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PINIELLA, DIBBLE BATTLE IT OUT IN LOCKER ROOM

Cincinnati Manager Lou Piniella and reliever Rob Dibble exchanged insults and wrestled Thursday night after the Reds defeated the Atlanta Braves 3-2.

The incident began when several reporters approached Dibble to ask him about his right shoulder, which team officials said was sore, keeping him out of the game."You guys are a joke," snorted Dibble to the reporters, a response that sent Piniella into a rage as he charged across the dressing room at the big right-hander.

"You lying (bleep)," Piniella roared as he tackled Dibble and they wrestled for about a half-minute before the fracas was brought to a halt. The two were finally separated by Barry Larkin and a number of other players.

Dibble earlier had told another group of reporters that there was nothing wrong with his shoulder.

"That's not what he told me last night and that's not what he told our pitching coach (Larry Rothschild)," Piniella said. "He told us he couldn't get loose when he got up to warm up last night."

Asked about the incident afterwards, Piniella replied quietly, "It's all over. You guys saw it. Write it."