Sunday, July 28, 2002

Cinergy countdown No.17 - Aug. 21, 1990

Mount Lou erupts in a big way

By John Erardi,
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Lou Piniella, former Reds manager, shakes hands with Reds general manager Jim Bowden while greeting former Reds catcher Johnny Bench during the Mariners batting practice before their game against the Reds at Cinergy June 18th.
(Brandi Stafford photo)
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        On the Lou Piniella highlight reel, Aug. 21, 1990 ranks No.1 —— and that's saying something.

        The Reds still had a good-sized lead (5 1/2 games) in the National League West Division but were battling a five-game losing streak.

        Piniella didn't like the call of first-base umpire Dutch Rennert at the end of the fifth inning (Barry Larkin grounded into a double play). Piniella charged from the dugout, threw his hat in the dirt and was ejected.

        That's when it really got wild: Piniella pulled first base and heaved it... but he didn't like his heave, so he picked it up and heaved it again, this time into short right field.

        The crowd of 22,759 roared in delight. But Piniella was contrite in the postgame clubhouse.

        “It was frustration,” he said. “(It) just happened. I came in here afterward and thought, a 46-year-old man shouldn't be doing that.”

        He would say roughly the same thing 12 years later when, as the Seattle Mariners' manager, he was ejected after getting on his knees to pile dirt on home plate in protest of a call.

        “What can I say?” he said in a June visit to Cinergy Field with his Mariners. “I'm not happy I do those things... The next day, I wake up and say, "What the hell did you do that for?”'


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