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Published: 4/27/2002

Belle calls Rome show, slams Vizquel

Anyone wondering what former Cleveland Indians slugger Albert Belle is up to since suffering a career-ending injury last season?

If you guessed listening to and even calling up sports-talk radio shows, you're right.

Belle, known for not speaking to the media, actually dialed up Jim Rome's show on Thursday afternoon to deny former teammate Omar Vizquel's allegations that Belle used corked bats when he was with the Indians.

In Vizquel's autobiography, Omar, My Life On and Off the Field, he writes that “all of Albert's bats were corked.”

“If he wouldn't have spent so much time chasing all the tramps around the American League, then he would know about my bat situation,” Belle said. “I'm sure he didn't write about all his escapades on the road and in Cleveland.”

For what it's worth, Vizquel stood by his words in his autobiography about Belle's bats.

But there have been no comments made by the Gold Glove shortstop in response to Belle's allegations.

By the way, Rome's daily sports-talk show isn't broadcast on any Toledo-area station. It can be heard from noon to 3 on Detroit-based WDFN (1130 AM) or Cleveland's WKNR (850 AM).

  • Toledo radio station WCWA (1230 AM) began broadcasting high school baseball games this week.

    The station intends to air up to at least 15 baseball games this spring involving City League teams playing at Bowman Park. The City League semifinal games (May 27) and title game (May 29) will conclude the regular-season schedule of games to air on WCWA.

    WCWA also intends to air district and state tournament games involving local teams.

    The remaining broadcast schedule is as follows: Start vs. Bowsher (Monday), Waite vs. Start (Wednesday), Start vs. Central Catholic (Friday), Start vs. St. Francis de Sales (May 6) and Start vs. St. John's Jesuit (May 8).

    Longtime radio sports announcer Bill Clark will handle the play-by-play while Mike Murnen and John Bergener are handling the color commentary. All games except the one scheduled for May 8 will begin with a pregame show at 6. The Start/St. John's contest is set to start at 8.

    Tidbits:

  • David Chudowsky, of WTVG-TV, Channel 13, will extend his stay with the local ABC affiliate at least one more year after signing a new contract yesterday afternoon. Chudowsky, a Cleveland native, has worked at Channel 13 for five years, including the last three exclusively as a member of its three-person sports staff.

    “It's nice to be wanted,” Chudowsky said.

  • ESPN has announced it's getting involved in the real-TV genre that spawned shows like CBS' Survivor and The Amazing Race.

    Beg, Borrow and Deal is scheduled to air on ESPN this fall. The show will follow two teams of four players on a cross-country journey over a 30-day period in which they must beg, borrow and deal their way from one coast to another. No personal belongings other than the clothes on their backs will be permitted for use during the trek.

    What supposedly makes this show unique from its predecessors is the contestants must also compete in sports-related events along their journey. Eventual winners will not receive $1 million, as is the case for similar shows.

    Instead, the top prize for the show will be all-expenses-paid trips to major sports events.

  • Ratings for the 17 hours of the NFL draft on ESPN last weekend proved at least one thing: NFL fans will sit through almost anything. Ratings for ESPN and ESPN2 were up significantly from a year ago for the two-day event.

    It took half the first day of the draft just to get through the first round. Yet, more than 25.4 million people watched at least a portion.

    Donald Emmons is The Blade's sports media columnist. Contact him by e-mail at demmons@theblade.com.



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