SUSPENSION MAY BE REDUCED: Albert Belle finished arguing his appeal Friday and a management source familiar with the hearing said the Cleveland star's five-game suspension may be reduced to three games.
American League president Gene Budig, who issued the suspension June 3, probably will rule on the appeal next week if the hearing transcript is available by Monday, league spokeswoman Phyllis Merhige said. Budig declined comment on the hearing.The source, speaking on the condition he not be identified, said there was a good chance Budig would cut the penalty to three games. The union, using a frame-by-frame video of the May 31 incident that led to the suspension, said Belle did not hit Milwaukee second baseman Fernando Vina in the face with his forearm but merely slid into him.
GRACE ON DL: The Chicago Cubs placed first baseman Mark Grace on the 15-day disabled list Friday retroactive to June 11 with a mid-back strain. Grace is batting .338 in 60 games with three homers and 30 RBI.
BREWERS BALLPARK IN DOUBT: The Milwaukee Brewers stadium board rejected a new financing plan on Friday, leaving in doubt the future of the team's controversial $250 million retractable-roof ballpark.
The vote threatens the future of professional baseball in the state because the team has said it cannot survive here without a modern stadium.
RED SOX MOVES: The Boston Red Sox recalled Dwayne Hosey from Pawtucket of the International League on Friday and placed Milt Cuyler on the disabled list in a move involving center fielders.
HAMMOND ON DL: Florida left-hander Chris Hammond was placed on the 15-day disabled list Friday, retroactive to last Sunday, because of an ear infection.