team took in about $151 million in revenue in 2004, according to Forbes, and its new stadium is expected to generate additional revenue when it opens in April.

Castellini and the Williams brothers are prohibited from speaking about their plans for the Cardinals or the Reds until they receive approval from Major League Baseball, said Joe Bride, Castellini's spokesman.

Castellini is chairman and chief executive of Castellini Co., one of the largest wholesale distributors of fresh fruits and vegetables in the country. The business had estimated revenue of $752 million in 2004 and is the fourth-largest privately held company in Cincinnati, according to research by accounting firm Deloitte and a newspaper report. Castellini scored big in 1997 when he sold his riverfront property for $36 million to make way for Paul Brown Stadium. In 2000, he made $20 million when Delta Airlines bought Comair Inc.

Castellini was previously an investor with DeWitt in the Texas Rangers and Baltimore Orioles. Castellini is expected to replace Carl Lindner as the Reds chief executive.

Thomas Williams is president of North American Properties, a real estate development firm headquartered in Cincinnati with regional offices in Atlanta, Dallas, Minneapolis and Fort Myers, Fla. W. Joseph Williams Jr. is chairman. The privately held company controls vast real estate assets but does not disclose financial information. The Williamses' father and uncle were major owners of the Reds from 1966 to 1984.

Together Castellini and the Williams brothers are expected to buy shares totaling 51.5 percent of the Reds from three minority shareholders. The Reds are valued at about $270 million.

The trio's departure from the Cardinals will leave the club with 15 owners. DeWitt, 64, is co-chairman of the investment firm Reynolds, DeWitt & Co., and has had broad investments that include oil, fast food, banking, insurance, broadcasting, cable and bottling companies.

traderumor
11-21-2005, 03:50 PM
I didn't understand in Peterson's article how he said anything more than Lindner was unlucky and tried to say that the sale to Castellini will fail because of that :confused:

Redsland
11-21-2005, 08:06 PM
The article above is using the old figure of 51.5% of the club, which is the amount that was originally put up for sale. Recent reports have said the Castellini group is actually purchasing closer to 80% of the team. (Presumably the difference is coming out of Lindner's stake.)