Rijo has something to prove to A's


Cincinnati starter Jose Rijo has a bit of extra incentive in today's opener (8:25 p.m., Ch. 11). He's pitching against the team he believes gave up on him too soon.

Oakland traded Rijo to the Reds in a deal that brought Dave Parker to the Athletics after the 1987 season. Rijo went 2-7 with a 5.90 earned run average with the Athletics. He's a combined 34-22 since joining the Reds, 14-8 with a 2.70 ERA this year.

"Every time I look back I say, 'I should be on that team,' " Rijo said. "It's too bad the way things work out."

Asked if he thought the Athletics had given up on him too soon, he replied, "One year too soon, I think."

Rijo defused a mini-controversy over remarks this weekend by Oakland pitching coach Dave Duncan, who was quoted as saying the A's kept Eric Plunk because he came along faster than Rijo did. "Dunc is a nice guy," said Rijo, who was stung by the comments. "I think we had a misunderstanding."

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