NBC's Storm says baseball made point in 'Belle vs. Belle'


NBC's Hannah Storm, who has kept a fairly low profile on the Albert Belle flap, praised baseball officials for their action in the matter yesterday, and pronounced the matter closed.

Appearing as a guest on the "Late, Late Show with Tom Snyder" early yesterday morning, Storm, who was verbally harassed by the Cleveland outfielder in the dugout before Game 3 of the World Series last October, said the issue wasn't "between me and Albert Belle," but rather was one that pitted "Albert Belle vs. Albert Belle."

"It's something that he has to work out on his own. ... We have baseball on NBC and we will run into each other again and I will be the ultimate professional as always," said Storm.

Belle was fined a record $50,000 by acting commissioner Bud Selig in a matter that had to be negotiated between the commissioner's office, Belle and the player's union. Storm said yesterday that the fine was being paid by the Indians.

Storm, who did not volunteer a comment on her own on the matter, but was asked by a caller about the flap, said she was "trying not to add to the verbal war of words," adding, "baseball addressed the issue, it's taken care of and it's time to move on."

An arena with no name

You'll hear lots of things, sensible and not-so-sensible, during CBS' coverage of the men's Final Four this weekend, but one thing you won't hear is "Continental Airlines Arena," the new name of the formerly titled "Brendan Byrne Arena" at the Meadowlands complex.

According to the New York Post, CBS officials have told thei announcers to refer to the building as "the Meadowlands," rather than give the airlines the publicity it was seeking when it bought naming rights from the state of New Jersey for $42 million over 12 years three months ago.

Len DeLuca, CBS Sports vice president for programming, said the choice to drop Continental was "a matter of consistency" as the network had been pushing the Meadowlands name for nine months before the building was renamed.

While we are personally appalled by the corporate renaming of buildings (hint, hint USAir), CBS' move strikes of selective corporate amnesia, since United and Northwest, and not Continental, bought air time for the tournament.

Watch out, bar owners

The NFL is crowing over a federal District Court ruling last week that ordered a New Orleans bar to pay more than $27,000 in fines, attorney's fees and costs to the league for showing blacked out Saints games.

In one of 23 lawsuits against more than 200 bars and restaurants, the league won out over Mike's Grill, which had been carrying Saints home games that were not sold out at least 72 hours in advance of kickoff.

Even with the NFL-supported satellite subscription package, blacked out games are not permitted to be shown in the home market, to protect the live gate. This ruling could have local ramifications, now that the NFL has returned to Baltimore, especially on that first Sunday when the new stadium is not sold out.

Speaking of our new team, Ozzie Newsome, the new head of player personnel for the still unnamed squad, will face the music and tough questions on tonight's "Sports Showdown" at 10 p.m. on WWLG (1360 AM).

Pub Date: 3/28/96

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