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Belle Lifts No-Trade Clause

Albert Belle has agreed to give up the no-trade clause in his contract with the Baltimore Orioles, freeing the team to try to unload the temperamental slugger.

Belle's five-year, $65 million contract includes a three-year clause barring him from being traded, but he apparently consented to lift the trade ban soon after the Orioles learned of a June 4 incident in which he allegedly made obscene gestures to fans in the bleachers at Camden Yards.

Chicago White Sox manager Jerry Manuel recently told Chicago reporters that Belle informed him of his decision to renounce the trade clause. The (Baltimore) Sun, citing club sources, confirmed Belle's decision in a story that ran in Wednesday's editions of the newspaper.

Belle played two seasons with the White Sox before joining for the Orioles as a free agent after discovering an escape clause in his contract.

Baltimore's Albert Belle has not talked to local media since spring training.>
Baltimore's Albert Belle has not talked to local media since spring training.(AP)

Belle is hitting .275 with 20 homers and 59 RBI for Baltimore, but his time with the team has been filled with controversy.

Belle stopped talking to the Baltimore media after a clubhouse tirade during spring training was reported. He also threw a beer bottle at a television screen in the visitor's clubhouse at Tropicana Field and has been booed by the home fans for an apparent lack of hustle.

©1999 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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