CINCINNATI -- Aaron Boone had just plopped slices of bread
into the clubhouse toaster when third base coach Tom Foli tracked
him down and told him to go see his father right away.
Cincinnati Reds manager Bob Boone was in his office, thinking of
how he would break some unpleasant news to his son and third
"I thought maybe he was getting fired or I was getting
traded,'' Aaron Boone said. "You never know. I was putting my
toast in and Foli told me, 'Don't worry about your toast, go back
In an unemotional tone, Bob Boone told his son that he had just
been fired. The Reds also fired general manager Jim Bowden, Foli
and batting coach Tom Robson on Monday.
On the scoreboard at Great American Ball Park, the few thousand
fans waiting for a game against the Philadelphia Phillies watched
video of Aaron and his father enjoying the All-Star Game in Chicago
two weeks ago.
In the clubhouse, Aaron talked to friends while his father
quietly slipped out, shaking reporters' hands but declining to say
anything about the firing, which came during his third season as manager.
"I think he kind of just needed to get away,'' Aaron said.
Bob Boone came under harsh criticism from fans for his unusual
managing moves with the Reds -- such as batting home-run hitter Adam
Dunn first and sending in a pitcher to pinch run for another
pitcher, who also was pinch running. Even as his final season under
contract went sour, Bob Boone remained upbeat.
"I think he was probably a little relieved that they went ahead
and did it now instead of stringing it along for the rest of the
season,'' Aaron Boone said. "I think he probably knew somewhat
that it could happen. Hopefully, it's for the best for everyone.''
It was tough on Aaron Boone to hear his father booed as the
season deteriorated. He said his father appeared to handle everything well, including the firing.
"He's always the same,'' Aaron Boone said. "I had a lot of
respect for my dad when he took this job, and I can say that's
grown quite a bit in these three years.''
Aaron Boone had a double and two walks and scored the winning
run in the 10th inning of a 6-5 victory over the Phillies. He had a
mix of sadness and relief when he heard of his father's firing, but didn't have much time to dwell on it.
"Before I knew it, the game was starting,'' he said. "You
realize you've got a job to do, and we went out and played a nice
Bench coach Ray Knight managed the team for the day. Dave Miley,
the Reds' Triple-A manager since 1996, will take over for the rest of the season.
"I was really concerned about Aaron, and he went out and played
a great game,'' Knight said.
Miley, 41, becomes the Reds' 57th manager. He signed with the
Reds as a catcher and played seven seasons in the minors before
becoming a coach. He started managing in Class A in 1988, and was
the bench coach for 44 games under manager Tony Perez in 1993.
Miley served as assistant minor league field coordinator in
1994, and went back to managing in the minors. Chief operating
officer John Allen made it clear to Miley that he will be an
interim manager. The next one will be picked by whoever gets the
general manager's job.
"Honestly, it's a dream come true,'' Miley said. "There's not
a whole lot of people that have spent that many years in an
organization and have a chance to go up there at the major league
Most of the Reds know Miley from their years in the minors or
their medical rehabilitation stints at Triple-A. He has been
successful managing a roster that's usually in flux.
"It's easy when you're winning,'' Miley said. "With the moves
and the players coming down, it's difficult. But it's something
that I guess with all the years I've done it, I've just gotten
accustomed to it. Now I'm just taking a step forward.''