Cincinnati Reds president and COO Phil Castellini got himself into trouble with comments he made towards fans who were unhappy with the direction of the club. During a radio interview, the Reds president was asked why fans should remain loyal to the team after an offseason of many more player subtractions than additions and a slashed payroll. Castellini responded by asking the fans “where they would go” and to “be careful what they ask for.” Given a chance to clarify those comments, he dug himself a hole even further, telling fans to just “settle down” while wondering aloud if they would actually “abandon the team.” On Tuesday night, the Reds president issued an “apology” to the fans for his ill-advised comments, via USA Today.
“I apologize to Reds fans and regret the comments that I made earlier today,” Castellini said in a statement. “We love this city, we love this team, and we love our fans. I understand how our fans feel and I am sorry.”
The Reds president, facing a massive backlash for his comments, finally made an attempt to get back into their good graces. However, his words prove that he clearly doesn’t understand how the fans feel.
The fans had to watch as a team that made the NL Wild-Card game in 2020 and posted a winning record in 2021 didn’t even make an attempt to re-sign their best player, Nick Castellanos. They then traded away their second-best hitter from 2021, outfielder Jesse Winker and one of their best pitchers in Sonny Gray.
A team that was perhaps a couple of moves away from contention in an up-for-grabs National League Central decided to about-face and rebuild.
And the fans are supposed to “settle down” and cheer for the Reds in the 2022 MLB season? Phil Castellini may have apologized but he definitely has no idea how the Reds fans truly feel.