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It’s Schott Who Goes Too Far Comments On Hitler’s ‘Good Side’ Get Reds Owner In Trouble Again

Joe Kay Associated Press

Marge Schott’s repeated assertion that Hitler merely “went too far” prompted calls Monday for major league baseball to once again discipline the Cincinnati Reds owner.

Schott’s remarks were made during an interview with ESPN broadcast Sunday night. She made similar comments during a newspaper interview four years ago.

The Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Congress asked baseball officials to take further action against Schott, who was suspended for the 1993 season because she used racial and ethnic slurs. She underwent sensitivity training during her banishment.

Phil Baum, the executive director of the American Jewish Congress, called Schott “a crude and thoughtless woman (who) has now reached a new low.”

Ken Jacobson, assistant national director of the Anti-Defamation League, called Schott’s comments “profoundly ignorant” and “offensive.”

“She’s done it again,” he said. “You’d think she’d learn from the past.”

Acting comissioner Bud Selig said from his Milwaukee home that he and National League president Len Coleman are considering the matter.

“Len and I are looking into this together,” Selig said. “Len and I have spent a lot of the day on this.”

The National League had no comment.

In the ESPN interview taped last Friday, Schott talked about Adolf Hitler’s term as German chancellor:

“Everything you read, when he came in he was good. They built tremendous highways and got all the factories going. He went nuts, he went berserk. I think his own generals tried to kill him, didn’t they? Everybody knows he was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.”

When contacted by The Associated Press after the interview, Schott said, “He asked me some questions during the interview that I really didn’t care for.”

The Reds had no statement Monday. Schott did not return a telephone message seeking comment.

“Selig, himself an owner and a Jewish owner at that, must get on the phone and tell Scott bluntly to shut up,” said Baum, who said Selig should appoint a committee to find a buyer for the Reds.

So far this season, Schott has exasperated business leaders by undercutting a tax campaign to build her a new stadium, drawn scorn for saying she felt “cheated” when an umpire died on opening day, and angered fans by eliminating updates on the scoreboard to save money.

Local newspapers have called on her to give up control of the team, saying she is an embarrassment to the city.

“There’s an incredible feeling of frustration probably by 99 percent of Cincinnati,” said Michael Rapp, director of the Jewish Community Relations Council.

When she sat out the 1993 season for using slurs, Schott still had the support of a large segment of the population.

Jacobson, a lifelong Reds fan who has a memento of Crosley Field on his desk in New York, said Schott should be pressured to give up control of the team.

“I think the combination of certain sanctions by major league baseball together with the good people of Cincinnati - I think there are pressures that can be brought to bear,” he said. “At least public opinion can be brought to bear.

“It’s an embarrassment to the Reds, to the town, to major league baseball.”

Marge said it

Some of Cincinnati Reds owner Marge Schott’s most controversial statements in the last year.

“Only fruits wear earrings.”

- May 1994, addressing a gathering of government officials in Cincinnati.

“I’m sick of that stadium thing. I have one question: Why do the Cincinnati Bengals need a stadium for 10 games a year? It makes no sense.”

- Feb. 25, while politicians were campaigning for a tax hike to build new stadiums for the Reds and the Bengals.

“I feel cheated. This isn’t supposed to happen to us, not in Cincinnati. This is our history, our tradition, our team. Nobody feels worse than me.”

- April 1, when the season opener was called off because umpire John McSherry collapsed on the field and died.

“Why do they care about one game when they’re watching another?” - April 12, after fans complained that one of her cost-cutting moves resulted in elimination of updates on the scoreboard.

“It’s a very poor place to try to make an apology, when the guy is warming up and ready to throw the first pitch.”

- Umpire Harry Wendelstedt, after Schott went onto the field at game time April 28 to explain her remarks about umpire John McSherry’s death to the umpiring crew.

“Everybody knows he was good at the beginning, but he just went too far.”

- On Adolf Hitler, in an interview aired on ESPN on May 5.

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