Joey Belle decided he needed a fresh start after spending 10 weeks last summer in alcohol rehab, so he changed his name to Albert.
That isn't the only thing that's changed for the Cleveland Indians outfielder. His swing is mute testimony to that.He hit one home run in limited action for the Tribe last season. This spring, he has hit eight - including one in a 7-0 victory Wednesday over Seattle at Tucson, Ariz. - to lead all major leaguers.
"People are finally seeing the real Albert Belle at the major league level," he said. "I did it in the minor leagues. Now I hope to do it in the majors."
Manager John McNamara believes he can.
"Belle is like (Cecil) Fielder and (Jose) Canseco, guys like that." McNamara said. "When he hits them, it doesn't matter what ballpark he's in.
"I would not say I've been surprised. This is the first time I've seen the real Albert Belle, the one that everybody's been talking about."
One thing Albert doesn't want to talk about is Joey.
"I wish people would drop that," he said of his past difficulties. "It's over and done with.
"The results speak for themselves. Nineteen-ninety is over. This is '91."
In 20 spring games, the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Belle has hit .317 with 23 RBIs.
Belle, 24, has played 71 games with Cleveland over the past two seasons, hitting .220 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs in 241 at-bats. At Class AA Canton-Akron in 1989, he hit .282 with 20 homers and 69 RBIs in 89 games.
Greg Swindell, Cleveland's opening-day starter, pitched eight innings Wednesday. He finished spring training with a 3-0 record and a 1.82 ERA after blanking the Mariners on five hits while striking out seven and walking one.
Red Sox 3, Pirates 0
Roger Clemens, who plans to appeal a five-day suspension and $10,000 fine for his ejection during last season's American League playoffs, beat Doug Drabek in a matchup of Cy Young Award winners.
Clemens, the AL winner in 1986-87, struck out six and allowed only one hit in five innings at Winter Haven, Fla. Drabek, the 1990 NL Cy Young recipient, gave up a run on three hits in five innings.
Dodgers 3, Mets 2
Bob Ojeda pitched five strong innings against his former teammates as Los Angeles beat New York at Vero Beach, Fla. Ojeda, obtained for Hubie Brooks, who hit his second homer for the Mets, is 4-0 this spring.
Eddie Murray had two RBIs for the Dodgers, who got three runs in six innings off Dwight Gooden.
Phillies 7, Cardinals 2
John Kruk hit a two-run homer and Lenny Dykstra had two doubles to lead Philadelphia at Clearwater, Fla.
Terry Mulholland, the Phillies' opening-day starter, worked three innings, allowing only a homer by Jose Oquendo.
Braves 6, Yankees 5
Dave Justice had two hits, two runs and two RBIs as Atlanta held off New York at West Palm Beach, Fla.
Twins 11, Rangers 1
Carmelo Castillo and Shane Mack hit home runs on consecutive pitches in the first inning and Scott Leius added a grand slam, leading Minnesota over Texas at Port Charlotte, Fla.
White Sox 7, Blue Jays 1
Toronto's Dave Stieb allowed seven runs in five innings at Dunedin, Fla., in a tuneup for his opening-day assignment. Dan Pasqua led the Chicago attack with three hits.
Athletics 9, Cubs 2
Rookie Kirk Dressendorfer, who has a spot in Oakland's starting rotation, won for the third time. He gave up five hits and one run in five innings at Phoenix, lowering his ERA to 1.33 with 15 strikeouts in 21 innings.
Padres 5, Angels 3
California's opening-day pitcher Chuck Finley, bothered by a tender left bicep, allowed 11 hits in seven innings against San Diego at Palm Springs, Calif. Finley, 18-9 with a 2.40 ERA for the Angels last season, is 1-3 this spring with an ERA of 9.00.
Brewers 4, Giants 2
At Scottsdale, Ariz., Milwaukee's Greg Vaughn's hit his fourth homer in four games and fifth of the spring.
Vaughn, who entered the game in the sixth, homered off Don Robinson for his ninth hit in the last four games.
Royals 8, Astros 1
Mike Macfarlane hit a three-run homer and Bret Saberhagen allowed one run on five hits in eight innings for Kansas City at Haines City, Fla.
Houston starter Mike Scott limited the Royals to three hits and one run, while striking out seven in five innings.
Reds 6, Tigers 4
A triple by Glenn Braggs and doubles by Reggie Jefferson and Jeff Reed keyed a four-run Cincinnati ninth inning at Lakeland, Fla., as Detroit (8-20) equaled a 1987 club record for spring training losses.
- The Braves named Deion Sanders as their starting left fielder and leadoff hitter, making him the first to play with two teams - the other being the NFL's Atlanta Falcons - in the same city since 1945.
- John Mullen, assistant general manager of the Braves - who signed Hank Aaron - was found dead in his hotel room in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 66.
- Outfielder Pete Incaviglia, who claimed the Texas Rangers released him last week for monetary reasons, cleared waivers and became a free agent.