Nori, Casey and a Tap on the Shoulder-Brandon Crawford

Games haven’t started but there have been 150, maybe 200, people at Scottsdale Stadium just to watch practice. I guess coming off a World Series championship, we should have expected good crowds, but you’re still surprised to get that kind of support. I heard when Madison walked off the mound yesterday after pitching BP, he got a big round of applause. (I wasn’t in that hitting group, so I didn’t have to face him.)

Nori Aoki is in my group, so I’m starting to get to know him a little. His English isn’t very good, though it’s much better than my Japanese. He clearly has a good sense of humor. We’ve been hitting him fourth in the group because we tell him he has the big power. He laughs and says, “Big guy! Big power!’’

I’ve been around new third-baseman Casey McGehee since before camp officially started. We took grounders on the back practice field together. There’s not much a shortstop and third-baseman need to do as far as adjusting to each other. I just need to get a read on what his range is on balls to his left. After just a few ground balls over there, I’ll be able to read it pretty well.

Communication between a shortstop and third-baseman isn’t as involved as between a shortstop and second-baseman. Casey already has asked if I’d give him a head’s up on breaking balls. (From my position, I can see what pitch the catcher is calling, and the third-baseman can’t.) Pablo wanted a head’s up, also, on breaking balls. I alert them by just making a little noise. I don’t know exactly how it affects their positioning, but maybe they’re a little more ready down the line.

People ask if we come into spring training focused on improving any particular facet of our game. I really don’t. The only thing I want to improve, overall throughout the season, is consistency. I’ve had a lot of hot streaks and cold streaks in my career, which happens to everybody in baseball. So it’s a matter of keeping the cold streaks as short as possible.

So how do I do that? That’s the big question, right? I have to recognize more quickly when there’s something I need to change. I went through two bad months last season — July and August — before I realized I my hands were all over the place. I don’t know if I was getting tired or trying to do too much, but I would kind of lose track of where I was holding them from at-bat to at-bat. They’d get too high. Too far back. And I’d get trapped. I wasn’t as direct to the ball.

So in September, I began again to do that little tap on my shoulder, which I did throughout 2013. It reminds me where my hands need to be — lower and closer to my body. And I had a great September.

Everything’s good with the girls. Jaydyn’s walking (she’s almost 1). And Braylyn’s crazy, running around all over the place (she’s 2). She goes to the gym with Jalynne and does some toddler gymnastics. But we think she’s going to be too tall for gymnastics, though. She’s in the 80th percentile of height and weight for her age, so she’s projected to be around 5-feet-8 or -9.

Check in tomorrow or the next day for a special guest blog from the third Brandon. He has a new look, inspired by someone he admires and clearly wants desperately to emulate . . .

22 Comments

Welcome back. The B&B blog high point of my day so far Glad you n yours are well

So glad the blog is back – I have missed my Brandon(s) insights, movie reviews and droll commentary! I’m going to post a question I posted last year and never had answered…hopefully I’m in before the crowds on this one. I wanted to know how deep the rivalry against any opposing players might be off the field (not including Dodgers, of course)…especially when family is involved. You know. Like a sister dating someone on the opposing team… I do see a lot of chatter from Hunter with EVERYONE at EVERY BASE, but that’s Hunter. What’s it like for you? Are you generally friendly off the field with other players on other teams? Thanks in advance for answering!

Welcome back. I can barely wait for you guys to play. Your little ones are really getting older. Enjoy!

Thanks so much for the Blog, Brandon. It is a wonderful way for us fans to get to know you a little better, and feel more a part of the team. Now that the season is beginning I realize how valuable your time is, so please know that your efforts (and also of the “other Brandon” and Gregor is so much appreciated by your loyal fans.
So nice to hear your little girls are healthy and happy. Can’t wait to see you out there come April.

Great to hear from you again, and that all is well with the family. You’re giving us some fascinating info about the infield — I’ve watched the Giants for more than 40 years and never knew the SS gave the 3B the breaking ball hint. And now we get to look forward to Brandon3 and his new look? Can life get any better?!

Thank you for the blog Brandon. Can’t wait for the season to start, I think we have another October run… Keep up the good work. Go Giants!!!!

Glad to see you back. I’m looking forward to posts from all three Brandon’s.

So glad the blog is back and baseball is starting again!! I’m heading to spring training next week for the very first time and I can’t wait!! Gotta tell you….all the pictures you’ve shared of your family are just adorable….cutest family ever!! Have a great spring training and GO GIANTS!!!

ps….are your wives going to take a turn on the blog again this season? That was fun!!

Sent from my iPad

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So happy the blog is back in action! My nine year old and I were at your practice yesterday…..we flew in from san diego just for one night…..a mama/son trip. It was awesome to see all of you guys up close and see some of the drills…..especially for him since little league just started back up and he’s getting into formal practicing again. We really liked the double play drill….you were looking sharp! We had such a good time. You are by far his favorite player and he was really hoping to catch you after the practice for a hello and autograph. We waited out there at the front gate in the sun until 3:00!! We finally had to give up to make it to the airport on time. With that said, he has a question for you…….What do you guys do after the practice in the locker room?! haha…..
Hope to catch you some other time….and best of luck this season!

Headed to Scottsdale next week…looking forward to seeing you and the rest of the team get ready for another season. Post-season was an experience we will remember for the rest of our lives! Hope you got plenty of rest. Glad the family is well. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Always a real pleasure, Brandon. Go Giants!

Hey Brandon! Thanks for posting and introducing the new guys to us lowly fans.🙂 I cannot believe you guys are already back on the field – shortest off-season ever! As a fan, I can’t wait for the regular season to start, but I’m sure it’s hard when you get so little time to be with your family. Glad the girls are doing well, but I guess 5’8” is a little tall for gymnastics. Still though, it’s a great sport.

Thanks for taking the time and effort to send out the blog! Great to hear from the Bandons – you are great writers and teachers!

I’m so excited for another great season from you guys. I love hearing about how you juggle family life with being a ballplayer. The book I’m working on now has a shortstop struggling with keeping it all together. You and Jalynne make it look easy.

I am so happy to have baseball back and especially your blog. I always thought it would be cool to write a book about the ball players life. You are giving us insight
on what it would have been like… Thank you B & B 🙂

It’s great to have you and Belt back on the blog. Been a long off season without insights and humor.

I do have a question for when you have time to answer. What are you most proud of from the 2014 season and post season?

Welcome back Brandon! Thanks for sharing, as always! Looking forward to another season with you handling SS for us and good luck on achieving your goals for the 2015 season. Maybe we can get a back2back finally? 🙂

Brandon, I remember your saying that Barry Bonds helped you last year. After you worked with him, didn’t you start hitting better? Whatever………you’re still one of my favorites, even in a cold streak. Go Giants.
Marilyn Damon Diamond

So glad the blog is back! I hope you guys know – we all really do enjoy it!
Yes! I was one of those 150+ people in the stands all week for workouts! It’s so much fun to watch you guys practice! Looking forward to a good season!🙂

Hi Brandon! Am curious about your comment about the positioning of your hands and last season’s 2 month slump. Specifically, I’ surprised that your Hitting Coach, Meulens, didn’t pick this fault up right away. Do most of the hitters on the Giants have to discover and correct their own “mistakes?” If so, then what value is there in even having a Hitting Coach? Hoping for you and the team to have another exciting season. Stu Gish

There is no better read for me than your blog! Naturally I read the beat writers to get the meat and potatoes but here I get the salt and pepper. A player writing what goes on from his personal perspective is the perfect seasoning for a die hard fan like me.
Thank you and ReBlog!

YAY! Congrats on an amazing year last year! I can’t wait for this one to start! Did you do any fun stuff over the off season? Go anywhere exciting?

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