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Thorny Issue for Bench

Baseball: He resigns from radio show after co-host Brennaman mentions Pete Rose in Hall of Fame speech.

July 28, 2000|From Associated Press

CINCINNATI — Johnny Bench has quit a daily radio show with Reds' announcer Marty Brennaman after the two had a dispute over whether the broadcaster should have referred to Pete Rose in a Hall of Fame speech.

Bench has quit WLW-AM's daily morning "Brennaman and Bench on Baseball" show, station operations manager Darryl Parks said Thursday. Parks said he had been told Bench had resigned from the show, but did not explain Bench's reason for leaving.

Before Brennaman's speech at his Hall of Fame induction ceremony on Sunday, Bench approached the announcer to warn him against saying too much about Rose. Brennaman believes Rose should be in the Hall of Fame and said so during his speech.

Rose is ineligible for the Hall because he agreed to a lifetime ban from baseball in 1989 after an investigation of his gambling.

Bench opposes Rose's election to the Hall of Fame. A group of Hall of Famers, including Bob Feller and Ralph Kiner, reportedly were ready to walk out of Sunday's ceremony had Brennaman used his induction speech to campaign for Rose.

Brennaman said he intends to sit down with Bench, a special consultant to Reds' General Manager Jim Bowden, and work out the problem amicably.

"I intend for that to happen," Brennaman said. "Bench has been a very close friend of mine."

"It has nothing to do with Marty," Bench said. "It's just my own decision to make with the station and the way some of the things were handled."

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