Phillies' Fregosi apologizes to fans for crude remark National League

May 17, 1994|By Peter Schmuck | Peter Schmuck,Sun Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- Philadelphia Phillies manager Jim Fregosi found himself at the center of controversy yesterday when an off-hand comment he made over the weekend was turned into a cause celebre by a local radio station.

Fregosi allegedly made a crude and disparaging remark about listeners of WIP talk radio on Saturday. But the comment was made during an informal meeting with reporters and only reported by the radio station -- which has been openly feuding with the Phillies manager.

The Phillies quickly sought to control the damage, releasing a public apology and explanation, but Fregosi portrayed himself more as a victim than a villain. He was angry that a supposedly off-the-record comment had found its way onto the air even though no representative of the radio station had been present.

"It was something that was said in jest and in the privacy of my office," he said. "It's a shame. To me, it's thoroughly disgusting."

No one was saying how the radio station got the quote. There were only a handful of reporters in Fregosi's office at the time, and none used the quote in print. Still, Fregosi pleaded guilty with an explanation.

"First of all, I have said many times and strongly believe that Philadelphia baseball fans are the most supportive and knowledgeable in the country," Fregosi said in his statement. ". . . I truly apologize if anything I've ever said appears to criticize our fans."

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