OBSERVATIONS: ‘The Bob Castellini’ Odyssey

By Hal McCoy

UNSOLICITED OBSERVATIONS from The Man Cave, pounding this one out from my La-Z-boy, where I’ve been confined with back problems so sever I can’t walk without the walker I used two years ago when I broke me hip. Any home remedies? I’m desperate and the Emergency Room seems very close. I have to miss today’s UD-Davidson game and I hate that because I love college basketball.

—It is fairly certain that anybody who follows the Cincinnati Reds closely won’t be surprised.

Reds owner Bob Castellini is one of the hard-liners in negotiations with the players during the lockout.

Castellini was one of four owners who voted against the last proposal made to the players. So there isn’t even solidarity among owners.

An on-line site, ‘The Athletic,’ identified Castellini, Detroit’s Chris Ilich, Arizona’s Ken Kendrick and the Angels’ Arte Moreno as the dissenters.

The expired contract called for a $210 million luxury tax. Any team with a payroll over $210 million paid a penalty. Only the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres exceeded it last season.

The players want the tax to kick in this year after a team exceeds $238 million, with it escalating to $244 million, $250 million, $256 million and $263 million over the next five years.

The owners’ counter-proposal is $220 million over the next three years, then $224 million and $230 million.

Castellini and three other owners didn’t even like it going from $210 million last year to $220 million this year, believing the $10 million increase it too high.

I had my own issues with Castellini. He almost got me fired when I wrote for the Fox Sports Ohio web-site, telling them, “That guy is killing us.”

Fox told me they didn’t want to let me go, they loved my work, but because Fox was the Reds’ television outlet they had to do as The Big Man wished.

I wrote a long note to Castellini, explaining that I loved the Reds, but that I had to write what I see, that fans aren’t stupid and I couldn’t look at the team through rose-colored glasses, even if Pete Rose was gone.

The part about how much I loved covering the Reds, that I’ve been part of it since 1973, got to him and he relented and I continued until Fox dropped all of its baseball writers on their local sites.

But my relationship with Castellini since that incident has been colder than a frozen mackerel.

—QUOTE: From Reds owner Bob Castellini when his group purchased the Reds: “We will not rest until you are happy. The Reds are, after all, your team. You buy the tickets. You watch the games. You support us financially and emotionally. Without you, the Reds cannot be great.” (We all must assume that Mr. Castellini is suffering a severe case of insomnia.)

—This is from Scott Russell’s new book, the outrageously hilarious ramblings of Russell and former MLB pitcher Bill ‘Spaceman’ Lee ‘The Final Odyssey of the Sweet Ride.’

This is how former MLB pitcher Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant described one of his feathery golf shots that nestled gently on a green: “That ball landed like a butterfly with sneakers on.”

My shots always bounced off trees like piano legs with clodhoppers on them.

—Leave it to Charles Barkley to put Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers in perfect perspective: “He’s the pretty girl who needs to be told every day that she is pretty.”

—What a tragic story at Stanford University. Katie Meyer, a 22-year-old senior goalkeeper for the Stanford women’s soccer team, took her own life in her dormitory room.

She was the team captain and in 2019 made two big stops in a shootout against North Carolina when the Cardinal won the NCAA championship. By all accounts, she was a good person, a good student, a good goalkeeper, a good teammate. Unfortunately, you just never know.

—Former NBA star Ricky Barry, who averaged 35.2 points a game one season, sees in the NBA these days what we all see, causing us all to shake our heads.

How can an NBA player go coast-to-coast with three dribbles and not be called for traveling? It happens every game.

Said Barry: ”Get the officials to call it by the rulebook. Stop the traveling, stop the carrying the ball, stop the moving screens. Call the damn game according to the rulebook because players will adjust. The athletes are incredible, but get away with murder.”

No NBA player, as far as I know, has committed murder. But if one perpetrated a homicide in front of an NBA official, there would be no witnesses.

—Duke’s Coach ‘K’ is retiring after this season and coaches his last game in Cameron Indoor today against North Carolina. And why do they call him Coach ‘K.?’ Try pronouncing his name without sneezing. And his last name should be the last word at the National Spelling Bee. It is K-r-z-y-z-e-w-s-k-i. I think. It was easier to write about North Carolina when Dean Smith was coach.

—A line from comedian Rodney Dangerfield, talking about slot machines located everywhere in Las Vegas, including convenience stores: “I went into a convenience story to buy a container of milk and it only cost me $256.”

3 thoughts on “OBSERVATIONS: ‘The Bob Castellini’ Odyssey”

  1. Apparently fielding a winner is tougher than any owners management(meddling) skills. 30 teams, one winner, 29 also ranks. Keeping a great lineup involves the deepest pockets ever; but, still does not guarantee a repeat. The Cardinals seem to have more success than most small market teams. Some players make more than the entire team payroll for the Pirates. Not having revenue sharing is killing MLB. If all the small market teams go under, who are the Yankees and Dodgers going to play?

  2. After 55 years of being a Reds fan, I threw in the towel this past winter when they began their salary dump. Ownership has no desire to win, and I’m too old to continue to support perennial losers. I live in San Diego now, and it is easy to root for the Padres. They spend money and are incredibly fan-friendly. Last summer, when I was visiting family in Ohio, I went to a Reds game. Comparing the atmosphere at a Reds game versus a Padres game is like comparing a funeral to the 4th of July.

  3. Bob lied to the fans. Mike Brown woke up.. now its a Bengals town. Screw the Reds till Bob andthe idiot ownrrs are gone.. i want o0ening day NOT to sell out!! Send a message

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