Sleep, dogs and Fresh Prince of Bel-Air – Brandon Belt

My in-laws arrived last Wednesday for a six-day visit. They brought all our mail – but I was hoping they’d bring Lily, our dog. She’s a three-year-old dachshund-beagle mix and she’s the sweetest thing. She’s been staying with my parents since February. We didn’t bring her to spring training because she whines whenever we leave her and we were afraid she’d bother the neighbors. Our plan was for Haylee to bring her out to Walnut Creek when she went back to Texas for a visit, but she hasn’t gone home yet. She’ll get home for sure during the All-Star break, and I’ll go, too, if I can, and we’ll get Lily then.

Anyone who has dogs knows how much you miss them when they’re not around. There’s something about having a dog in the house that just makes you feel better no matter happened in your day.

Anyway, Haylee’s parents left today. We really had a great time. Well, they had a great time. They did everything with Haylee. I joined for lunches when we played at night and for dinner when we played during the day.

No breakfasts. I’m almost never awake for breakfast.

Most players will tell you that routines are crucial in keeping focused and staying fit for 162 games. And one of the most important parts of my routine is sleep. I need my sleep, and I take it where I can get it. And most of the time, it’s in the morning because I stay up so late.

After a night game, I leave the park around 11. (The game ends around 10 or so, then I talk to reporters, eat, lift weights and shower.) By the time I drive back to Walnut Creek, it’s 11:30. And I’m wired. There’s no way I can fall asleep.

So I watch TV. Mostly Nick at Nite. I love the late 90s sitcoms like Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I watch in bed with Haylee zonked out next to me. I’ll get to laughing so much that I’m sure I’ll wake her up, but apparently she can sleep through anything. (When Lily arrives, she’ll keep me company!)

I finally fall asleep around 1:30. I’ve discovered I need about nine hours of sleep, so even when we have guests, I don’t get up until 10:30 or 11 (when we have a night game).

Once I’m showered and dressed, we have lunch. We live close to downtown Walnut Creek, so we eat a lot at McCovey’s and Cheesecake Factory. After lunch, we’ll walk around the mall area, but we rarely buy anything. We’re not really shoppers. But it gets us out of the house. I leave for the park around 2:15 and am in the clubhouse before 3.

I’m finding out that once the summer starts, you get a lot more visitors. Especially if you play in San Francisco. Everyone wants to come to San Francisco. We have more friends from Texas arriving at the end of June.

Then we’ll see my parents in mid-July when we play in Atlanta. They’ll drive over from Texas. Then Haylee’s cousins are coming to town after that. It’s a pretty busy summer.

But everyone understands my first priority during the season is baseball. This is a game of such thin margins that you can’t afford any slack whatsoever. You have to stick to your routines. Now that I’m in my second year in the big leagues, I understand that more than ever. It’s a balancing act. I want to enjoy my family and friends while they’re here but at the same time, I can’t let anything get in the way of baseball.

Thanks for reading – and thanks for the great comments about my first memory of baseball. I’m glad it sparked your own memories!

-Brandon B.

15 Comments

Brandon-Got your autograph and picture with you during ST. I also told you that I hoped to see you in Atlanta in July and you said “me too”. Looks like we will get our wish!!!! Happy that ATL is the meeting place for you and your parents. I’ll be hanging around at the Giants players entrance in ATL to wish you luck here in A town and snag another picture if I’m lucky. Can’t wait to see y’all back here in my home town. GO GIANTS!!!!

Thanks for posting again – I love hearing about the non baseball aspect of the game (if that makes sense). I live in Seattle and can’t wait to see you guys down here. I think you’ll enjoy it since the weather is similar to San Fran and there is a big SF Giants following here. Good luck with this week!

Brandons,

Thanks for both of you for coming into McCoveys for a little grub! My mother noticed you mentioned McCoveys in your blog and sent it to me. I thought it was awesome to see both of you show up and be almost unnoticed your entire stay, even at a restaurant full of giants fans. I do have to say that Brandon Crawford one-uped Belt by ordering the triple play instead of the double play. Anywase, the McCoveys restaurant staff hopes to see the two of you and your families stop by the restaurant again soon. GO GIANTS!!

Brandon,

Just want to let you know that I am pulling for you. I watch nearly every game from Florida on mlb.com. For me It it is more enjoyable when you are the starting first baseman. Love to watch you hit and field. Wish you all the success in the world not just in baseball, but in life, too.

I love McCovey’s! Really good I live about an hour away from walnut creek and so when ever I go there we always eat there! They have really cool stuff in there! Is your jersey in there on the wall yet?

I just really want to thank you and Crawford for taking the time to write this blog. It’s extremely interesting to hear about your lives on and off the field. I really enjoy reading this :) Thanks again!

B. Love the “behind the scenes” stuff too. Just say no to extra inning games :)
Next we’ll be looking forward to your food tips at #44 and The Habit :)
Thx for the great play out there.

Thanks Brandon for taking the time to write this…I am a huge fan and love to read about your life on and off the field. Keep tearing it up for the Giants, I hope you’ll be around for a long time!

I love those 90s sitcoms! Boy Meets World and Saved by the Bell are my favorites. I’ve become such a night owl too so I understand what you mean. I should be asleep before midnight but there’s just no way. I have way too much energy! Anyhow, congrats on hitting your first home run of the year tonight!! I’m always rooting for you :) Your post game interview with Amy G was so priceless. Man, you’re so funny! Who gives you the hardest time on the team? Is it Bumgarner? haha.

Thanks a ton for keeping this blog going. Love to hear from you! Best of luck the rest of the season! God bless you!

CONGRATULATIONS on your home run tonight!!! A splash hit, too! We’re all so happy for you. I found this blog tonight and love the posts you and Brandon have written so far. You both must be so busy, so thanks for taking the time to write this for the fans. I always wondered what players do after the game and in their free time, so it’s nice to hear about your adventures in Napa and Walnut Creek! GOOOO GIANTS!!!!!!!! :D

Sounds like a good routine you have. And yes, dogs are awesome to have around. I used to have a beagle, they’re great. I have a boxer now named Madison who we jokingly started calling Madison Bumgarner, and it stuck. It’s really entertaining when we’re watching the game and he’s pitching because every time they say his name she looks at us confused. Hahah.

Sleep is extremely important! I work for Sleep Train down in Southern California so I know how vital it is in so many regards. Glad you are getting rested up for your games. Amazing PERFECT game last night! Glad you could be apart of it. Keep up the good work! I look forward to seeing you play in Anaheim next week.

P.S. The orange shoe laces were a nice touch, by the way :) And I was wondering, what is your walk out song?

It’s really nice to read about your experiences in the first years of the big leagues. Really nicely done blog. Thanks for sharing!

Thanks for posting what it’s like to get through a season, Brandon. I’m curious as to why you lift weights after a game.

Oh man your blog got me cracking up! I love Fresh Prince, sleep and dogs! (But who doesn’t haha) me and my boyfriend have a dachshund and a German Shepard.
Love them! I love reading your blogs!

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