Albert Belle will stay in the Cleveland Indians' lineup while th American League decides how to punish him for hitting a fan with a baseball.
Belle, who spent 10 weeks in an alcohol-rehabilitation program last summer, threw a ball at a heckler in the left-field stands Saturday, hitting him in the chest. The heckler, Jeff Pillar of Cleveland, had jokingly invited Belle to a keg party.
Indians president Hank Peters said he would leave it up to manager John McNamara to decide whether Belle plays while the league investigates. Belle was in the lineup as a designated hitter yesterday.
Peters has talked with AL president Bobby Brown several times since the incident, but Brown will not receive a full report until today. The report will include a videotape of Belle throwing toward the stands, Indians spokesman Bob DiBiasio said. The camera did not follow the ball into the seats.
"We have some ideas what we will do, but we will wait for the league's ruling," Peters said. "Getting on managers and players and umpires and club officials is part of the enjoyment for fans. As long as they're within their bounds, players have to accept it."
* RANGERS: Nolan Ryan has reduced his throwing between starts because of an injury on his right middle finger.
Ryan has been bothered by a crack in the scar tissue that has built up over the years on the finger.