Belle appeals one-week suspension

May 14, 1991

Indians outfielder Albert Belle was suspended for one week yesterday by American League president Bobby Brown for intentionally hitting a spectator with a baseball. Belle immediately appealed. He can continue playing while the appeal is pending.

"I regret that I lost my spirituality for an instance," Belle said, reading from a prepared statement after the suspension was announced. "It will not happen again."

He declined to comment on his appeal and would not answer any questions.

Belle threw a ball at spectator Jeff Pillar of Cleveland during the seventh inning of Saturday's game against California, after Pillar heckled him about his problems with alcoholism. Belle spent 10 weeks in a rehabilitation program at the Cleveland Clinic last summer.

The ball hit Pillar in the chest. Pillar had a welt on the sternum but did not appear to be seriously injured. Pillar said yesterday he still felt sore.

* PHILLIES: Darren Daulton worked out at Veterans Stadium for the first time since an accident a week ago destroyed Philadelphia Phillies teammate Lenny Dykstra's car and put both players in the hospital.

"When you take a look at the car, we could have checked out very easily," Daulton said quietly as he tried his hand at catching, hitting and running in hopes he can rejoin the team in a week or two. "I say my prayers now at night."

The Phillies, in the midst of a road trip, played at San Francisco last night.

Daulton sustained a broken bone under his left eye, plus bumps and bruises. Dykstra broke his collarbone, three ribs and a cheekbone and also punctured a lung. He will be out at least two months, but knows it could have been a lot worse.

"It's scary to think about what could have, maybe should have, happened. I could have been killed," Dykstra said.

Both players were released from Bryn Mawr (Pa.) Hospital last week, still sore from the pre-dawn crash on May 6. Both were heading home from a bachelor party for teammate John Kruk.

Dykstra, a plaster cast protecting his collarbone and bandages wrapped around his chest, spoke privately with the Philadelphia Daily News and admitted he "screwed up big-time" in recalling the crash that occurred on a curve in Philadelphia's western suburbs just five minutes from Dalton's home.

"What happened was because of poor judgment on my part," he said. "I not only hurt myself. I hurt the team. I hurt Darren Daulton. I hurt my family. I hurt the fans. I hurt everyone. They all took a fall because of me."

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