Sunday, March 26, 2000

Vaughn rips Bowden, McKeon

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        SARASOTA, Fla. — Greg Vaughn didn't criticize the Reds when it became evident late last season that he wouldn't re-sign with them. He didn't rip the club when it obtained Dante Bichette from Colorado to replace him. He didn't blast the Reds when he signed his four-year, $34 million free-agent deal with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

        But Saturday, Vaughn finally expressed irritation toward the Reds — particularly General Manager Jim Bowden and manager Jack McKeon, who he said degraded him behind his back.

        “The only bitterness I had is that after I left, the stuff that Jack and Bowden came out and said — I was demanding, I was this, I was that ... I think that was unfair. That's unprofessional,” said Vaughn, who hit .245 with 45 homers and 118 RBI in his lone Reds season. “So I'm not going to lash back at them. You (reporters) know the truth. Ask the players.”

        Vaughn's remarks jarred McKeon.

        “I never said that,” McKeon said. “I just got done on radio saying he was a gamer. I said (he) gives you 100 percent. If you see him, tell him I said that. Tell him I was upset to hear that.”

        Bowden was attending an awards banquet and was unavailable for comment.

        Vaughn said nice things about everybody else he encountered as a Red.

        “I want to thank the fans in Cincinnati. They were awesome to me and my family,” he said. “My teammates were awesome. I just had a problem with two guys because of the cheap shots they threw out after I left. After they got (Ken Griffey) Junior — "Oh, Vaughn was selfish. We didn't want him.' Come on, man. That was very unprofessional.”

        Vaughn said the Devil Rays management team is “pretty honest.” That led to one last broadside against the Reds.

        “Don't say one thing to your face and go somewhere else and say something totally different,” he said. “That's what I have a problem with, and that's what goes on over there a lot.”


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