"I have seen it [done by others] and no, I am not a guy that is going to yell at someone," Hardy said. "I will say something to someone if I can tell they are not giving 100 percent, but I am not the guy to get in someone's face and yell at them. No."

The only obvious change with Hardy this spring is his time in front of the ping pong table. A tremendous athlete, Hardy ruled that territory last year, but this spring he has "picked my spots." With Jeremy Guthrie in Colorado and Nick Markakis battling back from injury, there's a dearth of worthy ping-pong adversaries. He's mainly playing club special assistant Brady Anderson these days. Hardy finally lost to a player this year — minor league catcher Brian Ward.

Otherwise, Hardy is basically the same guy that walked into Sarasota last year with all those questions swirling.

Except now there are answers. He'll be an Oriole for several years. And he is healthy, though he has been receiving daily treatment for an achy right arm recently.

He's regained his status as one of the best all-around shortstops in the game. His hope for 2012 is to stay off the disabled list.

"I don't look at last year as being a healthy year. I missed a month with my oblique," he said. "So when I say I want to be healthy, I want to play 155 to 162 games. That, to me, is healthy. I always say if I am healthy and I am able to play, hopefully my numbers will be there at the end."

The respect from his teammates is already there. It was earned in 2011 — by his play and his demeanor.

"He is one of the funniest people in here. He is real sneaky, he is low key," Andino said. "And he is one of those guys you look up to."

dan.connolly@baltsun.com

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