The Must-See Blog of the Summer! Four Stars! (Maybe Two!)

You might not be surprised to learn that Sunday’s game wasn’t the first time I’ve been hit in the head by a pitch. OK, the 90-something-mph pitch hit the brim of my hat Sunday, but it freaked me out for a second because I remember that day in college when a pitch hit me smack on my ear. When I watched pthe TV replay later, I threw off my helmet with both hands and fell to the ground. The next thing I knew I was waking up with the trainers around me. I was out maybe a few seconds.

​I had a concussion and a cut ear that required stitches. When I left the hospital, I had to look down at my feet to watch myself walk because I thought I was going to fall over. And I played the next day with a numbing agent on my ear so it wouldn’t hurt when my helmet rubbed against it. It was very dumb to play, but I guess there were no rules about concussions.

​That same year I was practicing my bunts with a pitching machine throwing 90. The balls were terrible so they moved all over the place. The ball cut in on me, glanced off the bat and hit me square in the eye. No bone or anything. Just the eyeball. I had a blood clot in my pupil and had to sleep upright for a week so the blood would drain out of my eye.

​I feel lucky to have escaped Sunday’s near-hit with just a scare.

It seems good things are happening for me at the plate overall lately. It began in Philly. Bochy sat me for the series (except for one PH appearance) so I could work on some things. For a long time, the Giants hitting coaches here have suggested I move back in the batter’s box so I’d have more time to see and react to the pitch. And to hold the bat in my fingers rather than in my palms. The lighter grip loosens your whole body. But I was stubborn. I’d been successful my whole life with what I’d always done. Then Buster talked to me about it. Several players did, including one from another team. He said, “Hey I was in the same position you were. I changed where I stood in the box and held the bat with my fingers and it made all the difference in the world.’’ And he said it only took a couple days to figure it out. I thought, “OK, I have a couple days.’’

I saw results immediately.

​When Bochy put me back in the lineup Friday night in Tampa, I had three hits, one short of the cycle. I saw the ball better, didn’t feel like I was rushing and I wasn’t getting in my own way anymore. I felt I was really tapping into my ability, like I did in spring training. I could just do what I feel I was born to do. What I can do. Even Sunday when I didn’t have a great game, I still saw the ball better and got on base twice. Obviously there’s going to be a little bit of an adjustment period to get consistent, but I’m committed 100 percent to making it work. If I can be consistent, I can be a huge contributor to this team for years to come.

​Now for the movie reviews.

“The Conjuring’’: This is a good horror film that’s supposedly based on a true story from the 1960’s or ‘70s, I can’t remember. This family moves into a house that’s demon-possessed. They hire some people who study demonology to come in and try to fix the situation. Sometimes horror films are cheesy and dumb and basically stupid. But this one was done right. It’s genuinely scary — none of those stupid creatures where their hands are turned backward. In “The Conjuring,’’ you’re thinking, “That could be real. I don’t want to sleep by myself tonight.’’ It stars the same guy who’s in all these same kind of movies.. He’s in “Insidious.’’ You know who he is. And Vera Farmiga, the one in “The Departed,’’ is really good in this.

Belt Rating: Three stars.

I had to trick Haley to go see it with me in Philadelphia. She won’t see a scary movie. I told her we were going to go see “Pacific Rim.’’ When we got to the theater and I bought “The Conjuring’’ tickets, she was so mad at me. Soooo mad. Beyond mad. But I had to lie to her or she wouldn’t go with me. She won’t say she liked it, but I think she did. She covered her eyes a lot, but so did I. You’re just waiting for something to leap out.

​I think a lot of athletes like horror movies. I have a theory that as athletes we get an adrenaline rush from playing on the field and when you’re not on the field, you have to find another way to get it. Scary movies do it. Roller coasters do it.  I draw the line at sky diving and bungee jumping. Never going to happen. I’m scared of heights. Out-of-my-mind scared. I can’t look out the window of a plane. I just can’t stand.

“R.I.P.D.’’: It stars Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, who plays kind of the same character he did in “True Grit.’’ He’s hilarious. It’s a weird kind of “Men in Black’’movie. It got terrible ratings, but I thought it was a feel-good movie.Yes, it has all this alien, sci-fi crap, but it’s got Ryan Reynolds and Jeff Bridges, both good actors in my opinion. It probably didn’t have enough artistic value for the critics, but it had a lot of entertainment value. I would recommend it. I don’t think you’d be wasting your money.

Belt rating: Two stars.

Haley didn’t see this one. She doesn’t like going to the movies in general. She doesn’t like anything. She’s never even seen “Armageddon’’! Everybody has seen Armageddon. You talk about all these movies that everybody has seen, and she hasn’t seen any of them. Her favorite movie is “Sound of Music.’’ I watched part of “Sound of Music’’ and I about killed myself.

All right, got to get out to BP. See you out here.

-Brandon B.

53 Comments

Hi Brandon!
Thank you for posting, since it has been a while. During the 2013 FanFest, someone asked you if you knew who One Direction are. Just curious, do you know now?

I had never expected you to be so accident prone, but I’m glad you’re fine now. I also can’t believe you’re terrified of heights, seeing as you are extremely tall. Lastly, I love how you’re really into movies and have to force your wife into watching them with you, but she should be willing to anyways!

I was at the game last night. So nice to see you hitting! Such a fun game to be at. Go Giants and go both Brandon’s. Cindy Pylman

Go see Pacific Rim. It was stupid and ridonkulous, but it sure was a lot of fun!

Thanks you for posting Brandon. It is so good to hear that you have some things that you are working on and feel good about. The results thus far are undeniable. I’d say milk Barry Bonds, Mays, Clark, and all the greats for all they are worth. Bonds was always on balance, almost never swung at a bad pitch and maybe 7 out of 10 balls that the pitcher left where Bonds liked to swing his bat head were shortly in the distant seats. On another note, sharing your bean ball experiences really give a little glimpse of what you went through to get where you are today. Glad you stuck with it. I still plan to go to a couple of games in New York next month and I will be one of the many Giants’ fans cheering you guys on in DC next week. The Nationals are kinda tough and they have been beating the Giants in DC the last couple of years so be ready. By the way, I agree with you about the Conjuring. I don’t normally go to scary movies, but this one was pretty well done. I don’t recall covering my eyes though (lol). Thanks again for posting. Go Giants!!

One more small thing!
GO GIANTS!

You’re still my guy, even if you hate Sound of Music! So happy when you are successful! #youremyfavorite

My heart stopped for a minute there when you got hit! I’m so glad it wasn’t serious.

Interesting reading about the change in your batting stance; I hope it works out for you (so far it seems to be!)

You’d better take Haylee to see Pacific Rim now! Seriously, go see it. Giant robots fighting giant monsters; what’s not to love?

I’m surprised your wife is even still talking to you! What a dirty trick. I’d watch out if I were you. I think she should treat you to an evening of “Camelot” and “My Fair Lady”. Glad your head’s still on after all those ball shots! Be careful out there! Nice work on your batting. It’s hard to admit sometimes that someone else may know more about what we should do than we do! Happens to me all the time! I enjoy your blog!

Keep up the good work BKB. Your posts crack me up, and go Giants.

Thanks, Brandon! This is friggin’ hilarious; I almost fell off my seat on the bus. Win big tonight (and try not to get hit in the head :-) )!!

You are funny. You might have something there about the adrenalin rush. :) I am really delighting in your at bats, and I’m glad you’re finding your way. I think you guys did well enough against Tampa. The American League East is a tough division. I’m off to watch the game now.

Your blogs are always a crack up! I like the addition of the movie reviews in the last couple – keep those up! CSNBA plays the Fan Power commercial with you and Romo every game now, and I love it! You both are hilarious! Glad to see the changes to your hitting habits are paying off – you’re a great ball player and we definitely want you around for a long time also.

Okay, when are we going to get to see you doing karaoke on the Game Show Inning at AT&T? It’s my favorite game show thing, and as soon as the first one happened way back in April, I bet everyone around me that we’d see you doing a boy band song by the end of the season. And nothing yet! Please tell me it’s coming! I’m going to assume it’s being saved for Fan Appreciation on the last game because what better gift could we get? :)

Always rooting for you! Know you’re figuring it all out.
And you are a terrific writer! Very entertaining…keep it up!

you are so funny! I’m with Haley as far as movies – I LOVED Sound of Music! I just took my 85 yo Mom to see THE HEAT- very funny! FYI – Haley would like it so would you….

Love your blog, Brandon. My husband and I held our breath when we thought you got hit in the head. Thank God for the helmet. I don’t blame your wife, I don’t like scary movies. I usually cover my eyes or if we watching at home, I find something else to do rather than watching. Not liking Sound of Music is a guy thing. You remind of my son ( his name sounds similar to yours), you name a movie and he knows when it was made and who starred in it. He watches a lot of old movies with me. which I like. He is my own personal movie and baseball expert. Keep up the good work. You are doing great defensively and offensively. I notice your stance in the batter’s box is different. It looks good. Take care until next time.

Really enjoy your blogs. And I think most people want to kill themselves when watching Sound of Music. zzzzzz no offense to Haley. I am going to put your review of the Conjuring to the test. I was on the fence about it ( I, like you, think most horror flicks go overboard and they aren’t scary at all) So if it sucks I hold you responsible. :) Nice to see you hitting well! Keep it up, don’t like seein’ you on the bench.

So glad you finally gave in and took the hitting advice because you can really see the difference. That 3 hit and one walk game was awesome! We really need those hits. Hope it continues. Also LOVE your new commercial with Sergio where you two are acting like salesmen. Especially love the Elvis impersonation. Not bad! Have to admit, though, that I, like your wife, have never seen Armageddon and adore the Sound of Music Guess it’s a girl thing. I do love scary movies though, so thanks for The Conjuring recommendation. Keep up the great work, Kid!

Brandon, all you need now is a batting stance dance.

You lied to your wife about a movie? LOL Naughty naughty boy.

You’re hilarious I see a second career as a film critic because of you I went to see The End and I really liked it If you like reading check out Gone Girl Think you’d like it a lot also i still think the team as a whole should receive a type of energy work like Reiki I use this in my practice and receive it in my own bodywork sessions I’ve suggested it few times to Crawford It’s not a crazy idea Can’t save season now but watching games it’s visible how off the team’s energy is and this carries into home life as well just sayin’ You all have tried everything else right It’s not always a technique/mechanics issue

This made my day! I love hearing the behind the scenes happenings with you and the team. Keep up the great work!

You are so funny! I play softball and I love it so much, but my biggest fear is getting hit by a pitch, so seeing my favorite player almost nailed in the face was really scary. And now hearing your stories about being hit makes me so happy we get the face masks on our helmets!
And I’m kinda with Haylee on movies. I start so many but can never finish them because I get bored, unless its scary or an action movie. I love sports and those types of movies. That’s my fill on adrenaline because I’m scared of roller coasters and heights.
I’m so happy to see you swinging the bat better! You look much happier and confident out there! You adjusted to the changes so quickly too! It’s really paying off. Keep up the good work. :)

You shouldn’t give movies stars. You should give them buckles. Like belt buckles…

Love hearing about the batting changes & all the small things that make a difference. Enjoy watching you play.
The movie ratings are great! I love movies , always have. In wasn’t even considering R.I.P.D or the conjuring but now I just might!
Go Giants!

Haley’s movie history and preferences are exactly the same as mine! I hate scary movies, and The Sound of Music is my all-time favorite movie. I’ve probably seen it 15+ times. I’m also surrounded by people who talk about classic movies, and they’re always surprised that I haven’t seen a lot of them (including Armageddon!) I love the blog, keep updating! Go Giants!

Thanks for blogging, Brandon.
It must have been scary for you to get a close call with that brush past your helmet. At least you’re using your time to watch some movies. P.S. GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It’s been so awesome seeing your ABs lately! Out of all the Giants, I find myself rooting for you the hardest this season. You’re great at 1B and when you’re right, your hitting is fantastic. Keep up the great work. You’re making all of us Belt Believers very, very proud. I’m so excited to watch you play the rest of the season and beyond! :)

Thanks for playing hard!You are funny.

Giants I know you guys can come ahead. I really look up to you all, how hard, so much work it takes to play.

Go Giants
!!!!!!

It is nice you write for ppl can read.

Hey B! Your posts are hilarious and so is the other Brandon’s, sometimes. I love going to the movies and appreciate your reviews on them. I’ve meaning to watch The Conjuring, but somehow always find myself making excuses. But I’ve got to man up and see it now after your review. Hopefully I won’t be closing my eyes half the time and get my money’s worth. Pacific Rim and The Wolverine are also great movies you’ve gotta go see! I feel you on the adrenaline rush, however, someone’s gotta trick you into skydiving (maybe Haley ought to do it), most exhilirating moment of my life! Glad you’re finding your game back. Keep it up! Gotta get back to watching you boys play against the Brews. Go Giants!!

-Ari

See the new wolverine movie! I’m really good in it

You might pick up a copy of “The Science of Hitting” by Ted Williams. The only reason I say that is when you mentioned holding the bat in your fingers instead of palms, it made me of think of that book: that direct piece of advice is in there along with a bunch of other stuff from the greatest hitter that ever lived. It always feels like you are going to lose the bat holding it in the fingers but when you swing, the bat slips and falls into the perfect spot just below the fingers for max force.

Hey, I have never seen Armageddon. And I like The Sound of Music. My favorite is Gone With the Wind. I bet Haley likes that too. And I don’t watch a lot of movies. She and I have a lot in common. (Hehe)

I couldn’t help but giggle while reading this blog. I totally get Haley and the scary movie thing…my husband has done the same thing to me but only once. I do not do scary movies at the theater maybe at home. Love your movie updates and really enjoy hearing about yours and Crawford’s family time. Keep up the good work!

Yay! Great game today. Awesome HR. Way to go Brandon. Way to go Giants.

Just wanted to say how awesome it was to see you hit that three run homer today. You’re one of my favorite players and today’s game made my 50th birthday one to remember.

Kid, just relax and play ball. The rest is there, and will show up when you need it.

Uhhhh…there is nothing wrong with The Sound of Music. You don’t find hiding in the cemetary and escaping from the nazi’s scary?? Open your mind man!!

🎵How do you solve a problem like the Giants?🎵

I’d say more 3 run homers would solve it! Way to go!!!

How about some Joyful Noise, Mr. Belt. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dzo5K2t7LVY It’s sure a joy to watch you work!

Love your posts!!

I’ve noticed you vary how you spell your wife’s name in your posts. Sometimes it is “Haylee” or this one “Haley” and way back there was another spelling too.

Since she and I have the same name, just curious how she actually spells it! :)

You look much looser in the box, and pitching you inside is more of a gamble now than a bonafide hole. I’m on Haley’s side about movies. my Uncles sat on me when I was a kid and made me watch Aliens, and re-Animator when I was a kid. Hated horror movies ever since. My wife loves them. As for adrenalin rushes, I still jump on my skateboard and bomb hills. So there is a balance. I refuse to fly. Period. I’ll take a train over a plane any day of the week.

1. Brandon, thanks again for sharing inside baseball. It takes a big person to admit that they were stubborn about changing, a bigger person to take those changes and do something with it. I’ve been one of your supporters in the neck of the woods where I comment at, and am excited to see your changes become part of your regular routine. Keep up the good work!

2. And it was not like you were doing poorly before, so I understand why you didn’t want to change, you have been an above average firstbaseman offensively even with the struggles you had put yourself through, but hopefully now, with the changes you have incorporated into your batting mechanics, you can be among the elite firstbasemen (no pressure! :^) and shut up the rest of the naysayers who still linger around, thinking you are not worth keeping.

3. Also, by bringing up and admitting that the Giants coaches have been trying to get you to change for a long while will hopefully show those fans (and you would not believe how many there are of those) who believe the Giants coaching staff is a bunch of idiots who should be fired (or worse, believe it or not). I like the Giants coaching staff as is, and hope they stick around for at least a couple more championships. And I look forward to you being a core piece of those teams (both Brandons, to be sure).

Bandon – Love to read these blogs by the 2 B’s! My husband and I were just talking about The Sound of Music and he said the same thing! Funny! We were watching 10 with Dudley Moore and I said the lady it in was from Sound of Music (Julie Andrews), husband quickly said “My mother loved that movie, I about wanting to shoot myself watching that!” Keep playing great ball out there!!!!

Loved your blog as usual. I watched the movie, The Conjuring, 2 weeks ago and I covered my eyes 85-90% of the movie with a combination of covering one of my ears haha I don’t blame your wife being upset. Pretty mean trick haha ;) I agree, I did not sleep alone for the next week or so. Ill be at The Melt August 24 to HOPEFULLY get a chance to FINALLY meet you! :) see you then! Keep playing hard and having fun! Congrats on being NL player of the week! Well deserved.

This made me laugh : ) Tell Haley I love The Sound of Music, too. My sister and I watched it a million times when we were kids. It was so long, it came in a 2-cassette set, and you had to switch videos right when the Von Trapp family was having their party! Haha, try to watch it again– just slow down and enjoy the timelessness. No adrenaline rush, just a sweet story. Maybe if you guys have kids it’ll be something you can watch together. Very glad to hear you weren’t hurt by that pitch. All the best to you and Haley, and the team! : )

I love reading your blogs. It just shows that you are still real guys! Sorry about the struggles of the season. Things will come back when it is time. Enjoy the rest of the season. We are still there with you all!

In your next blog can you pls write a little bit about how you spent the all star break? We love hearing about your lives outside of baseball too. :) thanks!

congrats on finding success with some adjustments!… big people listen big… now… keep your mind right for future Sound of Music viewings… don’t ever say anything bad about that flick dude – you’re just young…. rooting for you!

You are doing an awesome job!! Also, saw the YouTube talk you gave at the Giants Fellowship Day. Also awesome!!

you are HI-LARIOUS!! like many giant fans we all let out a BIG SIGH of RELIEF when that ball hit the brim of your cap and not you!!!! but that was scary!! I love reading your movie reviews I don’t think I could EVER watch “The Conjuring” I would be too freaked out with every sound I hear at night. my husband loves watching those ghost hunting shows at night which I hate. YUCK!!
Congratulations on being NL player of the week :O). I too have never seen Armageddon and LOVE the Sound of Music but super LOVE the Lord of the Rings trilogy!!. but now that I have a son I don’t see grown up movies but cartoon movies. I enjoy reading your postings and wishing you continued success for the rest of this season!! mahalo!!!

I think Haley should trick you into bungee jumping or sky diving.

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