The Cincinnati Enquirer and The Associated Press
First baseman Sean Casey said Reds players were shocked when chief operating office John Allen called them together before today's game and told them that general manager Jim Bowden, manager Bob Boone and two coaches had been fired.
"It was stunning," said Casey. "It was very surprising. It was just a weird atmosphere. Guys were coming in to get ready to work, and your skipper's gone and your general manager's gone."
Dave Miley, manager of the Reds' Triple-A farm team at Louisville, was named interim manager for the rest of the season.
Bob Boone says goodbye to reporters as he leaves the clubhouse at Great American Ball Park today.
(Gary Landers photo)
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Boone, dressed in street clothes, left the clubhouse about two hours before the 12:35 p.m. game. He shook reporters' hands but declined to comment.
"We felt it was going to happen," said bench coach Ray Knight, who managed the team for today's game. "We didn't know it was going to be this extensive or this deep."
Hitting coach Tom Robson and third-base coach Tim
Foli were also fired.
Ryan Dempster, who had groused last week that Boone wasn't letting his starters go long enough, said:
"I don't know what needed to happen. When you're struggling, you're always searching for answers. A lot of times, the manager gets the brunt of it on his shoulders."
At a noon news conference, Allen said the team's fall out of contention this month convinced him it was time to make a move.
Reds COO John Allen announces the firings today.
(Michael E. Keating photo)
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"Certainly there were high expectations for this season," Allen said. "I'm not saying we necessarily expected to go to the World Series, but we certainly didn't expect to be sitting 10 1/2 games out and significantly under .500 (12 games) at this point in the season."
Of Miley, Allen said: "He's been a very good manager in the minor leagues and very loyal to our organization. I'm very excited to see what Dave can do."
Miley is a 23-year veteran of the Reds organization. He will
join the team Tuesday.
Knight will work as
the club's hitting coach and third-base coach. Bullpen catcher Mark Berry
will serve as bench coach.
The Reds said they do not expect to hire a new GM or manager for 2004
until after the World Series.
Both Bowden and Boone were in final years of their contracts.
The team had talked for years about the buildup to 2003 and the opening of Great American Ball Park. But the team has failed to remain competitive. The Reds entered today's game 46-58 and in fifth place in the National League Central.
They are last in pitching and fielding the National League.
"One of our disappointments is that we have not developed more starting pitching," Allen said today. "We've really got to focus on that."
Miley, 41, becomes the 57th manager in Reds history, the 47th since
1900. In four seasons at Louisville, Miley compiled a
Miley's career record as a minor league manager is 1,115-841 (.570),
and in 1998 he was named the International League's best managerial
prospect. He was 1997 IL Manager of the Year at Indianapolis and 1995
Southern League Manager of the Year and Class AA Manager of the Year
while at Chattanooga.
Miley signed with the Reds as a catcher and played seven minor league
seasons before he became a coach. For most of the last 16 seasons he
was a coach, instructor or manager in the club's minor league system. Miley
was the bench coach on the Reds staff in 1993 under manager Tony
At age 31, Bowden became the youngest general manager in major league history when he took over before the 1993 season. He immediately built his reputation as an impatient boss by firing manager Tony Perez only 44 games into the next season.
The Reds made it to the NL championship series in 1995 with the second-biggest payroll in the league but were swept by the Braves and never made it back to postseason play.
Along the way, Bowden developed a reputation for playing angles and constantly remaking the roster. The Reds formally launched into a rebuilding in 1997, but changed course when they surprisingly stayed in contention throughout 1999, losing a one-game playoff to the Mets for the NL wild card.
Bowden then pulled off the trade that was supposed to be his crowning moment as a general manager, bringing Ken Griffey Jr. home in February 2000 through a trade with Seattle. But that blew up on him, with Griffey getting hurt in each of his four seasons back home.
Griffey is out for the season with a torn tendon in his right ankle.
When the ballclub was campaigning for a sales tax increase to build the new ballpark, Bowden promised fans: "Build it and we will win." The franchise's inability to develop young pitching during his tenure doomed them to another losing season.
Boone took over for Jack McKeon after the 2000 season and never produced a winning record. The Reds went 190-238 during his tenure.
Cracks started to show during a 1-7 homestand after the All-Star break, when starting pitchers complained about Boone's handling of the pitching staff.
Boone also came under question because of his propensity for unorthodox moves - batting home run leader Adam Dunn in the leadoff spot, for example.
REDS FIRE BOWDEN, BOONE
Column: Reds' woes go much deeper
Miley: 'Dream come true'
Dad felt relieved, Aaron Boone says
Boone bites his tongue
Players take share of the blame
Fans' reaction to the firings
Reds 6, Phillies 5
OTHER REDS COVERAGE
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Reds 8, Mets 5
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Attorney: Stringer's widow to file lawsuit
Swarm finish with a win, will return next year
Carter, Murray welcomed into Hall
Uecker Hall speech juuuuust a bit funny
NL: Cardinals' rally stuns Pirates
Huge 7th inning lifts Boston to win
Oldies Osterday, Spilman still goodies
Morse-Karzens clinch title
Roddick storms to win in Indy
Watson inspired by absent caddie
Morgan, Ouzts winners at River Downs
Fuel strategy pays off in another Newman win
TOUR DE FRANCE
His fifth title in hand, Lance chases history
ON THE AIR
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