Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini sinks to new low with treatment of HOF writer

CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 07: Cincinnati Reds CEO Bob Castellini seen during ceremonies honoring Joe Morgan at Great American Ball Park on September 7, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI, OH - SEPTEMBER 07: Cincinnati Reds CEO Bob Castellini seen during ceremonies honoring Joe Morgan at Great American Ball Park on September 7, 2013 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images) /
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Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini has been in the news this offseason for being one of the four MLB owners that are against raising the competitive balance tax (CBT) threshold and, earlier this offseason, for the obvious shedding of payroll. But now, Castellini is making news for another bad reason: his supposed mistreatment of a Hall of Fame media member that covers the Cincinnati Reds.

Hal McCoy, who has covered the Cincinnati Reds since 1973 and winner of the BBWAA Career of Excellence Award in 2002, drew the ire of Castellini in recent years because his criticism of the team, a team that made it to the playoffs once since 2013 (in the shortened 2020 season) and hasn’t won a playoff series since 1995.

Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini has a bad relationship with Hal McCoy

Hal McCoy was a Cincinnati Reds beat writer with The Dayton Daily News for most of his career but in the 2010s, he was a writer for FOX Sports Ohio, which was the TV home for the Reds. In recent years, though, FOX Sports got rid of all of their written work online and changed their name to Bally Sports. McCoy also contributed to the TV broadcasts as well in pre- and post-game shows.

However, due to his criticism of the team, Bob Castellini wanted McCoy to be fired.

McCoy, who now writes on his own site, told the story of how it happened.

"“I had my own issues with Castellini,” said McCoy. “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 (which happened in 2015).But my relationship with Castellini since that incident has been colder than a frozen mackerel."

Unfortunately, in recent years but especially during the pandemic, there have numerous instances of attempts to silence media members for reporting the truth and the goings on with sports team. Of course, the most recent and, perhaps, biggest instance is with Ken Rosenthal, who’s contract was not renewed at MLB Network because of his criticism of MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

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This has been an issue for decades but now, with social media and the Internet, fans can do their own research and the journalists can relay sides of the story more easily, which angers many people who are just out to make a buck (or a few hundred million bucks), like Castellini, despite the product they have on the field and their lack of dedication to winning.