Monday, March 25, 2002

Reds could be reprimanded for playing scrubs

The Associated Press

        WINTER HAVEN, Fla. — The Reds could face a reprimand for violating a directive from the commissioner's office to bring at least four starters to spring training road trips.

        “The purpose is to protect the fans who pay good money to come to spring training games,” Alderson said in a phone interview.

        If the Indians complain, the commissioner's office will look into the matter. But that doesn't seem to be the case.

        “It's disappointing because it doesn't give us a chance to see our players so we can prepare for the season,” general manager Mark Shapiro said. “But I don't think it's appropriate to do anything to formally protest.”

        The 6,803 fans here Sunday saw the Reds' patchwork lineup manage only five singles and a triple by shortstop Juan Castro as they were shut out for the first time since their spring opener.

        Asked if he thought Cleveland would be insulted that the Reds didn't bring any regulars, manager Bob Boone said, “I'm certainly not trying to be insulting. There's definitely reasons for it.”

        Shortstop Barry Larkin and center fielder Ken Griffey Jr. played part of Saturday's game after missing time with minor injuries, and Boone had planned to give them the day off to see how they recovered.

        Some of the slumping regulars stayed in Sarasota to work on their swings, giving the backups their last chance to start in spring training.

        “They need to get ready, too,” Boone said. “Also, it's a chance to see several guys who are headed for the minor league side.”


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