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Monday, January 16, 2023

Reds president Phil Castellini rankles some with comments on team at Reds supporters club lunch [$]

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Among his remarks was that the ownership group ran the team like a “nonprofit.” Rosie Reds president Sara Mathews said that was just part of the statement, noting that she believed the overall message was that Castellini meant the team put any profits back into the team. Others did not take that away from the comment.

“He did open up that talk asserting that the Reds were a nonprofit organization,” said Tracey Johnson, a season ticket holder and Rosie Reds member. “I’ve worked for 501(c)(3)s and I was appalled, to say the least. It went down from there. He was very much trying to really back up, ‘hey, we’re trying and the system is fixed against us.’”

Castellini bemoaned guaranteed contracts in the game, asking the group, “is anyone here paid to not do their job?”

Suzana Davis, a Rosie Reds board member who was in attendance on Saturday, said she believed Castellini’s remark about guaranteed contracts to be “tongue-in-cheek” and that overall his comments were misconstrued by those on social media.

Castellini also called Major League Baseball a business “in crisis,” noting the economic discrepancy between franchises due to individual television deals among other factors. Castellini brought a slide show, including a slide that declared there had been a 75 percent increase since 2019 in teams that are out of contention on Opening Day. He used FanGraphs’ playoff probability for that definition: his criteria included teams listed as having a 25 percent chance or less of reaching the playoffs when the season begins.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2023 at 01:25 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: reds

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2023 at 02:20 PM (#6113359)
If only there was some sort of mechanism, something like $280-300 M in GUARNTEED revenue, that could bring a bit of certainty to the game that would allow a team some opportunity to plan for guaranteed contracts.

And while the nattering nabobs of negativism might point out that franchise values keep climbing, can you imagine what the March of Dimes would sell for if it was put on the market? You don't hear anybody talking about that.
   2. Cris E Posted: January 16, 2023 at 02:42 PM (#6113362)
Did he have a graph that showed the percentage of teams with a good shot at .500 that feature an entertaining game on the field and still turn a profit? Man I wish there was a way to require team owners and mgmt to like the game.
   3. John Northey Posted: January 16, 2023 at 03:17 PM (#6113366)
I'd have laughed loudly at that 25% or less shot at the playoffs thing. How idiotic.
Pre-2022's season here is who had 25%+...
AL East: Jays, Yankees, Red Sox Rays (O's at 0.1%)
AL Central: White Sox, Twins (Guardians 15%, Tigers 12%, Royals 8%)
AL West: Astros, Angels (Mariners 23%, Rangers 8%, A's 1.1%)

NL East: Atlanta, Mets, Phillies, Marlins (Nationals 1.3%)
NL Central: Brewers, Cardinals (Reds 8%, Cubs 7%, Pirates 0.9%)
NL West: Dodgers, Padres, Giants (Diamondbacks, Rockies both sub 1%)

The 25% is stupid due to the Mariners being on the cusp of the playoffs in '22 and making it in '23 but according to Castellini they had no hope. Cleveland was 2nd in their division in '22 and won it in '23 but they had 'no hope' by his definition.

The problem is the game gives incentives to suck or win - being in the middle means you get screwed (Jays were in that zone most of the 1994-2014 time frame). Thus the A's, Nationals, Pirates, Diamondbacks, and Rockies all said 'screw it', but the O's with the worst playoff odds of all teams almost snuck in (finished 3 games out of it). That speaks to the health of MLB, and the Rays prove you can contend with a tiny budget and no fan support.

Castellini is just trying to dampen expectations from the group most loyal to his team (thus who ensure the team stays in Cincinnati) and to make them think he isn't a lousy team president running a team that only snuck in the playoffs once since 2014 and then only due to the weird 2020 rules. If run well they should be in a success cycle right now after 2014-2019 being 'rebuild' years with 2020's playoffs and 2021's 500+ record being jumping points to future success, instead they lost 100 games in 2022.
   4. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2023 at 03:38 PM (#6113370)
Castellini bemoaned guaranteed contracts in the game, asking the group, “is anyone here paid to not do their job?”


Is Phil not familiar with college football at all.
   5. kcgard2 Posted: January 16, 2023 at 03:55 PM (#6113371)
There was pretty serious fan backlash against Castellini when prior to this season the Reds were coming off a .500 season and a playoff berth (in expanded 2020 playoffs) after spending 5-6 years in the dryest of rebuild deserts. The Reds essentially gave away anyone on their roster who was making any meaningful money, pushing the payroll markedly lower than the Reds had been sustaining even 10-15 years ago, marking a return right back into a full on rebuild when the past 7 seasons resulted in one playoff berth and no playoff wins. Phil's tone deaf response to fan frustration was "well, where are you gonna go?" insinuating that Reds fans get what they get and should be happy the team isn't moving away altogether. The Reds had not even fully exited the last rebuild before Castellini began tearing it right back down again, on the heels of a new TV deal, new part ownership of the RSN, MLBAM windfalls, and of course their revenue sharing income. Worth noting that the franchise hadn't won a single postseason series in 26 years, and won two total postseason games in that time. He follows up that PR snafu with this rather pathetic attempt to...garner sympathy(?) from the fanbase. After lying through his teeth just before that saying that the Reds are run "like a non-profit." Phil is really bad at PR, which admittedly can't be very easy since the Reds decided to become one of the four or five cheapest teams in MLB whose MO is to run basement level payrolls onto the field and live on revenue sharing rather than attempt to be competitive.
   6. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 16, 2023 at 04:21 PM (#6113375)
Um, did you all see this? It was all a lie - those numbers are not from Fangraphs, the actual numbers from Fangraphs tell a completely different story, and at least 1 (and as many as 4) team with supposed "no hope" actually have made the playoffs each of the past 8 seasons.

Sell the team Bob.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2023 at 04:51 PM (#6113377)
Castellini has done the heretofore impossible - made Mike Brown the most popular owner in town.
   8. Walt Davis Posted: January 16, 2023 at 06:15 PM (#6113380)
Does Cincy not have a, I dunno, Major League LaCrosse team or something to be the most populat owner in town?

Even if Castellini was right about playoff chances, what would that say other than a substantial number of teams have decided to tank (or at least clear a comvy profit) by pocketing a large proportion of that revenue I mentioned. Yes, if you run a $60 M payroll, your playoff chances are generally going to be low.

Somewhere in all this there is a potentially interesting discussion of what else a team running a $150-180 M payroll needs to go right before they can "consistently contend" but "woe is us and our $60 M payroll and $150 M profit that somehow disappears through magical accounting" is not a useful place to start that discussion.
   9. The Duke Posted: January 16, 2023 at 09:56 PM (#6113402)
The Athletic article was odd. One the one hand, it reported a few things he said, which out of context, sound bad. On the another hand it reported that many people there thought it was a good presentation. If you are going to have off the record chats you need to ban phones and electronica devices. If they asked for for people not to tweet or post or social media and they still did, then they should get rid of them as guests for future events.

I'm old school and if someone comes in to share candidly what they believe , you should respect it or people will stop coming to talk to you with candid comments. You can't have it both ways

I once had the privilege to sit with former sec of state who said some amazing things to her audience that even today would make news - nothing from that session ever leaked.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 16, 2023 at 10:33 PM (#6113412)

I once had the privilege to sit with former sec of state who said some amazing things to her audience that even today would make news


Do you have a link to an image of her?
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: January 16, 2023 at 10:46 PM (#6113414)
If you are going to have off the record chats you need to ban phones and electronica devices. If they asked for for people not to tweet or post or social media and they still did, then they should get rid of them as guests for future events.


Anyone who thinks remarks made in a large gathering will not be repeated is a fool, particularly now when everyone in the room has the capacity to act as a journalist. Also, I'm skeptical there was widespread understanding his remarks were off the record, considering the number of people who put their names to their comments.
   12. Howie Menckel Posted: January 17, 2023 at 12:04 AM (#6113422)
exactly.

the only 'off-the-record' scenarios these days is literally one-on-one, face-to-face or - as happens at Derek Jeter's homes and I am not kidding - all guests must deposit their mobile phones and any other devices (after a body search) as they enter the abode.

a fine tool with skittish interviewees BITD was an old-school tape recorder (later a voice recorder). of course it helped if you already knew each other.

so a good 10-15 minutes, with device clearly sitting on the table.
a touchy subject arrives. no problem, as a demonstrative CLICK ends the recording to that point.
discussion ensues - sometimes a long one.

once it's time to 'revert,' PLAY button clearly is signaled. sometimes there's a second, similar scenario.

not only does the interviewee feel more comfortable - so does the interviewer.
if mulling what was on, what was off, the recorder tells all.

(the 'off' generally was for helpful context. not only did it not have to be taken as gospel, but on the other hand it could be a reminder to check a public record that would be relevant to the topic at hand.)

many lawyers here - maybe not so many in criminal cases. but "fruit from a poisonous tree" may apply. if you had no way to know this info by any other means, you're #### out of luck. yes, it can be .... complicated.

meanwhile, I always have felt a little sorry for the offspring of very rich people (Prince Harry dominating that lane at the moment). with precious few (but not zero) exceptions, they end their lives having made no progress at all.

a child of a single-parent drug addict who grew up on the streets but grew up to become - yes, almost anything, is a winner. but some wind up as defense attorneys and social workers and other advocates. what an absolute triumph that is.

and look at this imbecile. and he doesn't even know how clueless he is, and I doubt he ever will.
   13. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 17, 2023 at 12:40 AM (#6113425)
.
   14. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 17, 2023 at 12:42 AM (#6113426)
Castellini May 2022

So he's good at this sort of thing.
   15. vortex of dissipation Posted: January 17, 2023 at 02:20 AM (#6113431)
I'm reminded of the Japanese rock duo Yorushika, who are both very good and very popular. They're extremely secretive about their appearance and private lives, and have never released photos of themselves. They've only ever played three live shows, and under lighting conditions where it was difficult to see their faces. They specifically asked people not to take any photos that showed their faces, and people have complied. I wonder if they could get away with that in America. In case you're wondering what a show under those conditions would look like, here's a clip from their official web site. (You can sometimes see the faces of the backing musicians, but not the singer and guitarist who make up the duo).
   16. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 01:25 PM (#6113459)
I wonder if they could get away with that in America.


Daft Punk was French, but they sold zillions of records and sold out stadiums in America without ever showing their faces, I'm pretty sure.
   17. Walt Davis Posted: January 17, 2023 at 01:33 PM (#6113463)
"I run this team like a charity" is self-serving and not candid, clearly intended for public consumption. He used an apparently incorrect and misleading graph (oops) to make one of his candid, on-the-cuff points.
   18. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 17, 2023 at 01:40 PM (#6113465)
I wonder if they could get away with that in America.
Not sure about chart-topping pop success, but they could probably get a pretty big hipster following if they established that as their schtick.
   19. SoSH U at work Posted: January 17, 2023 at 02:15 PM (#6113472)
Daft Punk was French, but they sold zillions of records and sold out stadiums in America without ever showing their faces, I'm pretty sure.


Didn't some Iowa assclowns do something similar?
   20. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: January 17, 2023 at 02:56 PM (#6113480)
Iowa's Slipknot is a modern day KISS. or something.
   21. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 03:24 PM (#6113485)
Former nonprofit middle manager here. Although certainly not the way he intended it, there is a similarity between how baseball front offices and most nonprofits protect their bottom-line: both staffs are very under-compensated relative to what they could be making in other industries.

Baseball front office staff essentially pay a negative compensating differential to their employers because they want to work in the industry. That is, part of their compensation is a non-pecuniary, psychic benefit of working for a game they love.

Not too dissimilarly, nonprofit staff are typically motivated by their organizations' missions and almost always accept far below market salaries to be a part of it. The end result is that the bottom-line of both types of employers are effectively subsidized by their employees. The important difference is that ball clubs almost always turn a private profit for their owners whereas the subsidy that nonprofit staff give up typically augments social programming. Although there are some instances where top nonprofit executives are compensated above their market rates, but that's a whole other kettle of fish. With those few exceptions, nonprofit staff are generally under-compensated.
   22. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:16 PM (#6113499)
The end result is that the bottom-line of both types of employers are effectively subsidized by their employees. The important difference is that ball clubs almost always turn a private profit for their owners whereas the subsidy that nonprofit staff give up typically augments social programming.
So my stepdaughter was a communications major in college, and wanted to get into sports. To graduate, she had to perform an internship for x number of credits. Her internship, which she jumped through hoops to secure, was with the Pistons.

Not only did she do the work for free, she actually had to pay for the right (whatever the credit hours cost at her private college) to work for a hideously profitable, privately owned company.
   23. Cris E Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:26 PM (#6113500)
The end result is that the bottom-line of both types of employers are effectively subsidized by their employees.

I get your point, but it makes his observation even more awful. Employees do look at non-profit and pro sports careers similarly so they are kind of alike, well, other than the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through an MLB organization that's not being reinvested in the staff or product. Kind of a "But other than that, how did you like the play Mrs Lincoln?" sort of distinction he wants to get away with.
   24. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:31 PM (#6113504)
I get your point, but it makes his observation even more awful. Employees do look at non-profit and pro sports careers similarly so they are kind of alike, well, other than the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through an MLB organization that's not being reinvested in the staff or product. Kind of a "But other than that, how did you like the play Mrs Lincoln?" sort of distinction he wants to get away with.


Yeah I don't disagree.
   25. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:53 PM (#6113507)
So my stepdaughter was a communications major in college, and wanted to get into sports. To graduate, she had to perform an internship for x number of credits. Her internship, which she jumped through hoops to secure, was with the Pistons.

The University of North Texas opened today a new branch campus in the city I live, and the City -- who pushes their self-adopted "Sports City USA" moniker at every opportunity -- breathlessly touts the debut of a degree plan in Sports Management where interested yutes will be able to "partner" with one of the many professional sports organizations we have paid handsomely to set up shop here including the Dallas Cowboys, Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Dallas Stars, Professional Golf Association, FC Dallas, Southland Conference, an Indoor Football League (I've never heard of it either) team, and who knows whatever even more fringe sports.

Are they being sold a pig in a poke? I mean, is there any reason a company in non-sports would hire a manager whose academic credentials are in Sports Management? And are there any real jobs there to be had? As an intern, they're going to do the grunt work. As a graduate, the grunt work will still be done by a new crop of intern "partners" while the good jobs go to the owner's and executives' Ivy League pals. Is there any mid-management level of employment in sports where a degree from Directional Regional State School is a foot in the door to a real career?
   26. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 17, 2023 at 04:59 PM (#6113510)
Are they being sold a pig in a poke? I mean, is there any reason a company in non-sports would hire a manager whose academic credentials are in Sports Management? And are there any real jobs there to be had?

My question is why not just major in management or finance or econ. Managing a business or doing finance doesn't actually vary much based on what your company produces. Over specialization at age 20 is insane.
   27. 6 - 4 - 3 Posted: January 17, 2023 at 05:29 PM (#6113511)
From what I've gathered, your best bet of getting hired at something approaching a half-decent wage is to gain experience and expertise in a field outside the industry (e.g., data science) and try to bypass the internship game entirely for something mid-level rather than entry-level.

I think anyone who attempts to break into the industry with just an undergrad in sports management--especially from a non-elite institution--is most likely going to be disappointed. Best case is that they're earning peanuts for a year or two before being replaced by someone new.

Not unlike the nonprofit sector. Entry-level is a constant churn. Most people leave within 2-3 years for greener pastures.
   28. Mayor Blomberg Posted: January 17, 2023 at 06:46 PM (#6113519)
Are they being sold a pig in a poke?

On the management side of it probably, but college is a business these days. There re at least 51 colleges with sports management degrees, none of them Ivy. (Rice surprised me). However, the degree also comprehends kinesiology and athletic trainer training (the school I retired from did that in Fitness and Human Performance), which may well lead to jobs in football, baseball, basketball, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee or world team cornhole leagues.
   29. TDF, trained monkey Posted: January 18, 2023 at 10:58 AM (#6113558)
Are they being sold a pig in a poke?
Yes and no.

You're right - it's a very specific skill/experience set.

OTOH, there are lots of high-paying jobs out there that require a college degree - of any kind. The stepdaughter turned her degree + a connection into an absurdly high paying job as an insurance broker. When I, with 30+ years of sales experience asked about the possibility of a job in the same industry (with now a couple of ins) I was told a flat no without a degree.
   30. Cris E Posted: January 18, 2023 at 11:07 AM (#6113561)
I had a boss who was the first kid in his family to go to college. He firmly believed that getting into and through college really represented something important and firmly required it of all his database and sys admin hires. it's clearly not needed to do the work, but he thinks following the app process, managing the money, doing the work to get whatever grades you got and delaying the immediate gratification of full time work right out of high school meant something. I didn't bother trying to explain how little those points mean to a lot of upper middle class families where many of the things are just expected and not a huge decision, and resources aren't that huge a challenge. This was not that long ago and he wasn't an old man, so I do think there are still a lot of people like him out there. But the difficulty finding workers over the past few years may start moving the needle on what skills are really required to do what work. We'll see.
   31. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: January 19, 2023 at 07:36 AM (#6113632)
I used to say about the radio station I worked for, "I work for a non-profit. It's not supposed to be a non-profit, but it is." (My boss was not pleased with me saying that, especially on the air during the show we were co-hosting.)
   32. himzoglin Posted: January 31, 2023 at 03:31 AM (#6115238)
Castellini has accomplished the unthinkable by making Mike Brown the most beloved owner in the city.
coreball

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