Castellini praises Reds season-long effort

Castellini praises Reds season-long effort

CINCINNATI -- Edinson Volquez popped open a big can of beer and emptied it over the head of Reds owner Bob Castellini.

"You've probably been waiting all year to do that, haven't you?" Castellini said with a smile.

And Castellini, standing there soaked in the home clubhouse at Great American Ball Park on Tuesday night, had been waiting even longer for this moment to happen.

When he assumed ownership of the Reds in January of 2006, Castellini promised long-suffering Reds fans that this moment would come, that he would revive a once-great franchise.

Though winning the National League Central, which the Reds did in dramatic fashion with their 3-2 walk-off win over the Astros, was merely a first step to bigger things, Castellini said he is beginning to see the fruits of his organization's labor.

"It took us a little bit longer than we thought," he said. "But it's certainly worth it, isn't it? It's just wonderful."

Castellini said it was an organization-wide effort that got the Reds to this point -- from general manager Walt Jocketty, whom he installed in 2008, to manager Dusty Baker, who came on board that same year, to the players who overcame outside expectations and some notable bumps in the road this season.

"It's because these kids believe in themselves," Castellini said. "It's been a remarkable year. You stop and think about how many times we faltered, and they just came back strong and did not quit. We were very cautiously optimistic throughout. Every time these guys faltered or got swept, they came back. Resiliency was the middle name of this baseball team."

Though the champagne and beer were still flowing, Castellini wasted no time looking ahead. Not just to October, but to the championship tradition the Reds hope to establish.

"The next thing we think about is sustaining all this, and we expect to do that," he said. "These kids believe in themselves. They're terrific. They believe in their coaches, their manager, their general manager, they believe in each other. They're fantastic."

Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, CastroTurf. Follow @castrovince on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.