All About Rhythm — Brandon Belt

Sorry I haven’t blogged much. When the team’s struggling, and you’re not helping to score any runs, there’s not much to say. You don’t want to sound all cheerful and happy because it wouldn’t be real. But you don’t want to make too much of a dry spell, either, because you know it’s going to pass.

Having said that, few things are worse for a hitter than opening the season and falling almost immediately into a slump. You haven’t built up any numbers yet. There’s no cushion in your batting average to absorb the dip in production. All you see is the dip. So everything just looks brutal. If you slump in the middle of the season, it doesn’t hit your average as hard.

For me, like most players, hitting is all about rhythm. When I get into a good rhythm, I can stay on a good streak for a long while. I was on a great streak coming out of spring training. The groin injury the first week of the season put me on the sidelines for a few days. You never think you’re going to be affected by an interruption like that, but hitting is such a complex thing, physically and mentally. One thing is a little bit off, and suddenly you’re struggling.

But it’s part of baseball. It happens. You know you’ll get out of it. But it’s never as quick as you want. I’m happy to be swinging the bat well again. I’m seeing the ball. I feel good out there. I know if I keep hitting the ball hard enough, good things will happen.

What matters most is that, as a team, we’re turning things around. We’re winning again and climbing up the standings, which all of us knew would happen. It’s in our DNA. And soon we’ll be getting some big guys back — Hunter, Cain, Peavy — and that will be a huge lift.

We have our batting groups again this year, and again we have Team Brandon. There are three groups, and I’m the captain of one of them. So in the draft I’m pretty much obligated to pick Crawford first. I haven’t looked at the standings for April yet, but I know he helped us a lot with his home runs. I’ll keep you posted.

I’m sorry I have no movie reviews. With Greyson, who is now eight months and desperate to start walking already, I’m not going out a lot. I want to spend every minute I can with him. I wanted to go to the movies in Colorado and just never did. I bought I Love You, Man in the hotel. I’ve seen it a hundred times and still think it’s hilarious. But I fell asleep and didn’t finish it. The life of a new Dad, I guess. Haylee and Greyson will go to Houston with me, and Haylee will head to Lufkin for a little while. She will be very happy to get some help from the grandparents.

Thanks for reading. And ask some questions so I have something to write about!

37 Comments

Hi Brandon,
It’s great to hear from you! I felt for you as you struggled at the plate, and cheered for you this past week as you started to hit better. I can only imagine how difficult it is as a player when you’re slumping. Us fans take on your struggles too. I’m 3-4 on the season, and like lots of other fans, that Opening Week was full of highs and lows. The first win on Saturday night was as sweet as could be. The fact that you went on to sweep the Dodgers and Angels was tremendous! Yes, winning is in your DNA as a team. I pray you stay healthy now and have more peaks than valleys.
I’d love to hear more about Greyson. When will we see photos of him? Do you know if the Giants will have the Family Softball game before a home game (usually a Sunday)? I don’t think they had it last year. It’s so much fun to see all the kids on the field, especially the little ones who can only play on the grass with Mom. I do hope we’ll see Haylee and Greyson with you soon.
GO GIANTS!

Hi Brandon I can’t believe baby Grayson is 8 months old I hope you are enjoying every stage it is so precious. I love that the Brandons stick together and are on the same team. I love how you guys swept the LA teams. Keep up the good work, Go Giants.

I’ve got a question! :o) ….this may have been asked last year, can’t remember. When you get a runner on first, what do you guys talk about when you’re standing there?

Hi Brandon,

I was fortunate enough to meet you at Lefty’s last Saturday. Even though the team won, I know it wasn’t one of your best days, but you were still so gracious with us fans! Thank you so much! I’m still smiling and showing off my pics to anyone that’s near me🙂

I’m happy to see you’re having better at bats. We’ll all be yelling BELTED again soon and I have the perfect shoes for the occasion!

I saw Greyson at the event. He’s so cute and cuddly, just like his dad.

Oh, BTW, great attempt at 2nd last night. Pooh to all the haters!

Just thought of a question, inspired by Vogey tonight. Will we ever see that cute baby face of yours again or is the beard here to stay?

BB, “I love you man” is one of my favorite movies! I’m a HUGE Rush fan! Do you like Rush? Are you aware there is an “ending” called “I still love you, man” on Youtube, that they played after their concerts a few years back. It’s hilarious! here ya go https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq3yjfoorsU

Now go put a few in the drink!

Brandon – Do you have one of the plastic magnetic plaques that were on your convertible in the 2012 parade? If not, I’d like you to have the one I bought at auction. I can deliver it to Larissa Affeldt since I live about an hour away from her. Just let me know. I think it’s awful how the team auctions off everything they can think of instead of letting the players fill their memorabilia cabinets.

Good to see you’re hitting the ball hard again. Have you ever lost a ball from the pitcher in the lights before? I could see that happening as soon as I saw Casilla toss the ball up instead of across. What a game!

Lynn Walker (lwalker at owlcroft dot com)

So glad you are blogging again. I agree, I’d love to see some pictures of Greyson. My question is, who do you pal around with? I know you and Crawford are buds but do you hang out off the field. I’ll bet he has some great parenting advice. I will be at the game Saturday so if you hear really loud cheering from a crazy lady in a giraffe hat…that is me. 😁

Hi Brandon,
I so look forward to this blog from you guys! Since baby Greyson is keeping you home, are you watching any shows like Game of Thrones, Mad Men, Black Sails, the Walking Dead that you watch? Any show that you really liked? Even Netflix movies! I love the reviews!

I have long made it a rule not to look at the standings until Little League season ends around June 15. If fans are panicking on April 15, they must not have been around long enough to know that if the World Series Champions can hit an eight game losing streak, so can everyone else. I was hoping for the team to come back around .500 by the time Pence and the others come back, and it looks like they’re right on track.

In fact, I blogged about this very same thing on my own blog, comparing my life as a writer to the baseball season. (www.kristinamathews.wordpress.com) I base my characters on real life players, but I mix it up a bit to keep it interesting.

Brandon, good luck to you and your wife if your son does start walking soon. My son started walking at 8-9 months and he kept us really busy. Don’t rush it. Because it’s been my experience that early walkers are more likely early run-arounders. There were a few years where my husband and I rarely shared a meal out b/c we’d take turns with the very active toddler.

I forgot to ask a question. How do you keep the pressures on the field from interfering with your valuable family time? Baseball is a game of failure. I’m sure it’s easy to be married to the guy who hit the game winning home run, but what about the inevitable bad games? How do you keep it at the ballpark?

Hi Brandon! It’s good to see you back in the lineup, and I’m sure you’ll get your timing back soon. I have two questions for you: How did you celebrate your birthday this year, and who else is on Team Brandon?

You have to see the Avengers 2!, So good. So whenever you catch the time i recomend it (: Also, you have done lots of movie reviews, but i dont think we hear about your taste in music much, any favorite songs/genres? Thanks for the post, being busy and all. Goodluck with the new baby!

Question: Have you and/orHayley learned some Baby Signs? I truly believe baby signs will eliminate the “Terrible Twos” which are simple sign language and voicing the words at the same time. Terrible twos means that the toddler wants to communicate, but do not know how, so they throw fits. They want to say what they want, “Crackers”, “Milk”, “juice” and so on. (Listening in on 2nd game of Padres/Giants and you just scored! Way to go!). Thanks for sharing! Hugs and kisses to Greyson! #SFGiants, Dina

Hello Brandon! Great to hear from you! Slump or not, im still a huge Brandon fan! You’re getting back to swinging the bat well. (Just saw you score the first run of the Padres game #2) Time flies, can’t believe Greyson is already 8 months. From the pics Haylee posts on IG, he’s super cute and a chunky baby!🙂 My only two questions: what do you talk about with opposing teams when they reach 1st base? Is it just a “hey how’s it goin?” Or a “damn it you got a hit”. next question, since you’re or were a frequent movie goer, did you and Haylee watch 50 shades of grey? Alright, keep up the rhythm! Go team Brandon! Go Giants!!

If and when you have a soda at home in Lufkin…Big Red, Dr Pepper, Mr Pibb or Cherry Coke.

Just curious, I spent summers bouncing from Dallas to Ardmore, OK and I lived on Sun Tea, Big Red and Sonic Drive In (occasionally)

Thanks for the blog update! I love reading your guys’ posts. What’s the most embarrassing thing you’ve done that you can tell us about?

Thanks for posting, Brandon. Must be tough to find the time being a new daddy. So glad you are appreciating every moment you have with your little guy. And he’s already trying to walk! Fun times ahead! Here’s a question for you: Do you ever pick up on any conversation going on between an opposing player on first and their first base coach? Can you use that to your advantage? I’ve always wondered about that. Keep up the great work – you’re getting hot again!

Brandon, let’s talk first baseman’s gloves. I coach girls and the ones who want to play first base are often obsessed with getting a true first baseman’s glove, even though it might not fit their hand and feels awkward to them. I steer them toward outfielder’s gloves — what do you think?

No worries about not blogging: you have two more important jobs, being a Daddy and playing baseball!

Being a Dad is the best, cherish every moment. I remember holding my son when he was born, like it was yesterday, but now he’ll be heading off to the college he wanted to get into in the fall, and soon I won’t be seeing him as much anymore. Cherish every moment.

Excited to see you hitting again! I knew it was a matter of time. I’m a #BeltBeliever and been telling people to cut you a break, as you were injured and recovering, plus, because the hole was so deep, hiding how well you had been hitting lately.

And that leads into my question. Seems like hitters when they are out, for DL or recovering from injury, first it seems to take time to get back rhythm for hitting, then time to get back to hitting for power. I saw that with Sandoval many times over his career, and others. Is that something you all see too, or am I just reading things out of nothing? And if you see it, how would you describe the transition? You mention feeling rhythm, that seems to be for the hitting mechanics, but then do the power just come when it comes, or do you have a sign that tells you that you reached that point?

For Pablo, it was extra-base hits. He would struggle coming back, but then suddenly he would start hitting again, then a little while later, he would hit, like, two doubles, or a homer and double, basically multiple extra-base hits, and bam, he would be mashing again.

For Buster (and really for a lot of you, it seems), the sign seems to be when he hits for power to the opposite field. He would be struggling and then he would mash one to right-center and then he would be on fire.

So do you have a sign that tells you when you are locked in? The way the ball flies off your bat? Going opposite field? Going opposite field power? Other?

Thanks! And keep up the good work, you have been hitting well for over two weeks now (up and down, sure, but we’re all humans; well, except maybe Buster and Bumgarner :^), and it seems like you are getting more and more extra-base hits. With the starting pitching settling down and a bunch of you guys hitting (especially Crawford, would be great having the two of you bust out!), should be a good month of May, at minimum. I had predicted 90+ wins and still feel good about that. Go Giants!

Great to see you getting in the groove again. I never lose confidence that you guys will always come around. Even at the beginning of the season when things were rough I wasn’t worried a bit. I’m glad you’re enjoying fatherhood–Congrats to you and your wife! Give my best to the team. I have your back!

I’ve always enjoyed your blog, as well as Brandon’s and Gregor’s. Thanks for taking the time to write. You seem to be getting back into your rhythm! Yay!! Congrats on Greyson turning 8 months! Our daughter will be one year old next week and parenthood is an amazing and wild ride! We can’t wait to take her to her first game in July.

What city, other than SF, is your favorite city to play in and visit?

Thanks!
Theresa (die hard Giants fan for life)

I have the same question as someone else had, what the heck do you and the opposing team chat about on First base or any base for that matter. Are they asking where is a good place to eat, or the wind or ???
Also, what do suppose they will do with the good new players when the good old prayers get back

I have a blog to write about you guys and how you are doing. I try to keep it very positive because I believe baseball–besides being very athletic–is very cerebral. I recently saw a commercial where Hunter talked about the positive energy from the fans. Do you feel that positive energy from outside sources helps in trying to get out of a slump? Other than working on the physical aspects of hitting, do you do anything that works on the mentality? Mostly I’m curious because I want to encourage other fans–as I said in one of my blog posts last year–to “accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative”. Short of that I suppose we could dance around you guys chanting and sprinkling you with fairy dust Anyway, I’m just curious about the mental aspects. Glad you wrote again–I do like reading your posts. Another serious question I have, and maybe you’ve already said–what about baseball movies? Do you have a favorite?

It is so great to read your blog. I have a question about the movie “Interstellar”. Some of the crew thought it was a mind-blowing cinematic genius and others were lukewarm at best. Me, personally, thought it could have been about 1 hour shorter. Great job on the field. We will be there Sunday.

Hi Brandon, thanks for your posts , I really enjoy reading them!!! I kinda remember my son’s baby days it’s more of a blur of sleep deprivation :0) . So I totally understand of not going to movie theatres b/c I feel asleep when I took my son & his cousin to the movies. Cherish the time when they’re little b/c BAM they grow up fast!!! GO GIANTS!!!

Hi Brandon,

That triple today you hit probably ended up measuring 430 feet. I hate that we have the deepest center in MLB. It just stupid. I give the fence designer an F. But another option is for you to just down the right field line. That 430 foot shot would have passed the buoys. I was around 400 when you batted. so you ball could have sailed 30 feet over my head!

Keep up the good work. And as I was mentioning to Crawdaddy, you two should try to do the Perisope app that runs on iPhones. It streams live vid that fans can watch of your two and we can ask you live chat questions on the scrolling chat window. I know you probably don’t have the time. When you hit me a Splash Hit this year, I will immediately do my own Periscope broadcast to baseball fans world wide. Its a lot of fun! I just saw Matt Duffy do a Periscope interview for the Giants, so ask him about it if you are interested.

I just checked and after today, your OBP is up to .363. 🙂 Good job!

Hi Brandon,

Welcome back. The slump too, has passed. I never get excited about slumps. They all end at some point. I just feel bad for the player because I know ya’ll want to do your best and it isn’t working out at that moment. When ya’ll catch fire at the same time? Pure joy to watch! Keep doing what you do. We love and appreciate it.

Enjoy hearing about your little guy. Keep us posted on his growth and adventures.

Hi Brandon,
With all the screaming going on at my house on Monday (I had just found out that the Giants were having another Indian Heritage Night since you haven’t had one in like 672817 years), it made me think of a question for you. Which night, out of all the special event nights that are cultural nights, is your favorite? And are you allowed to change your walkup song to a song from that country for that night, or would that be considered culturally insensitive? I could post a reply to this comment with a whole list of Bollywood songs if you would like it.

Zaynah

Hi Brandon,
I just thought of one more question to ask you. I am planning on going to the game on August 25th against the Cubs which is a night game. Last time my dad’s friend who is a season ticket holder was gracious enough to give us his tickets for a game which was a day game. I assume I missed BP even though I was in my seat at 12:00 PM. Tells you how much I live by that motto “Ball is life”, lol. RYAN VOGELSONG RAN PAST ME WHEN HE WAS WARMING UP AND I DIDN’T GET HIS AUTOGRAPH AND I WANTED TO CRY SO BAD AFTERWARDS. Ok, now that my rant is over, do you have any tips for a teenage autograph seeker who is going to a night game?

Zaynah

Hey Brandon..my question is I’m watching you play the marlins and I noticed you chatting with Michael morse. We’re you talking about anything good or just small talk? I always wonder what the chit chat is like with players who were so special in getting us a championship . Like Cody Ross and Michael morse, if they went to a rival team then se la vi. Im not interested. But what’s it like playing against prior teammate?
Ps love these blogs.. Thanks for doing them

Hey Brandon! Thanks for blogging, and nice game last night (4 hits!). I hope Haylee and Greyson are doing well. It must be exhausting having such a little baby, but I’m sure he’s adorable. Can you please post a picture when you get a chance?

Yay Brandon! It’s so good to hear from you. What slump? 😉 I never worry… You always manage to turn things around. You’ve proved that this week. My husband and I have a tradition of traveling to watch a game in a new city and state every year. We are going to Colorado Memorial Day weekend! We are really looking forward to it. We may start a family in the next year or two and it might be harder for us to carry on our tradition with a little one. It sounds like life is a little more busy for you and Haylee now. Since you have been to all of the ballparks, are there any you recommend we make it to?

Thank you again for spending the time updating us. I’m happy to see everyone clicking and getting hits with men on base. I can’t imagine how hard it is to forget the previous game and try to get ready for the next one, especially when you’re in a slump. Great to see you making contact.
I do enjoy your movie reviews, but the little guy is much more important🙂

Hi Brandon, I saw something about being better in baseball I wanted to share with you. I already posted this on Crawford’s post, but just want to be sure one of you catch this.

It is not a crackpot science website, it is a legit website, citing legit research by U.C. Riverside (not far from Crawford’s alma mater, UCLA). They did some sort of study of how to improve a hitter’s eyesight using some sort of visual training program, used to improve your ability to tell contrast. Seems like a miracle, but not only does it improve your ability to see farther away objects, but it helped with peripheral and low light vision, which would help with hitting in night games, I assume. Please have your training staff check this out, maybe it can help some of our hitters: http://www.livescience.com/50835-brain-training-improves-vision.html

Thank you for taking the time to write. The fans just love to feel closer to the players and this gives them the opportunity. Stay Hot Brandon Belt!

Take that all you Belt doubters!!!

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