Billboard calls for Cincinnati Reds owner to #SellTheTeam as MLB season starts

Reds #SellTheTeam billboard
Posted at 6:15 PM, Apr 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 00:33:18-04

EVENDALE, Ohio — As the Major League Baseball season starts, drivers on I-75 might notice a bright white billboard with a clear message to Cincinnati Reds owner Bob Castellini: #SellTheTeamBob.

Chad Dotson, host of The Riverfront Podcast, said the idea for the billboard started as a joke last summer.

"Some time during the summer, someone said we ought to put up a billboard," Dotson said. "If Bob Castellini and the ownership group doesn’t try to improve the team, he should sell the team."

Dotson said he grew upset, like many fans, when the Reds dismantled their roster following a playoff season in 2020 and a decent run in 2021. Sonny Gray, Jesse Winker, Eugenio Suarez and more were shipped off this offseason for prospects.

“The frustration kind of boiled over a bit. We said you know what? Let’s throw a GoFundMe up there," Dotson said. "We designed a t-shirt, put it out there, did a GoFundMe. We said every dime of this we’ll put it into a billboard.”

The group needed more than $4,000 to run the ad for one month. Dotson said 200 Reds fans mostly donated anywhere between $5-25 for the billboard.

“I want to divide the team from the ownership. This is a group of 200 hardcore fans of the Reds. They don’t hate the Reds. They’re mad at ownership. They love the team," Dotson said. "They’re going to watch the game tonight, opening night game, cheering for the Reds."

The billboard is not the first time Reds fans have expressed their frustration. #SellTheTeamBob was trending for about a day after the Reds' fire sale. After the moves, team president Phil Castellini called for fans to trust the front office and come to games this season.

"I think if you watched any spring training games, this is a good, entertaining team and I think you'll see that play out on Opening Day and throughout the season," Castellini said. "So have a little bit of faith in what we're doing with your Cincinnati Reds."

Will the billboard move the needle? Dotson is doubtful, but he said he's glad there are other passionate fans out there who want to see a winning team.

“Does anyone that donated really think Bob Castellini is going to drive by, see that, and say, 'I’m going to sell the team?' Come on, no. We’re not delusional," said Dotson. "But it’s an opportunity for Reds fans to stand up and say look, you promised us championship baseball in 2006. You refused to follow through on that promise. Sell the team to someone who will.”

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