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).
NL President Leonard Coleman said he plans to meet with Reds
Owner Marge Schott early next week to begin selecting a managing
executive to run the team, according to Hal Bodley of USA TODAY.
Coleman and Schott are to find an agreed upon successor within 60
days as part of the deal in which Schott gave up control of the
team through the '98 season. Pirates President Mark Sauer,
former Angels President Richard Brown and Dick Wagner, former
President and GM of the Reds and Astros, are all mentioned as
candidates (USA TODAY, 6/13). Interim CEO John Allen said
yesterday, "One thing I will make clear and it's been made very
clear to me, I'm not a puppet here. I will be making some
decisions and there will be some changes made" ("SportsCenter,"
ESPN, 6/13). Allen said he will run more promotions and try to
increase attendance at Riverfront Stadium. He wants to "liven up
the music played during games, possibly reduce ticket prices" and
put up banners acknowledging the Reds World Championships.
Allen: "We have no recognition that we won a World Series"
(WASHINGTON TIMES, 6/14).
SPIN WHEEL: More media reaction on the deal between MLB and
Schott. In Cleveland, Bud Shaw writes Schott should have only
given up control of the Reds "if the fake commissioner can say
(without his nose growing) that she has hurt the game worse the
canceling the World Series did" (Cleveland PLAIN-DEALER, 6/13).
In Hartford, Dennis Horgan writes MLB owners "have managed to
beat up this pathetic women, a dolt by common acclaim. After
making a terrible mess of the best sport ... they can now swagger
around in hollow bravado" (HARTFORD COURANT, 6/14). In St.
Louis, Bernie Miklasz notes that "everyone involved" in the
Schott matter "behaved poorly," from Schott, owners, media, and
Acting Commissioner Bud Selig. Miklasz writes Selig "shows no
strength in confronting baseball's major problems" (ST. LOUIS
POST- DISPATCH, 6/14). But in DC, Thomas Boswell notes Selig
"finally did something right." Boswell: "The game's owners,
through their Executive Council, were not attacking Schott's free
speech. They were defending their own legitimate self-interests"
(WASHINGTON POST, 6/14).
Sonics Player Rep Frank Brickowski took a shot at agents
David Falk and Jeffrey Kessler when he called the possibility of
an NBA lockout on July 1 "discouraging." Brickowski: "Falk and
Kessler have their own agenda, and I'm not entirely sure that
agenda is for the players as a whole. The biggest hurdle for the
players is the lack of concern. We have the undivided attention
of those who are going to be free agents and that's it" (USA
TODAY, 6/14)....Bill Wallen, a Philadelphia labor attorney, has
been retained by the newly formed Professional Football Coaches
Association as an adviser and counsel for the group (PHILADELPHIA
DAILY NEWS, 6/13)...Last weekend's Oscar De La Hoya-Julio Cesar
Chavez fight at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas was the largest
grossing non-heavyweight fight in state history with a gross gate
of $7,579,100 on ticket sales of 14,738 (USA TODAY, 6/14)....More
than 55,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday's World Cup soccer
doubleheader at the Rose Bowl and a sellout of more than 90,000
is expected. The U.S. plays Mexico at 12:30 followed by MLS'
L.A. Galaxy against the Tampa Bay Mutiny (L.A. TIMES, 6/14).