Reds’ Phil Castellini apologizes for comments about moving team due to profitability

Sharon Mason and Elizabeth Robbins listen to The Naked Karate Girls at the Reds Community Fund...
Sharon Mason and Elizabeth Robbins listen to The Naked Karate Girls at the Reds Community Fund Charity Block Party for Cincinnati Reds Opening Day on Freedom Way in downtown Cincinnati Thursday, March 28, 2019.(Meg Vogel/Cincinnati Enquirer)
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 3:03 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (Enquirer/FOX19) - Cincinnati Reds President and COO Phil Castellini issued a formal apology Tuesday night after making controversial comments directed at fans hoping the Reds organization will change hands.

After a 10-5 loss against the Cleveland Guardians, Castellini issued the following statement: “I apologize to Reds fans and regret the comments that I made earlier today. We love this city, we love this team, and we love our fans. I understand how our fans feel and I am sorry.”

>> WATCH: Joe Burrow throws first pitch on Reds Opening Day

The comments came hours after Castellini made the media rounds as the Reds prepared for the home opener.

It didn’t take long for Castellini, the son of owner and CEO Bob Castellini, to comment on the current fan movement that is pushing for a change in ownership.

Phil Castellini’s response to #SellTheTeamBob?

“Well, where are you going to go?” He told Scott Sloan and Mo Egger on 700-WLW when asked why fans should remain loyal. “Sell the team to who? That’s the other thing: You want to have this debate? .... What would you do with this team to have it more profitable, make more money, compete more in the current economic system that this game exist? It would be to pick it up and move it somewhere else. Be careful what you ask for.”

Phil Castellini said he thought the team was doing the best it could with the resources that it has. Later, during the WLWT-TV (Channel 5) coverage of the Findlay Market Opening Day Parade, Phil Castellini was asked if he wanted to clarify his statements. He said the ownership group hasn’t abandoned their commitment to the team and encouraged fans to stay loyal to the club and its players.

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Listen to Phil Castellini WLW interview before Reds home opener:

Why are Reds fans mad at ownership and are the Reds for sale?

Fan anger began shortly after the 2020 season ended and the Reds began making roster moves to better align payroll. It came to head shortly after the MLB lockout ended and spring training started as the Reds traded Jesse Winker, Eugenio Saurez, Sonny Gray and Amir Garrett.

Earlier this month, Phil Castellini told The Enquirer that the team was not for sale.

“Absolutely zero chance. The team is not being shopped. (Selling the team) is not being contemplated,” Castellini said then.

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