Belle's temper earned him the nickname "Snapper" among his teammates. In one incident, Belle used a bat to destroy a porcelain sink in the clubhouse; his temper was out of control. Belle later reflected to Sports Illustrated, "I was sure I'd be a superstar by the time I was 21. When I fail, I get upset. Sometimes I get upset too quickly, without thinking of the consequences."
In 1990, Belle checked himself into the Cleveland Clinic for help with a drinking problem. After a two-month leave, Belle issued a statement indicating he had received the help he needed. He signed this statement "Albert Belle," perhaps reflecting a new, more mature identity than the old "Joey."