Alarming First Night – Brandon Belt

I thought spring training was just for my baseball stuff. Apparently it’s spring training for my living arrangements, too. When we got into San Francisco Wednesday night, I drove to the house Haylee and I rented in the East Bay. The lady we’re renting from told me how to work the alarm system. I had it all written down.

So I unlocked the door, and I punched in the numbers. And the alarm went off. I punched in the numbers again. The alarm kept blaring. I called the alarm company and was shouting over the alarm.

Then the police showed up. I was telling them I was doing the exact thing the landlord told me. I have an alarm system at my own house, so I know how they work.

It kept ringing and soon 30 minutes had passed. It’s after 10 by this point. I decided just to leave and sleep at the team hotel. So I drove back into the city after I had driven all the way out there. The next day we got hold of the company and changed the code. But just to be sure, I went out there yesterday before the game and the alarm worked. Ready for the season!

To answer some questions from last time: I never got to spend time with Barry Bonds. He arrived the day before I go sick and basically was out of commission for five days. I heard great things from other players, so I really hope I get another chance.

No, I never got back to yoga. Just went that once. First, I was sick. Second, the class schedule changed a lot because we had night games.

A reader named Mark left a comment about my language when I played Crawford in a football video game. Mark suggested I didn’t really say, “Oh my gosh! Seriously? No chance! This game’s so stupid.’’

Mark, that is actually the way I talk. I try to keep bad words to a minimum. Sometimes it’s hard because you get so caught up in what you’re doing that stuff just comes out that you wish didn’t. But for the most part I can keep it in check. I don’t want anyone back home see me say that stuff on TV. Especially little kids who watch. Even in the clubhouse, I try to avoid it at all times. I think the only time I do say something is if I get really frustrated with something that happens on the field.

I went through a phase during puberty when I used bad language. I think I wanted to feel older. I wanted to feel cool. But when I got into pro ball, I really watched myself because that’s not something I want people to see me do. They don’t want their kids to hear that stuff. I would not appreciate if my kids, when I have them, see and hear that stuff. It’s part of life, I know. Kids are going to get exposed to it. But I’d rather it not be from me.

Jessica left a message that she tried to bring me a bottle of Olive Garden salad dressing but she wasn’t allowed to bring it into Talking Stick. If there’s one gift that I appreciate, it’s Olive Garden salad dressing. Thanks, Jessica, for the idea. It’s the thought that counts. But here’s the address for AT&T Park – 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA, 94107, in case you still have it!

You also mentioned about getting a hug from me like you did at last spring training. I’m sorry to say I’m going to lay off the hugging for a little bit. I might have to stop getting real close to people in public altogether because I keep getting sick! I’m not sure if that’s even what’s making me sick, but I never get sick in the off-season. Maybe it’s using everybody’s pens? Should I carry my own pen? I have to ask what other players do. It only takes one sick person to pass along the germs. I’m not a germaphobe but I can’t keep getting sick.  So please don’t take it personally!

What did you think of the new commercials? I think they’re pretty funny. I hope they dispel the impression that I’m always mad about something. My dad gets the same thing. I guess we look like we have a perpetual frown on our faces.

Maybe the commercials might help to show who we are off the field. I swear, I think some people who think we’re just robots and when we’re done with the game they kind of pack us up and load us in our lockers and they come get us the next day. I get these crazy comments sometimes on Twitter. I might tweet something about what I’m watching on TV and somebody replies with “Why aren’t you in the cage working on your hitting right now?’’ It doesn’t bother me but it kind of gives you an idea of the mentality. I guess I should just have compassion for someone who’s just so angry and unhappy.

OK, I have only one movie review.

Bad Words: It’s Jason Bateman’s directorial debut, and I think he did a pretty good job. He plays a guy who’s 40-something. He finds a loophole in the national spelling bee rules where he can actually go and participate. He has a reason for doing it, but in the meantime he basically tries to sabotage the entire thing so he can win. He says some stuff in there that is outrageous, and that’s where most of the comedy comes from. It’s stuff that if someone said it in real life, they’d get in big-time trouble for it. Really politically incorrect. But funny.

Two and a half stars.

I watched 12 Years a Slave again because Haylee hadn’t seen it. It was just as good the second time. This time I was really thinking about the ending, when he’s riding away in the carriage and leaves behind people who spent the rest of their lives in slavery. Haylee liked it, I think, though I didn’t really ask her. She stayed awake through it, so I’d say she thought it was pretty good.

Thanks for reading. Can’t wait to start real games!

-Brandon B.

40 Comments

hope you are feeling much better, by now, and catching balls, not germs! got to see two games in Scottsdale mid-March which was great fun. looking forward to a good season: Go Giants!

Brandon, for every person who criticizes you for “not working hard enough” or who doesn’t believe you watch your language, there are so many more of us out here who just wish we could help the team do its best. We’re pulling for each and every one of you and if our wishes and hopes can help lift you, just remember us. We’re here for you, and for all the Giants.

Stay healthy and remember that alarm code!

So happy opening day is so close! Not only thank you for the hours of enjoyment I get from watching ALL your games! And, thank you for what you and the team mean to my brother who is blind! He listens to every game and then calls me to rehash the game! Good luck and GO GIANTS!

Caught the first game back at AT&T, it was great to see all of you back. Brandon, I admire your commitment to decent language. Children need positive role models outside the home as well as inside, and it shows what a good person you are that this matters to you. We enjoy the continuing blog! Have a great season and stay well. No hugs, we’ll just wave afar!

Brandon: Just wanted to say thanks for all the autographs you signed for me and my kids this Spring Training in Scottsdale! Despite you being really sick and just getting an IV one morning, you stopped a signed some stuff for us and even personalized a photo plaque for us (don’t worry, my pens were clean!). We really appreciate you both as a player and a person, and look forward to you having a monster season this year! Texas forever!

As far as carrying your own pen I would say yes! Unless you always wash your hands or use antibacterial cleaner after touching things like elevator buttons,restaurant menus, the pens provided when signing credit card slips at restaurants… Those things probably have germs you don’t want to know about!

Have a great season ! Go Giants!

I voted for your commercial, but Posey in tears and speaking Spanish proved tough
to beat. Would have been funny to have you cameo in the Lefty commercial too! Lefties do it better!

Yes, thank you for all the stuff you signed for our family. My Hubby Kevin Rivero, myself, and our kids were so happy for the autographs. I cannot wait to find the perfect place to display our plaque. Thank you! Hummm Baby! Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Brandon, I don’t think it’s the hugging. I think you and Haylee need to get your own place during Spring Training. Small children–like the Culbersons’ daughter–are tiny, adorable germ factories. Since I started working in an small office with people who have young kids, I’ve been sick more than at any other point in my life.

I voted for the Two Brandons ad, but I have to admit, Mi Amor was pretty hilarious. You made a lovely gamer babe, though!

I was at Spring Training the week of March 10. You and Will Clark were the only players who took time to talk to the fans as you gave autographs. I was there fulfilling a “bucket list” for my 80th birthday. It was a perfect week with three wins and one tie.
BTW I agree with the idea of you and Haylee having your own place. Since I have retired from teaching, I haven’t had a single cold or flu! Take care of yourself!

Yes, use your own pen. I used to handle money all day long and got pink eye about twice a year. If you use another pen, wash your hands. Just try to have a pen on you when you think there is a remote possibility you will have to sign an autograph/ Can’t wait for the season and to see you in your biggest year yet!

Thanks for writing Brandon. Too bad you didn’t get a chance to spend time with Bonds. He was extremely selective and he was in complete control of whole areas of the plate so any pitch that came in his areas was almost always quickly deposited into the seats. I enjoyed Spring Training in Scottsdale so for right now I plan to come back next year. I am amazed that you guys play in front of packed stadiums and in pretty competitive situations for a month before the “real” games start. You guys look ready though. This will no doubt be a very exciting season. Best of luck and thanks again for writing. Go Giants!!

Brandon I really respect you in many ways, but most of all your honesty and why you don’t use bad language. That is very honorable if you ask me. I am so glad spring training is almost over and it’s time to play ball. I was there for the commercials, didn’t make it any of them, but up close and personal with you guys made the long days worth it….. cheers to a great season.

Funny to me you’d go to see Bad Words after writing in same post your feelings about saying bad words. Bit of irony there. Too bad you didnt do more yoga! Our birthdays on Easter this year hardly ever happens. Having your own pen is a really good idea! Stay well amigo

Have a great season! From my visit to Spring Training it seems the team has recovered that “spark” again from the past two WS seasons! I agree with previous remark living with small children, although tons of fun, can spread germs faster and wider than you imagine! Can’t wait to read the upcoming blogs from you, Brandon and Gregor

Thank you Brandon for being the kind of player that youngsters can and should look up to! Many people use bad language for many reasons. I often think its an attempt to call attention to themselves. Possibly they think it makes them look tough or mature. I think they might work on improving their vocabulary but to each his own. I agree that you are smart to think about the image you are projecting to young fans and even your future children.

I was disappointed to not be able to get close to any of you guys at fan fest. My granddaughter was so sure she’ d get Buster’s autograph although I told her the chance was somewhere between slim and none. She only believed me when we got there and couldn’t even get down on the field for about 3 hours. Maybe that shouldn’t be a free event anymore.

You are a good guy Brandon! Nice to see that you are trying to set an example of how a baseball player should behave. Leave the bad language alone and keep doing what you are doing. I enjoy watching you play. Now you need to get some BIG hits for your team in today’s game! Go Giants!

Love your blog posts! So, about the frowning. I did the same thing. Now, at age 50+, people think I’m mad when I’m glad. Why? Because that stupid frown is stuck on my face! I’m confident you can change that as quickly as you did your batting stance (dance). You’re welcome. The Belt commercial was my favorite, though I would have voted for the Brandons outtake if that had been an option…

I’m giving you an air hug for your comments about not using bad language. You are awesome to care about what kids see on TV. Wish more guys cared about this. I’ve often wondered about you guys getting sick from your interaction with the fans. Carrying your own pen is a good idea, but you’re still going to have to touch whatever you are signing. I would suggest washing your hands thoroughly after any fan interaction. Can’t have you out of that lineup! I really think this is your year, Brandon. You’ve got that swing worked out and you’ve put on some muscle mass so I’m expecting great things from you. It’s your time to shine! I have a question for you: What is it like traveling so much and having to adjust to different beds and climates and time zones? Do you ever have issues sleeping? I know I do when I travel. Do you have any special things you do to help adjust? Will be at the game Opening Day in Arizona cheering the loudest. Hope you can hear me!

What every body said. Glad to see you playing, and I like your commercial the best. The two Brandons are a lot of fun!

Rainout, time for a tune.

You should always use your own pen. That’s how we teachers stay healthy. I’m really enjoying watching you evolve as a player, and it’s very special that you tell us what is going on in your life. Thank you!

Are you ready for the grind of the season, because I know I am! Can’t wait to see some Giant’s baseball again, wish I could’ve gotten out to Scottsdale for spring training but I’ll have to settle for some games at AT&T haha I’ve never read this blog before and I must say it’s refreshing how eloquently you write! Can’t wait to read more and good luck this season, go Giants!

Frequent hand washing BB9, that’s the best defense against getting sick. I was bummed to see you were under the weather again. Maybe check out “EmergenC” packets too. Give yoga a shot, it will make you stronger in different ways, and minimize wear and tear of the season. I’m kinda surprised its not part of the teams regimen. Thanks for the blog. We listen to most games on the radio from Northern CA. We are rooting for you, see it and hit it, Git R Dun!

I can identify with your comments about basically only having a life of a ball player. I am a teacher and my husband is a doctor. We get some of the strangest comments from students and patients when we are seen out of our work place. We all really do have lives outside work but it is strange that some people just don’t get that. I think Hunter’s Facebook page puts a lot of emphasis on his life outside the park and I hope he continues this. Thanks for writing. Have a great year and enjoy your non work life to the max.

Brandon, what is fun is to watch you cover 1st base Territory. It’s like watching JT again, only one minor difference … I think you cover about 3′ more than he did cause of your speed to get to the ball. Have a great season. A fan since 59

My comment is a novel and the only way I can get away with such a lengthy reply is to re-blog this post & then I can go on and on and on about how wonderful you are and why I think so.

Reblogged this on THE LIGHTER SIDE OF SPORTS and commented:
You were one of my first posts on my MLB blog due to the attention you paid to the fans in Scottsdale spring of 2012. I had the orange beard shirt on and even though I am not usually an autograph hound I was really hoping to have Wilson sign it. Well, that wasn’t going to happen as I watched Bri Bri run to his car and then burn rubber out of the parking lot and away from his fans.

You on the other hand came and heaped love on us adoring fans before you left the stadium lot. You signed the shirt right in the middle of what would have been Wilson’s face (inspiring the blog “Belt gets in Wilson’s face”) and with that gesture you won my undying loyalty and became my favorite.

You signed and posed for pictures for everybody which I am certain took a chunk out of your personal time. The only regret I have about that day is that I took pics of you with other fans with their cameras and failed to get one of my own.

I am so proud of the role model you are not only for the children but for everybody. You are a good person with good values and it shows in your blog. The Brandon’s blog is my all time favorite and it shows us a side of you that we wouldn’t see otherwise. A side that I saw when I met you as well as the humourous side that we see in your commercials and I absolutly think you as that “startling” redheaded gamer babe is the funniest thing I have ever seen!

I am sorry that some make you feel as though you are just a “baseball machine” that isn’t a mistake I make but I have been a fan for 56 yrs and feel personal about all my SF Giants.

I am at Scottsdale Stadium every February enjoying watching you & the other guys work out and practice. I rarely go for the ST games prefering the more intimate crowd and the relaxed demener of my team & wanttobe team. I watch you more closely than the others because as I said, you are my fav, and thank goodness you cleared up this for me: I thought you were mad at me. I tend to take everything personally. Even though I couldn’t imagine what I had done to piss you off, I am relieved. :)

Don’t think you are a germaphobe it is true that we get sick from other’s germs but I hate for Charlies child to get the blame. He too made a very good impression that spring of 2012 and inspired a blog post. I wish he was still with the team.

I hate that you have been sick so much but I hope you don’t get paranoid about interacting with the fans, it sets you apart & it is important. Not all fans are cray cray I have a strong respect for your personal time and space. I would never ask for a hug but still hoping to get that picture.

Brandon, I love these blogs! I am glad you think about the influence you have on kids, that seems pretty rare any more. Thank you!
PS.. If you can’t manage to use your own pen, try as hard as you can to keep your hands away from your face..learned that from the movie ‘Contaigen’. =)

Your blogs are very fun to read Brandon!
One, it is definitely cooler to NOT use foul language around anybody! :) *salutes*
Two, I haven’t eaten at Olive Garden since coming to the USA, but have heard tons of good things about their salad dressing including from you so I’m taking your word for it and will eat at OG very soon!
And lastly, your beard is awesome. That’s all. Go Giants!

Love the blog and glad you and BCraw are keeping it up this year. He’s so straight-forward and you’re so random it makes a great contrast. I think you’re going to have an awesome year; call it a gut feeling (and I’ve got a pretty big gut; got to get back to the gym soon). Might go ahead and check out Bad Words; 12 Years a Slave is on my queue to watch On Demand if I can get a spare evening, though with baseball and hockey it’s going to be tough. Looking forward to a fun season; even bad baseball is better than no baseball!

It was fun to see you in an interview, relaxed and smiling. The beard looks good. Please don’t let it get all long like some of the other teams, though. The Giants are so much more sophisticated than that. lol! :) Thanks for the movie reviews. Good to know!

Brandon, my husband and I talked with Haylee near the end of the March 26 game. She is charming and lovely. You have been my favorite player since you started, in part because you and my son are look a likes, but now you and Haylee are my favorite couple! Thanks for the fun reading; I laugh out loud every time I read your blog.

Brandon, you’re a good guy– I totally appreciate it that you don’t swear! I try not to, but I go through phases :)

Dear Brandon,
It was funny reading this post, especially when I went to the game on Saturday and Jason Bateman did the announcing! I have that same problem with frowning…One of my students left me an anonymous note saying that I should smile more because I frowned too much. I think they call it a “resting b***** face” meaning that even though I am nice, I seem mean because that it just how my face looks when I am not smiling. Keeping hitting like you hit and keeping us all filled in on life in the clubhouse.

I have a question about team and/or player study before you actually play the team. For instance, since most of the games this next month are in our division, will you and others spend any amount of time looking at stats/tendencies of players (probably pitchers too) on the Twins, Pirates, Braves or Cubs out in May? Thanks for considering!
Also – my choir and I will see you out on the field next Tuesday 4/15 at the home opener of the Dodger series as we provide the National Anthem. Always a treat for us – swing by and say hello if this is even possible!

Brandon, that fact that you choose not to use vulgar language just upped my opinion of you ten-fold. After returning from Vietnam, I had a horrible mouth and still struggle with it. Folks who use the f word in every sentence sound purely ignorant. And moves that are filled with it are usually bad. Here’s to your future children who will obviously have a good and moral dad.

Your blogs crack me up! As always, I really enjoy reading them. I’m glad you are feeling much better (judging from the 5 homers you have already haha) You need to be around more kids to help built your immune system or something haha I’m a 1st grade teacher and I seriously was sick all the time my first and second year and now I’m in my sixth year of teaching and rarely ever get sick (knock on wood). Maybe I’ll mail you a big jug of hand sanitizer! Or what my 1st grade kiddos like to call it “hanitizer” :) can’t wait to be at AT&T park tomorrow night for the home night opener. have fun!! Keep doin what you’re doing Brandon!

Spoiler alert on 12 years a slave!!

i know im really late but Im reading all the blogs now. I just want to say I LOVE your commercial partly becuase its the only one you can see me in =) I’m in the 1st row as you walk on the field near the 1st base line. i had so much fun filming all 3 days

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