Kevin Mitchell says he was an innocent bystander when a woman threw a bottle that hit him in the eye. A restaurateur says that's not so.
It's up to the Cincinnati Reds to figure out the truth.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 he was sitting in a sports bar at The Waterfront, a prominent local night spot, 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."
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.
"I don't know what she was doing. I didn't really pay attention," he said. "I don't know her. I didn't see her."
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.
"All I know is suddenly there was a lot of screaming, a lot of hollering, a lot of running around," Hayes said. "They closed the place up and I went home. That's all I know."