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AROUND THE MAJOR LEAGUES

BASEBALL DAILY REPORT : Surprise! Belle Has Run-in With Fan

May 30, 1996|Associated Press

Trouble continues to follow Albert Belle.

The latest incident involving the controversial Cleveland Indian slugger occurred during Tuesday night's game against the Texas Rangers when Belle cursed a fan who refused to give him a home run ball.

Ken Logan of Benbrook, Texas, was sitting in the left-field stands and caught Belle's major league-leading 21st home run in the fourth inning of the Rangers' 11-3 victory over the Indians.

Belle was taken out of the game in the sixth inning and he told the visitor's clubhouse manager, Joe Macko, he wanted the ball. Belle is collecting his home run balls when he can this season.

Macko dispatched a representative to Logan and the fan was escorted to the Indian clubhouse. Logan, a Ranger season ticket holder, told Belle he would trade him the ball for one autographed by Belle.

Belle refused and Logan said he would not give up the ball without compensation. Belle told Logan he wouldn't give him anything because fans in the left-field stands had taunted him during the first two games of the series.

"His exact words, his quote, was, 'I won't pay you . . .,' " Logan said. "I won't give it to him now. I'll give it to the organization but I won't give it to him."

Indian director of media relations Bart Swain apologized for Belle's behavior. Logan is planning a trip to Cleveland during the summer and Swain told him the Indians would give him complementary tickets and items autographed by Cleveland players other than Belle.

"I called to apologize because I felt Albert's actions don't represent the Indians organization," Swain said. "In light of what's happened with Albert in the past, he's got to learn to control his emotions. It's unfortunate this had to happen. We apologize for any inconvenience we caused Mr. Logan."

*

The Toronto Blue Jays put pitcher Juan Guzman on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to May 23, with a sore right chest muscle. . . . Philadelphia Phillie first baseman Gregg Jefferies, sidelined seven weeks because of a torn left thumb ligament, will begin a minor-league rehabilitation stint at triple-A Scranton-Wilkes-Barre today. . . . The Milwaukee Brewers put outfielder Turner Ward on the 15-day disabled list with a strained right shoulder. . . . The Cincinnati Reds optioned outfielder Vince Coleman to triple-A Indianapolis. Coleman, 34, was hitting .155 and had only three hits in his last 22 at-bats, although he leads the team in stolen bases with 12.

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