Tuesday, April 17, 2001

Reds not expecting problems

Games will be played as scheduled

By Chris Haft
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        For security reasons, Reds chief operating officer John Allen refused to divulge specifics regarding extra guards or protective forces that could be on duty tonight at Cinergy Field when the team begins a five-game homestand.

        It'll be Cincinnati's first home date since residents protested the April 7 shooting of Timothy Thomas.

        Cincinnati Police spokesman Lt. Ray Ruberg said there was no request from the Reds during Monday's meeting with city officials for additional police officers at today's 7:05 p.m. game against the Milwaukee Brewers.

        “There will be the normal number of officers that work every game,” Ruberg said. “No more officers were requested. Everything will be as usual.”

        Said Allen: “We'll take the appropriate steps to ensure the safety of fans, players and employees. We certainly don't anticipate any problems.”

        The Reds announced that every game in the homestand will be played as scheduled. The citywide curfew that Mayor Charlie Luken lifted Monday had prompted speculation that some of the games would have to be played during the afternoon or even postponed. Allen said he discussed the matter with officials from Luken's office on Monday.

        Allen also said he maintained contact with Major League Baseball officials when it appeared that the disturbances and the aftermath could affect the Reds' schedule.

        Asked if the Reds planned to deepen their community involvement as an “outreach” gesture, Allen said, “At the appropriate time, I'll sit with one or more of those (city officials) and see what or more we can do.”

        Allen launched a “Celebration of Diversity Day” that enables fans of various backgrounds to attend a game using discounted or donated tickets.

        The game, which has been held the past five seasons, has not been scheduled for this year, though it's likely to be held in late summer.

        The Reds also participate in baseball's RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities) program.

        Terry Flynn contributed to this report


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