Photo of the Day: Holy crap, Albert Belle looks old

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Since Albert Belle’s career ended rather abruptly after the 2000 season, we didn’t get to see him age all that much in the public eye.  He turned 34 in his last season and then just disappeared to wherever crazy, occasionally criminal elite power hitters go.  I picture a fortress carved in a foreboding mountain, for what it’s worth.

Today he showed up at Cleveland Indians camp where he met up with former 1990s Indians Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga, Sandy Alomar Jr. and manager Mike Hargrove and posed for this picture by Jordan Bastian of MLB.com:

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Egads.  Lofton looks like he could still lead off for a major league team and Alomar looks like he could be a backup catcher.  I have no opinion about Baerga.  If you made me put either Mike Hargrove or Belle in a lineup today, based on that pic alone, I’d go with Grover.

Bryce Harper is on paternity leave

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Several years ago, Bryce Harper made news when it was revealed that he thought the word “meme” was pronounced “may-may.” That may be my favorite Bryce Harper moment ever.

As it was announced by the Phillies a little while ago that Harper has been placed on paternity leave, I’m wondering if he pronounces the word “baby” “bébé.”

I wouldn’t think less of him if he did, actually. One of my favorite people in the world does that.

Anyway, congratulations to Bryce Harper on becoming a dad. And it’s good news not just for him but for the Phillies and their fans as well. Why? Because as Bill noted earlier this week, Harper seems to hit better when he’s being taunted and mocked. For now that’s not very important, as the child won’t be talking for some time. As a father of teenagers, I can tell you that eventually the little monsters live to disrespect their dear old dads. If Harper’s current motivational patterns hold, by the time that kid is ten Harper will be winning the dang Triple Crown every year.

But again, congratulations to the Harpers.