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Brennaman, Nuxhall: Sorry, Embarrassed

May 04, 1988|From Times Wire Services

NEW YORK — Cincinnati broadcasters Marty Brennaman and Joe Nuxhall, saying they were sorry and embarrassed, apologized Tuesday for on-the-air criticisms of National League umpire Dave Pallone during his run-in with Reds Manager Pete Rose.

Brennaman and Nuxhall met for nearly two hours with Commissioner Peter Ueberroth and NL President Bart Giamatti. There was no announcement whether punishment would be taken against the broadcasters.

Giamatti had charged Nuxhall and Brennaman with making "inflammatory and completely irresponsible" comments on the Reds radio network during Saturday night's 6-5 loss to the New York Mets at Riverfront Stadium in Cincinnati. Rose was ejected in the ninth inning after twice shoving Pallone. Rose said Pallone started the shoving match by poking Rose under his left eye with a finger.

Brennaman called Pallone "incompetent" and a "horrible" umpire during the broadcast. And Nuxhall called the umpire "a scab," a reference to Pallone having worked during the 1979 umpires' strike.

"There were some things that we said, in retrospect . . . that were extremely inappropriate," Brennaman said. "In my case, it was embarrassing to hear some of the things I said."

In a brief statement, Giamatti said in part: "We all agree completely in deploring fan violence, wherever it occurs, for whatever reason. None of us wishes to see the degeneration of baseball into dangerous displays of public disorder."

Fans had showered the field with debris, and Pallone left before the game ended.

Monday, Giamatti suspended Rose for 30 days and fined him a reported $10,000, but Rose will be able to manage until his appeal is heard. However, Rose did not manage the team Tuesday night for the second straight game because he is recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery.

Although Rose says he was poked by Pallone, the umpire's union says Pallone won't be punished, and the National League says that if he is, no one will know.

"The umpires are subject to discipline just like anyone else on the field," National League spokeswoman Katy Feeney said. But she added: "It is between the league president and the umpire. It will never be released. It never has been released. We won't release any disciplinary action for the safety of the umpires. We don't want to subject them to any danger on the field."

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