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Reds apologize in advance for 2009 season

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Cincinnati Reds President and CEO Bob Castellini would like fans of the franchise to know the reason the team won't be good this year is the same reason they can't afford tickets: These tough economic times.

This is the message coming out of southern Ohio as the Reds embark on their Winter Caravan -- a practice akin to a mobile Cubs Convention. And for those of you who share Justin Allen's seething hatred of the Cubs Convention, you can only imagine.

Rather than an acute inability to consistently score more runs than opponents, the Reds' ineptitude apparently stems from a simple question of math.
rosiered_pose_142x287.jpgAccording to an article in today's Cincinnati Enquirer, the Reds' payroll budget is right around $74 million. That budget has been met or exceeded already -- spent on guys like Ramon Hernandez, Willy Taveras and Arthur Rhodes.

So this means the gaping hole in the Reds lineup -- namely, a really good player -- will not be filled. At least not in 2009.

So, really? It's the economy?

"Yeah, it is, you bet," Castellini told the Enquirer. "We've got to get the top line (revenue) up. We're focused on it. We've got just about the whole team we anticipated we were able to put together."

Perhaps to pour a bit of proverbial salt on the wound, a sidebar on the Eniquirer article lists some choice quotes from 2006 when Castellini took over as Reds owner:

• "We're buying the Reds to win. Anything else is unacceptable. We will not rest until we put a winner on the field - year in and year out."

• "The bottom line is that we are not going to rest until our fans are happy. My wife, Susie, has a pillow in our living room. Stitched into the pillow is the phrase, 'If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.' In the Reds organization, if our fans ain't happy, ain't nobody happy."

• "I want to make a promise today to Reds fans, a promise from one fan to another: We will bring championship baseball to Cincinnati."

So I guess the assumptions we can make from these quotes are:

• The Reds front office is, due to lack of rest, very tired.

• Ain't nobody happy when it comes to baseball in Cincinnati.

• For Castellini to make good on his championship promise in 2009, the Reds will have to be the Rays of 2009. This is impossible -- if only for the fact that a Redhawk would make a horrible name for a rally haircut.

Reds done shopping for the winter [MLB.com]

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This page contains a single entry by Kevin Allen published on January 23, 2009 10:56 AM.

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