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The following is an open letter to Bob Castellini, owner of the Cincinnati Reds:
As I write this letter to you, I would imagine it is fair to say the fire sale has begun in Cincinnati. In a matter of 11 days, you have managed to get rid of Ken Griffey Jr., David Ross and Adam Dunn and there is nothing to show for it.
Of the players received in the wheeling and dealing, only one, pitcher Nick Masset, is on the current roster. In exchange for Dunn, your team picked up Class A pitcher Dallas Buck, a guy who has already had Tommy John Surgery.
Now, it is obvious to this fan that the Reds are trying to move in a new direction, and while I was never accused of being fans of Griffey and Dunn, I do have to ask, what in the world are you thinking getting rid of the two longest tenured players on the roster? Throw in the fact that both were the faces of the franchise and both combined for 70 home runs and 199 RBIs last year and, again, there is a massive hole on the offense. Furthermore, the Reds now have two active outfielders in Jay Bruce and Corey Patterson, which leads me to ask you, why is Patterson, a player who has a lower batting average than pitcher Bronson Arroyo still with your franchise?
Mr. Castellini, I can vividly remember your promise on Jan. 20, 2006, when you were introduced as the new owner and CEO of our bottom dwellers known as the Reds.
You remember that day, don't you?
Remember saying how you wanted to make fans everywhere proud of the entire Reds organization and what would be accomplished?
These were your words that day, "I want to make a promise today to Reds fans wherever you area promise from one fan to another—we will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati. This is just our first day on the job. From this day forward, we will work toward that dream, and will not rest until we exceed the expectations of our fans. The Reds belong at the top of the standings. Our tradition is one of success and achievement. Only three other teams have won more World Series than the Redsthe Yankees, the Cardinals and the Red Sox. We want to bring that tradition home."
You do recall that, right?
I am assuming you are nodding your head yes. If that is the case, then why in the world have we not seen any moves whatsoever that show us, the fans, that you are committed to bringing a championship contender to Cincinnati?
Getting rid of a future Hall of Famer and an offensive threat do not show me that you are serious about what you say, especially when you get nothing in return. Mr. Castellini, we would've been better off getting a bag of baseballs in return for Dunn instead of a pitcher who has wandered around in Class A ball with a surgically repaired arm.
I quickly saw where other media outlets reported the Reds are in a "long-term rebuilding mode."
What else is new? Ever since you took over ownership, this team has been in a rebuilding mode, whether you want to admit it or not. Quit fooling yourself into thinking that your team can "absolutely" win next season. The only winning I have the Reds doing is helping me win the office pool on your team reaching 100 losses not only next season, but also this season.
As a fan who spends more than enough money at your ballpark, I am sick and tired of watching a team continue to lose games in every way imaginable, play uninspired baseball and make mistakes that I would expect to see from beginning little league teams. As I write this, your team is 19.5 games out of first place and headed nowhere but to another losing season, the eighth in a row. With that distinction, your team, the oldest professional baseball team, joins the likes of other bottom dwellers Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Tampa Bay and Baltimore, all organizations who have not had a winning season since the Bill Clinton administration.
There needs to be more than just winning the Ohio Cup against the Cleveland Indians.
Beginning a fire sale and getting rid of a Hall of Famer, an offensive threat and your top catcher for nothing more than a bag of sunflower seeds is embarrassing. Mr. Castellini, that is almost as embarrassing as continuing to ask fans to fork over their hard earned money. But go ahead and keep lining up those bobblehead doll nights, dollar ticket nights and dollar dogs promotions because we all know the bottom line is the only thing that matters. Who cares if the teams continues to go down the drain as long the butts continue to fill the seats, right?
In the meantime, fans, like myself will continue to gnash our teeth while we watch our beloved Reds fall further and further behind not only teams in the National League Central, but throughout baseball while remembering the empty promises we heard in 2006.
(Paul Gable is the sports editor for the Grant County News. He can be reached by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 824-3343.)