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Reds Extend Dramatic Turnaround On And Off The Field

  • Oft-struggling team now on its longest winning streak since 1957
  • Average attendance at Great American Ball Park rising quickly
Sam Greene/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK
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The Cincinnati Reds won their 11th straight game on Wednesday, the team’s longest winning streak since 1957 — a run continuing a dramatic turnaround on and off the field that stands as one of MLB’s most remarkable stories this season.

The team — with a payroll of just $91.3 million that’s far less than the New York Mets’ league-high $344 million — has made the playoffs just once since 2014, and Reds ownership and management haven’t helped matters. 

The front office has frequently drawn local ire with comments such as club president Phil Castellini’s caustic taunt last year to unhappy fans, “Where are you gonna go?”

Reds attendance fell to 1.4 million last year, a 23% drop compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2019 and a new unrestricted low at Great American Ball Park.

Now, the club has surged to the NL Central division lead despite the fact that three of its four highest-paid players this year include the now-released Mike Moustakas and Wil Myers, as well as Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr. — who retired in 2010 but is still being paid $3.6 million this year due to salary deferrals more than two decades ago.

Fans have responded to the Reds’ youth movement. With average attendance up by more than 10% so far this season, club officials are projecting further lifts. “The response from this market, this Reds fan base … it has been overwhelming,” said Karen Forgus, Reds senior vice president of business operations, to WLWT-TV.

On another front, the Reds are among the MLB clubs next up regarding rights fee decisions from Diamond Sports Group, Bally Sports’ bankrupt parent.

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