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Cincinnati pulls prank on McKeon

Manager Jack McKeon, who loves pulling pranks on the Reds' front office and coaches, got some payback Tuesday. McKeon was in his office talking to coaches when security officers entered and told him he was under arrest.

The charges: smoking in a public place (McKeon loves cigars) and two unpaid parking tickets.

Moments later, McKeon was led out of his office in handcuffs. He was put in a car, driven around the block and returned to Cinergy Field after the officers told him the club's general manager had set up the prank.

"They said, "You've been had by Jim Bowden,' " McKeon said.

"I knew it was a setup. I've been halfway had, because I didn't believe it."

Bowden and the coaches were waiting for McKeon when he returned to his office. McKeon's nameplate had been removed from the door, replaced by bench coach Denis Menke's name. Menke sat in the manager's chair.

They erupted when he walked into the room.

"Aw, you think this is funny, huh? Haw, haw, haw," McKeon said. "That's all right. It's all-out war now."

MARICHAL RECOVERS: Hall of Fame pitcher Juan Marichal rested comfortably in a Dominican hospital after being treated for injuries in a car accident.

Marichal, 60, was in stable condition at Santo Domingo's Armed Forces Hospital with contusions to his head, neck, vertebrae and left leg after Monday's accident.

Doctors said X-rays indicated Marichal suffered no fractures and added he could be released in the next day or two.

CARDINALS: C Tom Pagnozzi was activated from the DL, and RHP Manny Aybar was sent to Triple-A Memphis. . . . St. Louis extended the contract of president Mark Lamping through 2000.

DODGERS: Wilton Guerrero still doesn't have a position, but he has a role. Guerrero has three pinch hits. "We're going to keep getting Wilton at-bats whenever we can," manager Bill Russell said.

PHILLIES: GM Ed Wade flew in to scout Michigan State LHP Mark Mulder. The Phillies have the first pick in June's draft. Wade has seen Miami 3B Pat Burrell and Arizona State LHP Ryan Mills. "Our people like his arm and, since we're so close, I thought I'd take a look," Wade said of Mulder.

PIRATES: Mark Smith picked up his first RBI but still is looking for his first hit. He went 0-for-3 Tuesday and is 0-27. That's the longest drought to start a season by a position player since Jose Gonzalez began the '91 campaign 0-29.

_ TIMES WIRES

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