More Thrills Than a Texas Rodeo – Brandon Belt
I have never had more fun playing baseball than I am right now. This team is awesome. Even when I’m not playing, I’m having a blast watching Pablo crank some impossible pitch into the seats. And Buster, too. Angel seems to be on base all day. My blog mate and locker mate, Crawford, almost every game does some crazy fielding thing that nobody’s ever seen. Scutaro digs in at the plate like he’s there for the night and wears out the pitcher until he finally gets his pitch.
If there’s a more exciting team to watch right now, I don’t know who it is. We haven’t lost a road series since the All-Star break. Ten in a row. That’s pretty unbelievable, given how hard it is to play on the road. And now we’ve taken four in a row from the Rockies here at home. Everything’s clicking.
But I really like what Pablo said last night after the 9-2 win (and back-to-back homers from Pablo and Buster): “We’re happy but we’re not satisfied.’’
That’s how everyone feels in here. We won’t be satisfied with just winning the division and feeling good about ourselves for overcoming some pretty significant obstacles. We’re not interested in moral victories. We want the real things.
OK, your questions.
From Laura: What’s my most memorable home run? Probably my first one in the majors, last year in Dodger Stadium. My first Splash Hit was pretty special, too. So those two.
From Kgritz: Did I say ‘’land’s sake’’ when I struck out? No. I do say some gee-whiz/country things sometimes, but not when I strike out.
From Megan: My favorite parks? I love our park. The scenery is beautiful, and the fans are awesome. I enjoy playing in Houston. It’s my home state, but it’s also a good hitter’s park. St. Louis is pretty awesome. I like Arizona’s stadium, but I never play well there. I don’t know why. Wrigley is fun – I played there for the first time this season. Everything’s kind of cramped, but it’s a lot of fun. My problem is I hit all my balls in the wrong parks in the wrong places. I hit a triple in Chicago to the left-field wall – but had I hit that same ball three days earlier in Houston, it would have been a home run. I’ll hit a ball in the gap here at home that in other parks would go out. I’ve learned that here at home you have to hit line drives. You hit it in the air here, more than likely it’s going to be an out. So that’s what I’ve been working on.
From Lisa, Arianna and Sienna: Did I see the Baby Giraffe hat on Lou Seal? It’s awesome. I’ve seen that a couple times. He had it on when I got a big hit one day. It was hilarious.
From Karin: What do you eat before a game? We have four or five different options before every game. My favorite one is fajitas – I make mine with chicken, refried beans, rice, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa and onions. I love that stuff.
From Mark: How do players help teammates in a slump? If you go up to a player and say, “Hey, I see you’re in a slump, let me help you,’’ that will just tick them off because it reminds them they’re in a slump. Mostly you give words of encouragement because players can doubt themselves to death. You might say, “Hey, I’ve seen you hit — you’re a great hitter. You’re going to come out of it. Everybody goes through it.’’ That’s what guys said to me when I was slumping. It was like showing me that little light at the end of the tunnel. That little bit of hope. And sometimes that’s just enough to get you back on track.
For leftydf: Thanks for the nice words about Haylee’s interview with Amy G. She was so nervous about it. I told her, “Just be yourself. Talk like it’s a conversation.’’ I haven’t watched it yet, but I’m sure she did a great job.
From Kim: Are Madison Bumgarner and I friends? We are. We hang around quite a bit, especially on the road when our wives are with us. The four us go out to dinner. Once we all went bowling. I think Madison and I connect because we’re both country boys — though I’m not near as country as he is. We have that country boy mentality — kind of laid back, not a lot of worrying about too much stuff other than baseball. If our wives aren’t around and we have a free evening, I usually go to the movies by myself. I love movies, and Haylee hates going. So I go when I’m on the road.
OK. Padres are in town. We’re focusing only on tonight. Everybody else might be talking about the postseason, but we’re looking at just this game. That’s how you win. One pitch, one inning, one game at a time.
See you at the park!