Wells: Schott reduced my 3-year-old son to tears Says child called 'bad Red' for wearing cap backward


June 14, 1996|By Buster Olney | Buster Olney,SUN STAFF

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Orioles left-hander David Wells, who played for Cincinnati last year, said yesterday that he fully supports Major League Baseball's decision to suspend Marge Schott and related a nasty incident he says occurred between his 4-year-old son and the Reds owner.

"Heck, they should've taken the team away from her and made her sell it," Wells said. "The comments she's made put her in the situation she's in. Like anybody, she's got to think about what she says before she says something.

"Looking at the paper today, I didn't know she did all that she did. Get her out. Let her go sell cars. . . . She'll fire you in a heartbeat and she won't think twice about it. I think that's what baseball should do."

Wells said that while the Reds were playing the Dodgers in Los Angeles in the playoffs last year, Schott chastised Wells' son Brandon in the stands. According to Wells, Brandon, who was then 3, was wearing his Reds cap on backward, as Wells himself did frequently, and Schott took the hat away and told Brandon he was wearing it incorrectly. When Schott wouldn't give the hat back, Wells said, Brandon began to cry.

"She wouldn't give it back to him," Wells said, "and he started crying. She started saying, 'You're a bad Red,' stuff like that. To me, you don't do something like that. If you want to talk to a kid, you do it in a positive way.

"The next night, she did it again. She called him a bad boy. I mean, c'mon."

After the incidents, which Wells said took place in front of family members of other Reds, he approached Schott and told her he wished she'd taken a different approach. "She said, 'I didn't have to bring him, anyways,' " Wells said.

All Reds family members flew to Los Angeles on the team plane. "I said, 'Wrong. Wives and family deserve to be here.' That statement right there fired me up."

Wells remembered how Schott would bring her dog Schottzie II into the clubhouse. "I like Schottzie," Wells said. "Cool dog. I had fun with it. I barked at it."

But Wells didn't like the dress code or the mandate against facial hair enforced by Schott -- and he doesn't like the Orioles' rules, either. "Dress code, facial hair, we're grown men and we know how to handle ourselves out there," Wells said. "Like here [with the Orioles], we've got to wear black T-shirts, we can't wear white T-shirts or white shoes. What's the most important thing -- how you look?

"To me, I'm going to wear white out there. It's 150 degrees and black does not help."

Wells said he knew of many other stories regarding Schott. "I'm not going to go into them. I don't want to bury her too much."

Pub Date: 6/14/96

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