Reds executive seemingly threatens to move team amid fans’ discontent

Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Cincinnati Reds. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

Ahead of Opening Day, Cincinnati Reds front office executive Phil Castellini essentially threatens to move the team to a larger media market amidst the fans’ growing discontentment.

Opening Day is sacred along the Banks of the Ohio River, but that did not stop Cincinnati Reds front office executive Phil Castellini from essentially threatening to relocate the franchise because they cannot be competitive in their small media market.

The Reds might be rebuilding once again, but they surprisingly split their first four games of the season on the road vs. the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves. While appearing on 700WLW in Cincinnati, Castellini made just an absolutely absurd comment surrounding Cincinnati’s beloved Reds franchise. To threaten to move? On Opening Day? What are we doing???

"“Well, where you gonna go?” said Castellini about Reds fans having no choice but to support this franchise. “What would you do to this team to make it more competitive? It would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. Be careful what you ask for.”"

The Reds were charter members of the National League. While the Bengals have caught fire in the NFL, as have the Bearcats on the college football gridiron, the Reds are Cincinnati’s team. To continually double-down on the woe-is-me mantra of being such a small market team is so off-putting. Castellini essentially doubled down on his take regarding the Reds’ financial concerns.

Cincinnati Reds front office executive essentially threatens to relocate franchise

Look. Market size does matter for franchises like the Reds, as they have little to no margin for error if they want to go all-in on a winner. However, this is a proud and storied franchise MLB is not going to let be relocated under any circumstances. Do you think the NFL is going to let teams like the Buffalo Bills and the Green Bay Packers relocate to Austin or San Antonio? Gimme a break!

Once again, Castellini’s comments bring to light the ugly can of worms baseball will have to confront at some point, especially if they look to expand to 32 franchises: A salary cap, and probably most importantly, a salary floor. The cap will help small-market teams like the Reds not get outbid, but a salary floor will keep penny-pinching owners from fielding a lackluster product.

As far as overall market size, yes, Cincinnati is small, but they have the southern half of Ohio and pretty much all of Kentucky. However, potential expansion into southern metropolises like Charlotte or Nashville could theoretically hurt Cincinnati. Conversely, going into one of those two markets puts a tighter squeeze on franchises like the Braves and those in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Opening Day in Cincinnati is sacred, so anything short of celebrating Reds baseball is blasphemy.

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