Belty Bob, Jethro and Pretty Handsome Awkward – Brandon Belt
Just finished batting practice and I have a little time before the game to get a new post up.
In the comments sections, channelclemente asked why my college coach sometimes called me “Bob.’’ It goes back to high school. When I was a freshman, I hit a long home run and people started calling me Bomb. That morphed into Bob. And that morphed into Belty Bob. It stuck through high school. In college, my coach called me Bob sometimes but mostly he called me Jethro. He thought I was one of the Beverly Hillbillies. So Jethro became my nickname in college.
So now when I hear someone call out Bob or Jethro, I know it’s someone I know from home.
Channelclemente also asked: Brisket or ribs? Brisket without a doubt. Every time I go home, the dad of one of my buddies – my parents and his parents are really good friends – cooks a brisket on the barbecue for us. It’s the best thing.
I love Rob. R’s suggestion that I consider the song “Pretty Handsome Awkward’’ by The Used for my walk-up song. I don’t know it, but as soon as I get this posted, I’m going to listen to it on iTunes and let you know.
Joanna wants to know the significance of my jersey number, 9. The significance is I walked into the locker room at spring training and it was hanging in my locker. That’s pretty much it. My favorite number is 12, which was my number in high school and junior college. At Texas, somebody already had 12 so I chose 13. If I had been given a choice, I would have chosen 12 as my Giants’ number. But now I like Number 9 because it’s my first big-league number.
Sierra asks what positions I’ve played other than first base. Until I was 14, I played shortstop. That was my primary position. It was kind of weird to have a left-handed shortstop, but I made it work. I loved shortstop. Maybe one day when Bochy runs out of players, I’ll get back out there.
In high school, I was a pitcher and played some right field. So maybe if Boch can’t put me in at short, he’ll let me pitch. That would be really cool.
I’m told that during the Dodgers series, Kruke commented on how I can time my catches at first so that I’m pulling my foot off the bag when the ball hits my glove. He suggested it helps the umpire make close calls in my favor. He’s right. It’s something I learned in the minors.
One of my coaches started talking to me about it and it made a lot of sense to me. I’m not the most flexible person in the world as far as stretching. And you don’t want to be stretching all the time anyway. You’ll get hurt. Look what happened to Pablo.
So if it’s going to be a close play – on a double-play or a slow dribbler – I keep my left foot on the bag, wait until the last possible second and basically just jump out at the ball, pushing off with my foot. It allows me to catch the ball as far out from the bag as possible without worrying about my foot remaining on the bag. My foot just comes off the bag naturally in a smooth, effortless motion.
I now pretty much have the timing down perfectly.
Sometimes, when I know I’m not going to get the runner, I might pull my foot a split-second before the ball actually reaches my glove, hoping to fool the umpire into thinking the ball beat the runner. It usually doesn’t work, but I figure I might as well try.
OK, so wasn’t that Dodger series awesome?
We knew going in, of course, that we needed to win these games, and it was amazing to watch the people who stepped up. It was someone new every game. Arias just took over that last game. Christian made the unbelievable catch. Our pitchers were lights-out.
When we lost Melky, I think we all knew that we had to step up and fill the gap. And that’s what happened. That’s the way this team is. It’s not about one person. It’s all of us. As soon as one person cools off, another gets hot.
And speaking of hot . . . there was some buzz on the bench last night about Mila Kunis being at the game. I heard someone mention her and I looked around and she was directly behind our dugout in the first row with Ashton Kutcher. They are two good-looking people.
Every time we go to Dodger Stadium you know you’re going to see celebrities. Jason Bateman was in Mila Kunis’s seat the previous night. I think he’s hilarious. We see George Lopez there all the time. Pat Riley was there. And it’s fun to see Magic over by the Dodgers’ dugout.
Theriot, who’s been around the league, says he’s seen more celebrities at Cubs games.
Having said all that, give me Giants fans any day. There is nothing like the crowd at AT&T. We’re all excited to be back in the Bay and see who’s going to be the hero tonight.
Thanks for reading and keep your questions coming.