Wednesday, September 26, 2001

Nux, Boone in salute dispute

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PHILADELPHIA — Reds manager Bob Boone was as steamed as he has been all year at a remark broadcaster Joe Nuxhall made during Sunday's game at Milwaukee's Miller Park.

        Only a handful of Reds lined up on the top step of the dugout for the playing of “God Bless America” during the seventh-inning stretch while all the Milwaukee Brewers were on the top step.

        “I counted seven people,” Nuxhall said. “I said that's kind of disappointing.”

        “That's a bunch of crap,” Boone said. “Once (the song) starts, you don't run up to the top step. The only reason all the Brewers were there is they just ran off the field.”

        The song has been played instead of “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” since the terrorist attacks. Ken Griffey Jr., one of the Reds on the top step, said players weren't told to be on the top step.

        “What they told us is to stop and stand wherever you are,” Griffey said. “I don't think anyone meant to disrespect the value of the song.”

        Dmitri Young was in the clubhouse watching the game on television when the inning ended and the song started.

        “I totally forgot they were going to play it,” he said. “We're not used to them playing it.”

        Nuxhall stuck to what he said. “As sure as I'm sitting here,” he said.

        The controversy was fueled by talk on the Reds' flagship station, WLW-AM (700). The Reds received e-mails on the subject.

        “E-mails were saying we're not patriotic,” Boone said. “I resent it.”

        Boone clearly was upset with Nuxhall for starting the whole thing and with Nuxhall's partner, Marty Brennaman, for agreeing with the statement.

        “Ask them if they gave a day's pay,” Boone said. “It was an open fund.”

        Boone was referring to the Reds' “play for free day” Friday, when they'll donate $250,000 to the Heroes' Fund.

        Brennaman said he did donate $1,000. Nuxhall said he made a donation to another fund.

        Nuxhall caused another controversy when he said on the air in June that Barry Larkin “had lost it.”

        “Every time I open my mouth, I get in trouble,” he said. “I'm not going to say a thing.”


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