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REDS INVESTIGATING MITCHELL’S MYSTERIOUS FLYING BOTTLE INJURY

SHARE REDS INVESTIGATING MITCHELL’S MYSTERIOUS FLYING BOTTLE INJURY

The Cincinnati Reds are looking into Kevin Mitchell's claim that he was an innocent bystander when he was hit in the eye at a prominent local night spot.

Mitchell was out of the lineup for a second day Sunday with an injured right eye. He had a bandage covering a gash above the eye and swelling around it.Mitchell told reporters Sunday that he was sitting in a sports bar at The Waterfront when a woman he didn't know threw a bottle, hitting him in the eye. The establishment's owner said Mitchell's version wasn't true.

General manager Jim Bowden said Sunday he's looking into the matter.

"I think it's important that you know the truth," Bowden said. "We're taking Kevin at his word. If the facts are different, some type of punishment could take place after that. It could include a fine or suspension. In the meantime, we believe in our player. We believe the player is telling the truth."

Mitchell was injured Friday night after the Reds' game against Colorado. He's expected to return to the lineup this week.

"I'll be all right," Mitchell said. "It was a little fluke accident."

On Sunday, Mitchell gave reporters the same account he gave Bowden and manager Davey Johnson the previous day.

Mitchell said he was sitting at the end of a bar with Charlie Hayes of the Rockies, watching a baseball game on television when he was hit by a bottle or a glass. He said his sunglasses cut him above the eye.

"Charlie Hayes asked me if I wanted something to drink. I said, `Give me a cup of coffee,' and something just hit me," Mitchell said. "This bottle was thrown. I didn't even see it. I grabbed my face to wipe it off and got a handful of blood."

Mitchell said he didn't know the woman who threw it, or why she threw it.

No one was arrested.

"She wasn't trying to hit me. I said, `Let her go,' " Mitchell said. "She got in her car and left. No problem. I had no beef about it. I wasn't mad or anything."

Jeff Ruby, owner of The Waterfront, disputed Mitchell's story.

"That's not the way it happened: that a bottle was thrown across the bar, aimed at someone else, and hit Kevin. That ain't what happened," Ruby said in a telephone interview. "That's all I want to say about it."