View Full Version : Meet the Owners night...

09-22-2006, 12:28 AM
Did anyone attend this at the HOF tonight (Thurs)?

How was it?

What sort of questions were asked?


09-22-2006, 10:40 AM
well i read the Narron has got support from the owners.. arggg... that didnt make me get excited about next year.:( same oh same oh in 2007

09-22-2006, 10:56 AM
:) I was there along with about 60-70 other HOF members and press, a nice event that mostly drew older members. Here were the highlights...

1) Bob Castellini did not outwardly support Jerry Narron. A question/speech was thrown out pleading for Lou Piniella to come back, and nobody on stage responded. Later, Krivsky aggressively defended Narron's style of leadership by saying that fans shouldn't be fooled by Narron's public personna and that he does make players accontable. He cited spring training (I'm assuming Hancock) as an example.

2) RedsFest was a big topic. It sounds like it's going to be big, but it also sounds like it's going to be aimed at the 20-30 crowd just as everything is with concerts and the continued absence of a season ticket holder's night that many of us missed recently. I think Mr. Castellini was surprised to hear that many of the attendees would rather see photo op's than autograph lines.

3) It sounds as if the Reds are reforming a "Speakers Bureau" to serve as a PR branch of the team like Gordy Coleman did when I was a kid. I unofficially heard that "Mr. Perfect", Tom Browning is in line for the job.

4) Mr. Castellini made no promises on the next announcer being a former player, but said it would be an analyst position. This crowd was older, so they all wanted Joe back.

5) Mr. Williams talked about the challenges of getting players into the community considering that no players currently reside in the area between October-March like in days past.

6) The Reds have hired a Far East expert formerly with the Dodgers and have budgeted for expanded presence in that area.

7) The Reds are in queue for an All Star Game, but have to wait until teams with new stadiums in the NL who have never had games or haven't had games in many years (STL) get their turn. Mr. Castellin privately told someone after the presentation that he has never asked Bud Selig about the rumors that the Reds will not receive an AS game while Bud is commish due to the response he would likely get from Cincinnati fans.

09-22-2006, 11:00 AM
Here's the Enquirer's write-up.

Narron gets bosses' backing
Reds' brass give thoughts, take suggestions at forum


Bob Castellini, who fancies himself as a fans' owner, met with his people Thursday night.

Reds CEO Castellini, general manager Wayne Krivsky and chairman Joe Williams had a town hall-type meeting at the Reds Hall of Fame and Museum.

Castellini got a lot of suggestions from the fans, and most of them will be looked at. He'll see about having an organist at Great American Ball Park full-time and about having a Redsfest session for season-ticket holders. He'll work on bringing the speakers' bureau back, and he'll even think about having a charity event in which fans could toss with players.

But when a fan suggested Lou Piniella replace Jerry Narron as manager, everyone at the head table was quiet.

When pressed a bit later, Castellini said: "The most maligned Reds manager in my lifetime is in the Hall of Fame - Sparky Anderson. Everyone's entitled to their opinion. We care that you care."

Krivsky gave Narron a strong endorsement.

"I can vouch for Jerry Narron being very sharp, very respected. He can fool you with his quiet demeanor. He can lay down the law when he needs to. I've seen it."

Here are some of the night's other highlights:

Castellini on whether the outfield walls at Great American will be moved back: "No."

Castellini on the new stadium for Sarasota, Fla.: "We've really worked hard to let the people in Sarasota know we want to stay there."

"We need a new ballpark desperately," Castellini added. "We're in the throes of making it happen. ..."

Krivsky on the Gary Majewski trade controversy with the Nationals: "It's something we're looking at. We try to keep a low profile. You can read between the lines that we're not real thrilled with how that went down. Ultimately, it will be in the hands of the commissioner."

Castellini on the return of Redsfest: "It's going to be the biggest and most well-attended Redsfest we've ever had."

Krivsky on the coaching staff: "We're evaluating that right now. It will ultimately be Jerry's call."

Castellini on getting an All-Star Game: "We've applied for it. When you get down to it, it's done by the commissioner, so it's a little subjective. The Cardinals just got a new stadium, and they haven't had an All-Star Game since the '60s. They're going to get one before we do. We're on the list; I'm hopeful for 2011. We press the point every time we get a chance."

Krivsky on the decision not to bring up Homer Bailey: "As an organization, we were divided. Some people thought he could really be the guy. Some others were absolutely adamant that he not come up. ... It comes down to doing the right thing for the player. It's his career. ... I thought the risk outweighed the reward."

Williams on the new ownership: "The important thing is to get back to the World Series. We're committed to it."

Castellini on the new radio voice: "Steve Stewart is such a fine person and a good broadcaster, but we felt like we needed an analyst in the booth. ... That's the direction we're heading."

Krivsky on the minor leagues: "Our system is in pretty good shape. I've got to compliment (farm director) Johnny Almaraz and his people. We had a winning record in the minors. We had two teams qualify for the postseason. We had three batting champions. ... You never have enough good players. The one thing I'm most proud of is we got through the year very healthy. In 2005, we had 44 arm surgeries, a lot of them major. This year, we had 14, without one being major. We're doing a lot of things right."

09-22-2006, 10:04 PM
Thursday, September 21, 2006

Reds owner has to answer to fans
By Kyle Nagel / Staff Writer

CINCINNATI The first question from the crowd was about the absence of a live organist at Cincinnati Reds baseball games.

"I've got a couple people here listening to this right now that know I'm going to ask them about it," said Reds Owner Bob Castellini to a chorus of laughter from the crowd.

Castellini, Chairman Joe Williams and General Manager Wayne Krivsky met with about 80 Reds fans on Thursday night for a question-and-answer session that produced a few such laughs, a few interesting suggestions and a few questions about how the Reds can change.

If nothing else, the night signaled that Castellini, who bought the team last winter, cares about his team's fans and what they think ... even if he doesn't agree the ballpark dimensions should change.

The Big Three

There was a table of finger foods and soft drinks. And, for those who might have paid closer attention to the Cincinnati Reds in the past month, a selection of adult-oriented beverages.

That was just part of the effort Thursday night to make Reds fans feel as though their thoughts are important. Invited to the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum, a group of about 80 mingled for a half-hour, shaking hands with Owner Bob Castellini, Chairman Joe Williams and General Manager Wayne Krivsky, before entering the theater for a scheduled question-and-answer session.

But the biggest questions weren't ones any of the three men could answer. That is, how would Reds fans treat their leadership? What do supporters want to know when their team takes a nose dive from the National League wild-card lead that no one seems to want?

Judging by the 21 questions lobbed at The Big Three, sitting at a table behind microphones, these fans respect Castellini, like hearing quips from Krivsky and ... well, they don't really know Williams.

The Big Three were asked about everything from the potential for a designated hitter in the National League to scouting Asian countries. There was one about the three catchers, and another about the outfield dimensions for one of the most home-run friendly parks in baseball.

And one comment that Lou Piniella should be the manager.

The name Jason LaRue was not mentioned. Nor was Eric Milton.

Those of us in the room left without any major change in knowledge about how the team is run, what it will look like next year and how ownership feels about losing 17 of the past 25 games.

We did hear a few interesting things. Among them:

Castellini wants to have the All-Star game in Cincinnati, potentially as soon as 2011.

Last season, there were 44 arm surgeries in the Reds minor-league system, according to Krivsky. This season, there were 14.

There was great internal debate this season about whether to promote Homer Bailey, the right-hander who ripped up Class AA.

Castellini's management style: "The best description of our management style is empowerment. We try to surround ourselves with the best people we possibly can, then let them run with it. I'm always available."

He was available Thursday night, and I'll tell you this: If I were a Reds fan, I would feel very good about Castellini being my owner. He's stern, smart and demands results.

And, he truly seems to care about people. After the questions finished, he stopped to acknowledge an attendee's birthday.

That was probably worth the celery sticks.