Johnson Can ‘Wine’ a Little About Schott


Working for eccentric Cincinnati Red owner Marge Schott was often difficult for Davey Johnson during his three seasons managing the ballclub.

However, Johnson, now the Dodger manager, said he has fond memories of his time at the Reds’ helm. Schott’s disturbing behavior notwithstanding.

“Coming back here is kind of different for me,” Johnson said before the Dodgers’ 3-2 loss Tuesday at Cinergy Field, marking his first game at the stadium since leaving the Reds after leading them to the 1995 National League Central Division title.


“The cab driver wanted to stop at [the Reds’ entrance]. I had to tell him it was the other one [for visiting teams], so that one was new. All the memories come back to you and there are a lot. Just a lot of things.”

Johnson was working as a consultant with the Reds when he replaced Tony Perez as manager in 1993. The team went 53-65 under Johnson and finished fifth in the National League West.

The Reds were 66-48--and leading the Central--at the time of the ’94 strike. Johnson led Cincinnati to the ’95 Central title, going 85-59, and the Reds swept the Dodgers in the division series before losing to Atlanta in the National League championship series.

“My first year, I had to replace Tony, and that was tough duty,” Johnson said. “My next year, we were playing pretty good, and we had to stop because of the strike. Then we almost didn’t get off the ground [in ‘95].

“We had replacement players at the start [during spring training], and we started 0-8, but we won it. I threw three left-handers at the Dodgers and we won three, but we couldn’t get by [Atlanta’s Greg] Maddux and company.”

Johnson said the ’95 team was among his favorites.

“I’ve had a lot of good ballclubs and that one was right there with the best of them,” said Johnson, who also won division titles with the New York Mets and Baltimore Orioles.


“You had Lark [shortstop Barry Larkin], [pitcher Jose] Rijo, [second baseman Bret] Boone, [outfielder Reggie] Sanders and [outfielder] Deion [Sanders]. What a great bunch of guys. We had a great time.”

Schott did not re-sign Johnson after ’95 because she wanted Ray Knight, Johnson’s third base coach, to manage the team. Knight was fired in ’97.

Believe it or not, Johnson said he also has pleasant memories about Schott, who major league baseball recently forced to sell her controlling interest in the Reds.

“Yeah, even Marge,” Johnson said. “She called me to have a glass of red wine once because she knows I like red wine. But I like it better when it hasn’t been chilled and doesn’t come with a screw-off cap.”


Second baseman Eric Young sat out his third consecutive game Tuesday because of left ankle soreness but hopes to play the remaining two games of the series.

“It feels a lot better,” Young said. “I was able to walk today without any pain and that’s a good start for me. I did a little running on the field, so we’ll see.”


Johnson is not as optimistic as Young.

“E.Y. needs his wheels; that’s what his game is all about,” the manager said. “I’m not going to risk him hurting that ankle more to right now. I want him in there when I need him later on.”





Cinergy Field, 4 PDT

* Radio--KXTA (1150), KWKW (1330).

* Update--Park is coming off one of the best outings of a disappointing season. Last Thursday against Houston, the right-hander gave up only five hits and one run in seven strong innings. Park had a no-decision in the Dodgers’ 4-3 loss in 10 innings.