The War on Marge Schott

Letter From Cincinnati

And . . . she's outta there. On June 12, Marge Schott, the embattled majority owner of the Cincinnati Reds, was given the heave-ho by baseball's powers-that-be, forced to relinquish day-to-day control of her ball club through the 1998 season. In an ongoing effort to polish Major League Baseball's tarnished veneer, the august guardians of our national pastime sent Marge Schott to the showers for the second time in four years.

The catalyst behind Schott's latest yanking was her comment in a May 5 ESPN interview that Hitler was "OK at the beginning, but then he went too far." But Schott, who seems incapable of keeping her feet out of her mouth, has been steadily working the corners of the politically correct strike zone since her 1993 suspension for a string of ethnically challenged public statements, including allegedly referring to two of her star players as "my million dollar niggers."

Taken separately, Schott's recent assertions that "only fruits wear earrings" and that "some of the biggest problems in this city come from women wanting to leave the home to work" are not that outrageous in the context of Cincinnati, Ohio—or most of Middle America, for that matter. But the obstreperous Reds owner went on a tear last spring, even by her own standards. Schott got the 1996 season off to a controversial start with her well-publicized unwillingness to call off...

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