A Bucket by the Bed – Brandon Belt

I was home sick today with a stomach virus. It came on all of a sudden last night and I’ve been sleeping on and off most of the day. Not fun. But I thought I’d get a post out while I can.

On Monday a lot of reporters asked me about Barry Bonds because I guess he mentioned me by name at his press conference. I haven’t talked to him yet. I just introduced myself at the batting cage. I’m shy by nature so I’m not going to go up to him and start asking questions right away. I listened to him talk to other guys during BP and picked up a few things. Nothing too specific.

But I’ll definitely talk to him. You’re always figuring out some kinks during spring training, so that’s what I’d want to talk to him about. And I’d like to talk to him about how he minimized the down times so you get out of them more quickly. I know I can overthink things. The biggest part of the game sometimes is just getting out of your own way.

Sometimes it just comes so naturally. He talked to a few people today. You kind of listen to him talking to other guys and pick up on stuff for yourself. There was nothing too specific.

​In the field, everything’s going pretty well. But just like you’re getting your rhythm back at the plate, you’re doing the same in the field. Your body wants to speed up because it’s feeling good. You’re real strong from the off-season, so your body wants to do a lot more than it needs to. So you just have to slow yourself down. The more you slow yourself down, the easier the game is.

I work on specific things as they come up. For example, I made a bad throw to third in a game, so that’s what I worked on yesterday. A lot of mishaps in the field just have to do with rushing. You usually have more time than you think. So if you just take your time you’ll usually be OK.

Another thing I always work on in spring is scoops. A coach will throw a bunch of balls in the dirt and I practice handling every kind of bounce.

Getting a good jump on the ball is another thing I work on in the field. Sometimes you create bad hops for yourself by not getting a good jump.The truth is I’m feeling good in the field right now, but you’re never satisfied.

​Most days after practice I hang out with Haylee. Like last spring, we’re sharing an apartment in North Phoenix with Charlie Culberson and his wife, Sarah, and their 18-month daughter Collins. Charlie’s with the Rockies now, but we became good friends during the minor leagues with the Giants. We have a lot of fun with Collins. She runs around stealing your food and wanting a sip out of everybody’s glass. She’s a good baby.

​You might have noticed I did pretty well on my Oscar picks. But did you know that Cleveland closer John Axford picked 18 for 18? How do you do that? (There are 24 categories but he didn’t make picks for all of them.) Pretty amazing. That’s my goal for next year.

​So I’ve seen two movies since my last post.

300: Rise of an Empire – It’s a sequel to “300,’’ about the Spartans fighting the Persians in Ancient Greece, which I remember watching when I was in junior college. I thought this one was good but obviously it’s not going to be as good as the first one. But it was entertaining. Haylee and I went to a 9 o’clock showing and she slept the whole time. She fell asleep in the previews and didn’t wake up until the end.

Rating: Two stars.

Non-stop – Liam Neeson is an air marshal on a plane, and there’s a terrorist on board. The terrorist is going to kill someone every 20 minutes unless they transfer money into his bank account. The terrorist is setting it up so it looks like the air marshal is the terrorist because the account is in his name. You don’t know who the terrorist is until the end. The ending is kind of stupid. I kept waiting for something else to happen.

Rating: 1 1/2 stars.

It’s a pretty bad time for movies right now. I’m not sure what I’ll see next. I’m looking forward to “22 Jump Street’’—the sequel to 21 Jump Street — coming out in June with Jonah Hill and Channing Tatum.

OK, got to get some more rest so I’m ready to go tomorrow. Keeping a bucket by the bed. The one essential for a stomach virus.

36 Comments

Hope you feel better soon, Brandon!

I find your blog diverse and entertaining! The way you “mix things up” keeps it fresh and surprisingly real. Love the movie reviews! Hope you feel better soon.

Thanks for the post…hope you’re on the mend…can’t wait to see you at the yard!

Reblogged this on THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SPORTS and commented:
Brandon Belt with what you need to know. And that’s what’s happening!

I did notice how well you did with your picks at the Oscars. Feel better! Go Giants!!

You ought to pull True Detective off HBO. Eight hours of the best crime drama I’ve ever seen. Great music too.

Right on! channelclemente!True Detetective is righteous! Those two should make a movie together.

Feel better soon. It sounds like you’e a good student. I’m really looking forward to seeing you guys play.

So why not corner Bonds and get every tip possible about hitting from one of the best hitters of all time? He’ll only be there for a short time. No time to be nonchalant… or shy.

Hang in there!! :)

Weird. Had the same thing on Sunday. Couldn’t get out of bed. GO GIANTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hope you are feeling better by now. I have tickets for two games this weekend!! a big adventure for a new fan. scored on the Oscar picks, too.

You sure you weren’t just trying to get out of yoga class this morning? Hope the virus passes soon. MIss hearing the crack of your bat.

THIS. IS. SPARTA!!!
I love it!

I’m at Spring training and hoping to see you play – get better soon!

Get well soon!

About Bonds, the reason he mentioned your name was because a reporter specifically asked if Bonds would work with you to hit for more power (you can relisten on CSNBA to see who asked, if you want to beat up on the reporter later :^). Bonds got your back and said that you are clearly a power hitter so you don’t need his help with that, but maybe (and he kind of repeated this all throughout the press conference) he’ll observe you and see some little thing he might be able to suggest to you (he was very humble with his answers).

I hope you don’t get the cough from hell like I did, before you feel better. Get better soon.
I think it is great that Bonds is back helping out, great for you guys and great for Barry.
My last movie was Monuments Man. I gave it 4 stars.
My husband watches nothing but NCIS on TV. He records them so he can watch 24-7. I practically have them memorized.
Keep up the good work. Go Giants.

I’m disappointed that they brought Bonds back in. To be honest, I hope he doesn’t stay. I love the ball club the way it is now – no “celebrities.” All you guys are really grounded, no big egos, and you work so well together. When Will Clark was helping out, you didn’t hear a lot of media about it. He just LOVES the game and was there to help. Bonds shows up and it’s cameras all over him. During his interview, all I heard was “I, me, my” from him basically, ultimately hoping he can manage a team eventually. Not exactly the humble personality that the rest of the team has, where they share credit. Instead of saying something like, “I’m honored to be here and hope that I can contribute to the ball club. These are a group of very talented players and if there is anything that I can do to help out, I feel privileged to do so,” he spoke more about his own advancement. I’ll stop there. We are just such huge fans of you guys and the ball club you all have worked so hard to create, I’d hate to see that chemistry change at all.

Eh, I think after the first day it’s going to calm down — Will the Thrill isn’t the polarizing figure the way Bonds is. If you look at his stats from PIT before he even came to SF, his walk total steadily increased each year so if he can teach the Giants how to not swing at bad pitches I’m good.

I would like to add my perspective regarding Bonds’ interview. First, he can’t help it if the media swarmed over him on his first day. If he refused, then people would say that he has a big ego. Second, I listened to the actual press conference and this was the most humble I have ever heard him, though I do understand that part of this might be a PR move on his part to get into the Hall of Fame by rehabbing his image, though frankly, to me, it just seemed like he wants to be back in baseball, back in that lifestyle. That rang true from what I have seen of other baseball players who retired, they miss it a lot.
And I can state categorically that Bonds never once said that he hoped to manage one day, please listen to the actual replay (it is on CSNBA, where I listened to it). He was asked what his future plans were (by the media), and he rightly said basically this: “let me see if I can make it through this seven days first, see if I’m any good, and if it works, I would love to stay longer”. He noted a number of times that he has seven days to learn whether he’s suited for the job or not, whether he’s any good, and be evaluated by Bochy.
Furthermore, anytime a player was brought up by the media, he would start first by saying that these players are talented (see the Belt example I posted below, he was the only one mentioned in the press conference, but in subsequent quotes on other players he was like this too) then discuss where he might be able to help.
I found his discussion on his teaching philosophy to be very mature and realistic and nuanced, I was impressed.
Please listen to the video before you accept either of our interpretations, see for yourself: http://www.csnbayarea.com/giants/barry-bonds-offers-much-giants-not-contrition

LOVE the blog – don’t ever stop! It’s so much fun to read!
And feel better!

Brandon, I love how open and honest you are. Overthinking isn’t just a problem for baseball players — I’ve got a pretty long “what if” list myself. Just learn from the screwups and move on, and sounds like that’s what you’re working on doing. Looking forward to the regular season; so far only game I’m guaranteed attending is April 27th against Cleveland for my 23rd wedding anniversary. Got to go through the schedule with the husband and see what other games we want to try and make; he really wants the Duane Kuiper bobble head while I want the special Hello Kitty plush. We may have to have words about that. ;-)

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TALK TO BARRY AS MUCH AS YOU CAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don’t miss the opportunity

Funny, I thought I heard Barry say all of those things about loving being here and about how the team had good hitters and he hoped he could help. I also thought I heard him say he didn’t want to manage the team. Did I see a different press conference ? I’m glad he’s there and so willing to impart what he knows. Should be good for the team.

Found the quote: reporters asked Bonds if he could help Belt generate more power, and he said, “I don’t know if I can create power in anyone that already has it,” Bonds said. “Belt already has power. It’s how consistent can we make it? It’s not, ‘Can these guys hit home runs?’ Every one of them can hit home runs. It’s how consistently can you do it? And that’s the challenge.”

I look forward to you meeting the challenge this season and showing everyone what you can do.

hope you feel better, you got sick last year at this time, is it the arizona food or their politics ?

Hey Belt! Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Go easy on the Olive Garden, huh? :) I have the same problem in my professional career – It’s difficult to get out of your way because you want to do well so badly. Everyone tells me, “Don’t worry about it, you’re a professional, don’t relive every problem over and over. Let it go and just do it.” It’s a hard thing to master, but maybe you’ll beat me to it. I believe in you. You’ve made it to the major leagues and have a World Series ring. You can do it. Keep Calm and Battle On..maybe watch some Rocky. Cheers.

Hey Belt, Sorry to hear you’re not feeling well. Take it easy on the Olive Garden, huh? I have the same problem in my professional career – It’s incredibly difficult to get out of your own way because you want to do so well. Everyone tells me, “Don’t worry about it. Stop reliving problems over and over. Let it go and just do it.” It’s a really hard thing to master. Maybe you’ll beat me to it. I believe in you. You’ve made it to the big leagues and you have a World Series ring. You can do it. Keep Calm and Battle On…maybe watch some Rocky. Feel better. Cheers.

I, too, love your blog — and your movie reviews! — and hope you’re feeling nearly 100% by now.

(I also hope you’ve had a one-on-one with Barry, if only for the experience… the continuity of a past Giants era to the current.)

Keep up the great work, both of you!

Just saw the article by Pavlovic about how some fans are not behind Belt. I find it ironic (or chutzpah) that he mentioned the Gumby shoulders when it was his colleague Carl Steward who brought them up in the first place, I was waiting for attribution in the article but it never came up.

Please, please, please don’t listen to any of that negative stuff. Believe it or not, there are still a large contingency of fans (many at McCovey’s Chronicles) who believe that the Giants won their two championships mostly by luck (look at the snark that Grant said in a BP interview at the start of 2013 for an article). I’ve finally learned that these people can’t change and won’t change. Don’t waste another minute on them.

Just know that there are a lot more fans out there who do believe in the Giants. Who saw the growing talent pool in the late 2000’s with Cain, Lincecum, Bumgarner, Wilson, Sandoval, Posey, and knew that better times were coming for the Giants.

Who believe in the two Brandons. Sure, you have struggled some, but that’s the norm, not everyone is Posey or Bumgarner or Lincecum or Cain (and even they struggled some early on) who comes in and figures it out so quickly then get even better. Some fans were spoiled by them, but there are many who understand and appreciate what you two have gone through and fought through, and I think 2014 is where everyone gets to appreciate what the two Brandons can do, and thus what the Giants can do.

I loved what I read in the article. I’ve been waiting for you to steal more bases. And I know the power is there, it’s like Bonds said, it’s a matter of you being more consistent. And I think it’s there, reporters focus too much on the past sometimes (happens to the best of us) that they don’t see what is right in front of them, but you were pretty consistent at the end of last season.

I think 2014 is going to be a kick-ass season (not a homer, I knew the team was a loser in the post-Bonds era and accepted that as part of the lifecycle of a franchise), with a take no prisoner attitude across the team. I’m thinking something like 2003, though maybe not 100 wins, but a lot of wins, with the pitching, the hitting, the bullpen, as long as you guys are healthy, I think the sky’s the limit this season. No pressure :^D

Brandon, hope you read this. There’s another guy in the clubhouse who may be able to give you some valuable insight into the intricacies of the game. Like you, he’s a left-handed 1st baseman. However, he’s a Hall-of -Fames, he’s hit 521 HRs, and is a valuable if underappreciated resource. He’s also one of the most beloved Giants of all time.

His name is Willie McCovey. Like you, he’s a bit shy, and isn’t going to seek you out to impart his wisdom. And with his bad knees, he’s not on the field as much as I’m sure he’d like to be, but he is available and would love to talk baseball, as shown in this recent article.

http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Few-Giants-taking-advantage-of-McCovey-s-wisdom-5319165.php

Most fans are behind you and hope for a big year from you. I hope you take advantage of a resource that is right there in the clubhouse.

Best of luck.

If this article is true, I don’t know why you wouldn’t take advantage of hearing from Stretch about hitting, even just to pick his brain about power hitting, looking for pitches, using count leverage, whatever, especially as a LH hitter. http://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Few-Giants-taking-advantage-of-McCovey-s-wisdom-5319165.php A HOFer first baseman may have something interesting and helpful to impart to you. I say don’t be shy, take advantage of that great opportunity. He may or may not have something good for you to take away, but even one pearl can be helpful…

I totally agree, I was going to post this too. Both Brandons should go pick Willie Mac’s brains, he’s one of the top left-handed hitters of all time, I think, and I’m sure BCraw probably heard all about Willie Mac from his parents. Time’s a-wasting, he’s not getting any younger.

Always have a soft spot for the Giants. Great getting advice from the legends…Yes, even Barry.

http://mlblogscubden.wordpress.com/

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