Friday, December 14, 2001

Lefebvre's style impresses Boone


New hitting coach once cut new boss, managed Junior

By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BOSTON — Jim Lefebvre is the kind of hitting coach Reds manager Bob Boone would trust his sons with. That is why Boone hired Lefebvre as hitting coach.

        Boone saw Lefebvre at the Arizona Fall League. They talked hitting for four hours. A couple days later, Boone visited Lefebvre at his Scottsdale training center.

        “I watched him work with a couple of minor-league players,” Boone said. “I thought, "I've got to get my sons out here.'”

        That began the recruiting process that ended late Wednesday with Lefebvre agreeing to join the Reds' staff. “Bob's a great salesman,” Lefebvre said.

        Lefebvre managed the 1989-91 Seattle Mariners and the 1992-93 Chicago Cubs. He once cut Boone.

        “He tried out my first year in Seattle, and I had to release him,” Lefebvre said. “That was tough. Here was a guy I admired, and I had to let him go.”

        Lefebvre also gave Ken Griffey Jr. his start, keeping the 19-year-old after Seattle invited him to big-league camp in 1989. “It was a very simple call,” Lefebvre said.

        He has been out of coaching since he was Milwaukee's hitting coach in 1999.

        “The Reds have got great talent,” Lefebvre said. “I'm looking forward to working with Adam Dunn, Sean Casey, Barry Larkin, Junior ... They've got impact players.”

       



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