February 18th, 2013

From Hudson to Amarillo to Scottsdale – Brandon Belt

I just finished working out in the weight room after practice and am now sitting down in our lunch room for steak, salad and orzo with roasted red peppers. We eat pretty well here. That’s one of the things you love about big-league camp when you’re first invited. The food is way better than it is down in the minors. I remember my first big-league camp, which wasn’t too long ago, and thinking how great it was that someone else cleaned my spikes and hung up my uniform real neatly in my locker every day.

I have an ice pack on my back but it’s nothing serious. I think I’m still stiff from driving 17 hours in one day from Texas to Scottsdale last week. We left Hudson at 6 a.m. last Monday and arrived around 10 pm. Arizona time. I drove 16 of the 17 hours. Halee took over around Amarillo so I could sleep for an hour. But I like driving because I like to be in control. I think it’s a guy thing. This year, we took a slightly different route, going through Holbrook in northeastern Arizona because on the map it looked a lot shorter. But it goes through high plateau country which at this time of year was covered in a foot of snow. The temperature was about 10 degrees. We ended up practically crawling along the icy roads for the last few hours of our trip. Not what we were expecting.

Our Yukon SUV was packed mostly with our clothes because we moved out of the small house I bought when I first turned pro. We did the vacuum-pack thing so all our clothes were shrunk into these flat little packs. We’re moving soon into the house we bought in 2011 that my dad has been renovating for us. It should be ready by June or July. In the meantime, my brother’s girlfriend is renting our old house.

We also brought pillows and bedding and what is, to me, maybe the most essential sleep aid: my big box fan. I can’t sleep without the hum of the fan. It is especially useful right now because we’re sharing an apartment in North Phoenix with former Giants Charlie Culberson and his wife. And they have a newborn baby. They get up at last twice a night with the baby, and I don’t hear a thing. It’s great to share a place with them. The baby is so cute, and we sometimes cook for each other and all eat together.

We’re not sure yet where we’re going to live in the Bay Area. We loved Walnut Creek but I think I want to be closer to the city. The drive to Walnut Creek is only 30 minutes but it felt like forever after a long game.

It is so much fun to be back with everybody. Usually in spring camp you spend a lot of time introducing yourself to new people. There’s some of that, of course, because we have 70 guys in camp. But mostly we were going around hugging everybody because almost the whole team is back. It’s so much fun to be with everyone again and to back out on the field against live pitching.

Hope to see you down here or back at AT&T.

Thanks for reading.

-Brandon B.