Thursday, August 26, 1999

REDS NOTEBOOK


Brett touts McKeon

BY CHRIS HAFT
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett, who was in Atlanta to promote All-Century Team balloting, thought the Reds' rise to contention stemmed partly from Jack McKeon's relaxed attitude.

        McKeon's first major-league managing job with the Kansas City Royals happened to coincide with Brett's arrival in the bigs.

        “I think when a guy comes up from Triple-A with an expansion team, he's trying to make a mark as a manager. There's a little more stress on you,” Brett said.

        “Now when I see Jack in spring training, he's walking around before the game with his big cigar, laughing and telling jokes and saying, "I have a good bunch of guys over here.' I think he's learned an awful lot. And I think his players have responded by the way he's treated them, because they're overachieving.

        “Did you think they would be in a pennant race this late in the season? It surprised the heck out of me.”

Boone's blast
        Though Aaron Boone went homerless Wednesday, he collected three in his previous five games. After homering twice in 181 at-bats as a Red last year, he has nine in 342 at-bats this season.

        Can Boone develop into a decent power hitter? His solid 6-foot-2, 200-pound build suggests he can, along with his recent surge.

        “I'm just working on things that help me get better all the time,” Boone said. “I'm trying to make myself as complete a hitter as I can.”

Etc.
        Atlanta's Gerald Williams lined a first-inning double off the left-field wall, giving the Braves doubles in a franchise-record 51 consecutive games.

        • Atlanta starter Tom Glavine improved his career record against Cincinnati to 21-7, his best against any team.

       



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