OK, yes, we have slammed the Orioles' new right fielder. We've expressed doubt that his, um, erratic personality was a good fit for Baltimore. Suggested that it's only a matter of time before his much-celebrated temper gets the better of him here as it has before.
But that was then, this is now: spring. When hope springs eternal. When the icy thoughts of winter thaw into gooey little puddles of delusion that burble: Hey, everything is going to be just fine.
Who are we to argue? So, every few days during the Orioles' spring training, we will bring you Another Albert Belle Positive Thinking Moment. (TM) - TRADEMARK SYMBOL-
Little reminders that Albert is, after all, human, someone more than the simplistic image so often drawn of him. Ways to help Orioles fans embrace a man who yes, may be ... complex, but who, it also must be noted, might hit 60 home runs this year!!
Step 1. Consider this: "When I approached him at the ballpark about [my] book, I said, 'Albert, my name is Dennis Tuttle, and I'm writing a kids book about you.' He never looked at me, never glanced in my direction. He got up from his locker and walked away. But as I researched [the book], I discovered an Albert Belle that very few people ever see. ... A [man] that loves to drop in on a Little League game and play ball with kids." -- Dennis R. Tuttle, author of "Albert Belle," one of the "Baseball Legends" series from Chelsea House Publishers
Step 2. Today's mantra:
Remember: Over the past eight seasons, Albert Belle has been the most productive hitter in baseball, leading the major leagues in home runs (313), RBIs (979) and extra-base hits (636).
Pub Date: 2/26/99