We re just more than a month from Opening Day, so it s time to start previewing the season. Inspired by an old feature on The Black Table, we re going team-by-team and distributing Four Things You Don t Know about them. We re not sure how this is gonna work, but if you have suggested oddities on your team, send them to us at email@example.com. Today: The Cincinnati Reds.
• 1. Their Owner Was, Um, Different. Marge Schott (maiden name Margaret Unnewehr) was suspended three times by MLB, in 1992, '93, and '94, for praising Hitler. (OK, not just praising Hitler. But that didn't help.) She had a lot of money and wanted to keep it that way. In 1990, she made outfielder Eric Davis pay for his own plane ticket home from Oakland after Davis got out of the hospital following the Reds' sweep of the A's in the 1990 World Series. All he did was lacerate a kidney while diving for a ball in Game Four. Schott's collection of baseball memorabilia (she passed away in 2004) will be auctioned off on March 31. No word on whether the Nazi armband she reportedly owned is among the collectibles.
• 2. "Now Batting For Ken Griffey Jr. ..." Since becoming a Red in 2000, Ken Griffey Jr. has had two hamstring injuries, two knee injuries, one shoulder injury and has played ONE full season for the team. But he is nowhere near the most brittle Reds player ever; Kal Daniels once missed a game because he strained his eyelash.
• 3. Third On The Depth Chart, First In Our Hearts. Adam Dunn was the University of Texas' QB behind Major Applewhite and Chris Simms. That's why he's playing baseball and striking out an average of 147 times per season.
• 4. Facts About Pete Rose That Don't Involve Point Spreads. It's a scientific fact that Pete Rose's quote, "I'd walk through Hell wearing a gasoline suit" is the coolest quote about baseball ever. Rose, by the way, got the name "Charlie Hustle" from Whitey Ford ... who was making fun of him.
(Tomorrow: The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)