Belt

Last year when Bochy called me in his office and told me I made the Opening Day roster, I was so emotional that I had to take a few minutes to collect myself before going back into the clubhouse.

This year was a little different. I still didn’t know if I was going to make the team. So that part was the same. For six weeks in spring training you’re wondering and wondering. You’re thinking, “God, I just want to know.’’ They don’t tell you anything. It’s nerve-wracking. I figured I wouldn’t find out until Wednesday, when the final cuts were to be made and announced.

So Tuesday afternoon in Oakland, I’m at the cage during batting practice before the preseason game against the A’s. Bochy comes up to me and asks how I’m doing.

“I feel pretty good,’’ I say. “Hope to get a couple more hits tonight.’’

“If you get two,’’ he says, “you make the team.’’

I laugh and say, “I’ll do my best.’’

“No,’’ Bochy says. “You made the team. Congratulations.’’

It was awesome to hear that. I was really happy and relieved. But no tears this time. (By the way, I got only one hit that night so good thing Bochy was kidding.)

The biggest difference from last year to this year is my confidence. Last year, I didn’t know what was going on. Even as far as the plane and hotels. You’re always one stupid move from making a complete fool of yourself.

And when I struggled at the plate, I got advice from a bunch of different people and felt obligated to listen to all of them. This year, I’m confident in my approach at the plate, something I worked on in the Dominican winter league and during spring training. If I do go into a slump, I know I’ll come out of it without scrambling around and changing everything. I know myself better and what works for me. So I’ll take the advice that’s useful and leave the rest.

The team feels different this year, too. Not radically. But I feel we gelled right from the start of spring training. It seems like everyone’s kind of on the same level, like there’s no hierarchy.

Of course, it could be just that my perception has changed because I’m no longer a rookie. Last year, I came into a clubhouse with a lot of veterans and I kind of felt I was by myself. This year, not only do I have a year of experience under my belt, but there are more young guys  – Brandon Crawford, Brett Pill, Hector Sanchez.

The other thing is having Buster back. He’s one of the biggest leaders in the clubhouse and one of the biggest bats in the lineup – both of those are huge and have an impact on how the team feels overall. Everyone’s real confident.

I’m sharing the blog this year with Crawford. We’ll be alternating. So look for his entry in the next couple days.

See you back in San Francisco next week. Thanks for reading. Feel free to leave comments. I love reading them and will try to answer your questions in an upcoming entry.

-Brandon Belt

31 Comments

The Boch comment had me cracking up. Good luck this year Brandon, I’ve been pulling for you since last year! Gotta good feeling about this season, your swing is looking mighty fine.

This is such a cool idea for a blog! Can’t wait to get this perspective on the season.

I wasn’t old enough to be involved in the Team Corey movement of the 80s, but I am totally behind Team Brandon!!

Love this! Great job Belt! Can’t wait for more posts! Now go beat AZ! @kbfromhc

Congratulations and Good luck tonight. Go Giants!

Love that you two are writing this together, and I’m really glad you made the team this year! Keep your head high and your spirits up no matter what happens, because you should know you always have the true and dedicated fans behind you through any slump or rough patch (like me!). That goes for both of you.
I look forward to watching you guys make great contributions to the team this year from out here in Jersey.
-Aubrey

Glad to hear you’re feeling more confident about things and workin’ hard, Brandon. I’ve really been rooting for you the last year-and-a-half. Keep up the good work, man. You know we Giants fans love you!!

Gongrats on making the team first of all. You deserve to be on the team you help us a lot last year so let’s hope this year is even more wounderfull for you and all the team. Keep up the good job and its going to pay off! I’m a big giants fan let’s hope we can go all the way thie season. Good luck to you and the rest of the team

Sizko_kid

You deserve to play everyday! Good luck out there and cool blog!

You really need to get twitter! JK! I am so glad to see u in the line up! Been pulling for you since last year! You are a great ball player and a great full time addition to the club! You seem so much more mature and confidant this year around and I can’t wait to see what the 2012 season has in store for u! Good things happen to good people! Thanks for taking the time to sign a few sigs and snap a few pics for me n my girls this spring and we wish you and the SFG’s nothing but the best! Nothing about u is akward but hey I’m all for keepin u that way!! Go get em!!
Peace out!

Brandon just a couple of questions, what is your biggest personal goal for this season? What did last years season, with moving up and down from the minors, teach you? And, how much do you enjoy playing the dodgers? I’ve loved following you and keep up the great play

I’m was happy to hear that both of you guys made he opening day roster the this year. I’m looking forward to watching you play this year and I think it’s awesome you guys are doing this blog together!

I’m confident in you doing your best and proving people wrong this year I hope you have a great season and don’t give up Brandon aka( Baby Giraffe)

Go get ‘em, Brandon(s)! In Arizona in spirit – together we’re Giant!!!!

Good luck this year Brandon! I’m sure it’s going to be a spectacular season! I think it’s wonderful that you two have decided to do this blog, It’s lovely and I really appreciate it when players like yourself reach out to the fans like this, and I’ll bet it’s pretty cathartic for you as well!
Give ‘em hell tonight boys! Lets go Giants!
-Terra

I’m such a huge fan of yours, I was rooting for you and constantly asking my pops if you made the roster. When you did I cheered and danced around. Keep your confidence, you’ll do great out there, us Giants fans believe in you. I will be there in AZ Saturday and Sunday. Repping your Jersey and giraffe hat of course! #9 all day (: Can’t wait for what Crawford will be saying. You are my two favorites on the team for sure. I’m working on my Crawford’s Jersey. Team Brandon all the way!

Thanks to the 2 of you for taking the time to do this blog! Happy for you that all the effort and work paid off. Good days mediocre days LOTS of Gz fans pulling for you! Enjoy everyday and live that dream!

Brandons! First, I’m excited this blog exists. Second, Congrats Belt for making the team! I’m rooting for you! I can’t wait for future blog entries! Good Luck Tonight and for the rest of the season! GO Giants!

You have the best job in the world!
Don’t forget it. Best of luck to you.

Hey Brandon B! This a cool idea. I enjoyed reading this. My sister and I met you at FanFest. You might not remember us. I told you about my great great great uncle Christy Mathewson who used to play for you guys. We’re hoping to come see you guys play on New York Giants Heritage Night. Another thing we had wanted to tell you is that our cousin by marriage is the #2 pitching prospect for the Phillies. His name is Jesse. I’m a die-hard Giants fan and my cousin plays for the enemy. My hometown of Oakdale is in the heart of Giants territory. We’re an hour or so away from San Francisco, Fresno, San Jose, and Richmond. We’re all HUGE Giants fans. Two of my teachers have Giants stuff on their classroom walls. The Monday before FanFest we had a half day and all we did in my English class was talk about who was going. Oakdale High’s baseball program is UNBELIEVABLE this season. One of our pitchers, a junior, has a 1.24 ERA!!! Both sides of my family is Giants fans. Something funny I wanted to share with you is that I always joke that my little sister should be a field reporter for the Giants because her name is Amy G and she has blonde hair just like your Amy G. She’s a big Wilson fan and sent him a letter. Tell Buster and everyone else I said hello. Good luck this season!

I am very glad you made the team we love you as a player and look for some good things from you. We hop you have a fabulous year. Will be watching you from my season seats on both opening day and opening night. I’m yelling for you guys no matter what happens. The best baseball day of my life was cinch game with SD. Not only did my guy and I get picked for the stub hub upgrade seats but the sea of orange rally rags is something I shall never forget.

The comment you made about the team hierarchy makes so much sense. I bet the year after a team wins the world series it’s harder for the new players to come in and feel welcome. What kind of mistakes did you make with the planes and hotels? Sounds like a good theme for a blog post….

Yay, I’m so glad you are doing this again – I really enjoyed the blog last season and how refreshingly candid you were about all the ups and downs. Thanks for taking the time to keep us posted on your progress – I am SO looking forward to watching you both this season. It’s going to be awesome…you’ll see! Love from NYC

Congrats to both of you on making the team. You two deserve it. I am so looking forward to watching both of you.

All the best.

You have always been one of my favorite players to watch – it’s exciting to see you get more ABs and it’s even better that you and Crawford will be the ones writing this up. Keep it up – San Francisco loves you!

Looking forward to watching you in many more games this season, I’ve been a fan of yours since you stepped up on opening day last year :) You’re going to do great things for this team, I know it!

Got to see you in Scottsdale last month; we all appreciate all the time you take to sign autographs and talk to the fans. You are right there with Buster and Panda as the fans’ favorite. Have a great year!

Great to have you back. So stoked you both made the team.

Thanks for writing this. It reads remarkably sincere. It makes it easy to cheer for you. A few ideas for future blogs: Why do you play baseball and not another sport? Are all ballparks essentially the same to play in, or are you finding you have to adjust to the field, or atmosphere? What do baseball players think of talk radio? Do they listen to it? Do they take it seriously? It would be interesting to know from a players perspective how accurate talk radio is, or is not. Sometimes it seems like they are two totally unrelated conversations.

Brandon, hang in there, you are by far the #1 fan favorite and the one we all want to see succeed this year, and many more with the Giants. I’ve seen you do great things last year and in spring training. Just be your amazing awkward self and you will do great! Best of luck!

We are rooting for you, Brandon! Keep up the good work. Go Giants…

Howdy from Austin — those of us at UT follow you and are so excited for you. GO LONG HORNS! I came to see you play once and yelled out GO LONGHORNS. You turned and smiled. :)

Dr. C,

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