If you’ve ever seen me on the sidelines at a local game in the spring, chances are you’ve seen me wearing my Cincinnati Reds gear. I’ve come to accept that none of my teams I follow …
If you’ve ever seen me on the sidelines at a local game in the spring, chances are you’ve seen me wearing my Cincinnati Reds gear.
I’ve come to accept that none of my teams I follow as a fan may ever win a championship in my lifetime. I’ve seen the Carolina Panthers reach the Super Bowl twice, and twice have had my heart broken in the biggest game in sports.
With the current state of the NIL, smaller schools like my beloved West Virginia Mountaineers can never compete against the likes of the bluebloods who have more money than they know what to do with.
So there has to be some hope for the Cincinnati Reds, right?
I mean success comes in waves, especially for small market clubs. That’s how it’s supposed to work.
Not for this club.
The current ownership of the Cincinnati Reds have completely lost touch with the fans and have repeatedly showed no interest in fielding a competitive team on the field.
Just a year after the Reds fumbled away a wild card playoff spot, the front office extended manager David Bell.
So naturally, it makes sense the Reds dump the majority of their lineup that helped keep them in the playoff race a year ago.
At the time of this publication, the Reds have a 3-22 record, off to the worst start in franchise history and one of the worst starts in MLB history.
Currently, Cincinnati is on pace to go 20-142.
Now that likely won’t happen, but it definitely says something when a club is virtually eliminated from playoff contention by the first week of May.
Now the front office could fire the manager, but that likely won’t happen given Bell’s recent contract extension.
Just how can one of the most historic franchises in sports history fall to such a lowly low?
Well, simply put, it’s all money.
The Castellini family has showed they simply won’t invest on the field.
When it comes time to whip out the checkbook and sign players, the Reds won’t do it.
They continually will trade players for prospects instead of attempting to even negotiate stars with big contracts.
Heck, Nick Castellanos, who was a Silver Slugger Award winner and an All-Star a year ago was due for a big contract.
Well, he got one…from Philadelphia.
He signed a five-year, $100 million deal with the Phillies and then later said the Reds front office never even attempted to contact him.
But it gets worse.
Wade Miley, who won 12 games a year ago for Cincinnati and finished with a very respectable 3.37 ERA was claimed via waivers by the Chicago Cubs.
Not even an attempt by Cincinnati to negotiate a new contract.
Plus trading off fan favorites like Eugenio Suarez, Jesse Winker and Sonny Gray, fans were rightly outraged at the ownership and front office, which prompted many to call for team owner Bob Castellini to sell the club.
During an interview on opening day with Bob’s son, Phil, who is also the team president, Phil was asked what he would tell fans who have questioned the front office’s decisions with moving so many players to what turned into salary dumps.
He replied, “Well, where you gonna go?” essentially telling fans he doesn’t care what they think and they’re stuck with the product the Castellinis and general manager Nick Krall put on the field.
Since those smug comments, the Reds have gone a paltry 3-22.
While I’ll never outwardly support another team or club, I’m finding it harder and harder to give support and money to a club who obviously doesn’t care about me.
So if you see me on the sidelines this spring, maybe look for a Carolina Panthers hat or a West Virginia Mountaineers shirt.
That Reds gear? It’s staying in the closet.
Chris Siers is sports editor of the Times-Gazette. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.