The Reds' off-season soap opera took more bizarre twists Thursday as Marge Schott finished cleaning house after a 90-win season and continued bickering with her departed manager.
Schott, the Reds' principal owner and chief executive, told general manager Bob Quinn that his contract won't be renewed when it expires next week. He is the third general manager Schott has fired in the past eight years.
Schott also blamed the media and undercut Lou Piniella's version of their falling out, while finally acknowledging that he had decided not to sign another contract as manager.
Her finger-pointing brought a terse response from Piniella, who said he decided to leave Monday because Schott ignored him and let speculation over his future fester.
"I'm a secure person," he said in a telephone interview from his Allendale, N.J., home. "I don't need much stroking. I didn't as a player. But you want to feel appreciated."
Quinn and Piniella both said recently that they hoped to discuss their status before the end of the season, when their contracts ran out. Quinn, who put the finishing touches on the Reds' 1990 World Series championship team, openly lobbied Schott for a chance to stay. Piniella said he was open-minded.
But Schott decided to wait until after the season. Her statement Thursday suggested that Piniella wanted it that way.
"The two parties had previously agreed that contract negotiations would take place at the completion of the Reds' season because of the club's involvement in the pennant race," she said.
"That's not true," Piniella said. "I don't know what to say. The two of us never agreed on anything _ ever.
"My contract was up at the end of the year. Nobody came to me. I got tired of answering questions in the media about it. If the club had valued my performance, they would have come to me sooner."
Rangers interview candidate
ARLINGTON, Texas _ Montreal bench coach Kevin Kennedy interviewed for the manager's job with Texas on Thursday, the Rangers said.
The Expos hired Kennedy, 38, as director of minor-league field operations last October and promoted him to the major-league team May 22, when Felipe Alou replaced Tom Runnells as manager.
Other reported candidates for the Rangers' job include Toby Harrah, who finished the 1992 season as manager, Oakland third-base coach Rene Lachemann, and Jerry Royster, manager of Los Angeles' Double-A affiliate.