Reds owner refutes gloomy reports, says payroll won't prohibit team from challenging in NL Central.
Saturday, January 24, 2009
The question was this: Newspaper reports on Friday, Jan. 23, said that the economy has caused the Cincinnati Reds to ditch their "win now" philosophy. Is that true?
"No," owner Bob Castellini said.
Castellini's comments came during an eight-minute appearance on the "Bill Cunningham Show" on WLW-AM (700) Friday afternoon that was rare for a major-league sports owner. Castellini initiated the interview and later did a 45-minute, in-studio session with Paul Daugherty, the WLW weeknight sports talk host, to emphasize the team's position that it wants to win this season, not solely rebuild for the future.
"What really kind of irritates me is they think we're writing off this year," Castellini said on Cunningham's show. "We have an excellent team. We have a contender. And, barring injuries, we're going to be in there at the end. Now, you can quote me on that, and if at the end of the year we're not in there ... you can play it back forever, but I really feel that way, and our organization feels that way."
Castellini said that ticket purchases were "not as many as we anticipated" and acknowledged that fans could be frustrated with losing.
After some nudging by Cunningham, Castellini said the 2009 Reds will have a winning record, which would be the first in his tenure as owner.
Cunningham: "And you're gonna win?"
Castellini: "You betcha."
Cunningham: "You're gonna win?"
Castellini: "Yes, sir."
Cunningham: "You're gonna win this year?
Castellini: "We're gonna win this year. We're gonna have a winning record this year, Bill, and we're gonna be contenders, and we might well be into it at the end of the season."