Bob Castellini, the CEO of the Cincinnati Reds, and the owner with the largest stake in the team, sat down with Paul Daugherty of the Cincinnati Enquirer to talk about the team, their slow start, and how he feels about it. I’d suggest you go give the whole thing a read, but I wanted to talk a little bit about a few specific things that he said.

In the second paragraph, and it’s not a direct quote from Daugherty, but he notes that Castellini “doesn’t meddle” in the baseball operations. That doesn’t sound accurate based on all of the things we’ve heard, and seen over the years. But, then there’s this later in the article:

He said vehemently that he does not interfere with the baseball operation. He interrupted the question. “Do you feel you’ve been too involved in baseball op…’’

“No. It’s bull. We make decisions collectively. When we meet, we all give our opinions. I will come in and say, this is what I think we ought to do. If I don’t get a lot of opposition, we make the decision based on what I say. I do not get overly involved in our operations.’’

Let’s run this one more time. Bob Castellini says he doesn’t meddle and that he’s not too involved in baseball operations. Then says this:

I will come in and say, this is what I think we ought to do. If I don’t get a lot of opposition, we make the decision based on what I say.

Bob Castellini is hardly the first owner who wants to have say in the decisions made. Some of the guys in other sports have played at high levels in those sports. Some haven’t. Bob Castellini falls in that latter category. Not that it changes much, because you should hire the baseball people to make the baseball decisions.

Here we have the owner claiming he gives his input, and if the people that he pays don’t object too much, then that’s the decision that is made. As I said above, I’m positive that he’s not the only owner that does this. But it’s not good to see it. And it’s a bit confusing that he doesn’t see, or understand that, yes, that is absolutely meddling in baseball operations.

It makes you wonder just how much Bob Castellini’s ideas are what have led to the Cincinnati Reds being where they are right now. Holding onto players for too long. The Todd Frazier deal is a perfect example, and one he speaks about in the piece. He says he wanted to hold onto Zack Cozart but couldn’t afford him. Cozart signed for chump change, in baseball terms, this offseason. Maybe he took less to sign with the Angels (and his words certainly suggest he would have had to get more from the Reds to come back), but as the owner of a team with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball, to say you couldn’t afford a guy at $13M a season is awfully questionable to say publicly.

Investigating what’s going on here

The piece closes out with Bob Castellini saying this:

I’m not OK with the results. We have to investigate what the hell is going on here.

It’s good to say that he’s not fine with the results. Who would be? But, let’s start the investigation by looking in the mirror. Stop telling the baseball people what you want them to do. With all due respect to Bob Castellini, those people were hired by you to make those decisions, and they’ve got far more experience, and information about the players. Maybe the baseball people just aren’t good enough. But, I also don’t know if we know that or not because, well, it sure sounds like the owner is wielding far more say in the baseball decisions than you would like to think he should be.