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BELLE'S APPEAL GOES INTO EXTRA INNINGS
Published June 14, 1996
Indians OF Albert Belle's appeal hearing in New York will not be completed until today because after 5 1/2 hours of testimony and presenting evidence, the defense had not rested its case, according to Sheldon Ocker of the Akron BEACON JOURNAL. Belle is appealing a five-game suspension for his role in a May 31 incident against the Brewers. Participants and/or spectators at the hearing: MLPBA Exec Dir Don Fehr; Assistant General Counsel Gene Orza and his assistants Mark Belanger and Tony Bernazard; Indians Owner Dick Jacobs; GM John Hart; Manager Mike Hargrove; and Belle's agent, Arn Tellem. Ocker writes that attending an appeals hearing was a first for Fehr, "who usually allows Orza to handle such assignments on his own" (Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 6/14). MLB is not expected to hand down a ruling until next week. Belle refused comment but did speak with filmaker Spike Lee who was at Yankee Stadium to film a piece on Belle for HBO's "Real Sports" (Jim Salisbury, N.Y. POST, 6/14). Akron BEACON JOURNAL columnist Terry Pluto writes MLB should reduce the suspension and insist Belle stick with his counseling: "If they really want to help Belle, that is what must be done" (Akron BEACON JOURNAL, 6/14).