Results tagged ‘ AT&T Park ’

At Least My Birthday Was a Piece of Cake – Brandon Belt

Haylee made me a great cake for my 25th birthday on Saturday. Chocolate and vanilla. I was so hungry when I got home from the game that night I ate a huge piece while we waited for our pizza to arrive. I love chocolate. I’d have an all-chocolate cake with chocolate ice cream and chocolate sauce. But Haylee’s cake was really, really good. There’s nothing like a homemade cake. I think she spent about two hours making it, so I restrained myself from asking why there wasn’t ice cream.

We had an official birthday dinner Sunday night after the day game. We went to Bobo’s on Lombard and Van Ness. Stopped for a milk shake at a burger joint then went to see the new Tom Cruise movie. Just the two of us. Nice night.

Maybe the cake and milk shake will help put some weight back on me. I only gained back 3 or 4 pounds of the 11 or so that I lost when I was sick at the start of the season. It’s hard to keep weight on during the season, much less gain weight, because you’re playing every day. I’m drinking more protein shakes when I’m at the field, so I’m sure I’ll eventually get back to normal.

Bochy is giving me time off against left-handed pitchers, hoping to help me recapture the good rhythm I had in spring training. I know people make a big deal when you start the season slowly. They look up at the scoreboard and see your average is below .200 and kind of go a little nutty. But as a player you have to ignore the numbers. All you have control over is your current at-bat. You have to approach each one the same way, with the same confidence. You don’t have control over the results. You know that the balls will start to fall and the numbers on the scoreboard will start to creep back up.

This doesn’t mean that you completely ignore your struggles. I’m working with Bam-Bam and Joe in the cage and watching video. But in baseball especially, you have to take the long view. There are still more than five months left in the season. We’ve played only three weeks! So it’s crazy to get all panicky. I’ll be fine.

In the meantime, Crawford is hitting well enough for both of us. He’s seeing the ball really well. He’s so comfortable at the plate. He’s in such a good groove I think he’ll be hitting the ball well for a long time.

It seems to work out that way on this team. When one person’s down, the next guy picks him up. You never know on this team who’s going to be the guy who comes through with the big hit or the big play. Even though I’m scrapping right now, or maybe especially because I’m scrapping, I’m having a great time watching Crawford crush home runs.

Believe me, I’m not excited to be sitting on the bench. Nobody likes sitting. I’d like to play every inning of every game. As long as we’re winning, I’m happy.

I spoke to a group of Little League players before Sunday’s game, and one of them asked if I missed pitching. I grew up as a pitcher. I wanted to be Randy Johnson, another tall lefty. So I said I hoped that someday we’ll be going into the 27th inning and Bochy will be out of pitchers and I’ll get the call. That would be awesome.

Another kid asked what I ate before games. I said, “Anything that’s put in front of me, plus a Red Bull.’’

And someone else wanted to know who was the funniest guy on the team. “Bumgarner,’’ I said, “even though he doesn’t try to be. If you can understand what he’s saying, he’s pretty funny.’’

See you out at the ballpark.

Belty Bob, Jethro and Pretty Handsome Awkward – Brandon Belt

Just finished batting practice and I have a little time before the game to get a new post up.

In the comments sections, channelclemente asked why my college coach sometimes called me “Bob.’’ It goes back to high school. When I was a freshman, I hit a long home run and people started calling me Bomb. That morphed into Bob. And that morphed into Belty Bob. It stuck through high school. In college, my coach called me Bob sometimes but mostly he called me Jethro. He thought I was one of the Beverly Hillbillies. So Jethro became my nickname in college.

So now when I hear someone call out Bob or Jethro, I know it’s someone I know from home.

Channelclemente also asked: Brisket or ribs? Brisket without a doubt. Every time I go home, the dad of one of my buddies – my parents and his parents are really good friends – cooks a brisket on the barbecue for us. It’s the best thing.

I love Rob. R’s suggestion that I consider the song “Pretty Handsome Awkward’’ by The Used for my walk-up song. I don’t know it, but as soon as I get this posted, I’m going to listen to it on iTunes and let you know.

Joanna wants to know the significance of my jersey number, 9. The significance is I walked into the locker room at spring training and it was hanging in my locker. That’s pretty much it. My favorite number is 12, which was my number in high school and junior college. At Texas, somebody already had 12 so I chose 13. If I had been given a choice, I would have chosen 12 as my Giants’ number. But now I like Number 9 because it’s my first big-league number.

Sierra asks what positions I’ve played other than first base. Until I was 14, I played shortstop. That was my primary position. It was kind of weird to have a left-handed shortstop, but I made it work. I loved shortstop. Maybe one day when Bochy runs out of players, I’ll get back out there.

In high school, I was a pitcher and played some right field. So maybe if Boch can’t put me in at short, he’ll let me pitch. That would be really cool.

I’m told that during the Dodgers series, Kruke commented on how I can time my catches at first so that I’m pulling my foot off the bag when the ball hits my glove. He suggested it helps the umpire make close calls in my favor. He’s right. It’s something I learned in the minors.

One of my coaches started talking to me about it and it made a lot of sense to me. I’m not the most flexible person in the world as far as stretching. And you don’t want to be stretching all the time anyway. You’ll get hurt. Look what happened to Pablo.

So if it’s going to be a close play – on a double-play or a slow dribbler – I keep my left foot on the bag, wait until the last possible second and basically just jump out at the ball, pushing off with my foot. It allows me to catch the ball as far out from the bag as possible without worrying about my foot remaining on the bag. My foot just comes off the bag naturally in a smooth, effortless motion.

I now pretty much have the timing down perfectly.

Sometimes, when I know I’m not going to get the runner, I might pull my foot a split-second before the ball actually reaches my glove, hoping to fool the umpire into thinking the ball beat the runner. It usually doesn’t work, but I figure I might as well try.

OK, so wasn’t that Dodger series awesome?

We knew going in, of course, that we needed to win these games, and it was amazing to watch the people who stepped up. It was someone new every game. Arias just took over that last game. Christian made the unbelievable catch. Our pitchers were lights-out.

When we lost Melky, I think we all knew that we had to step up and fill the gap. And that’s what happened. That’s the way this team is. It’s not about one person. It’s all of us. As soon as one person cools off, another gets hot.

And speaking of hot . . . there was some buzz on the bench last night about Mila Kunis being at the game. I heard someone mention her and I looked around and she was directly behind our dugout in the first row with Ashton Kutcher. They are two good-looking people.

Every time we go to Dodger Stadium you know you’re going to see celebrities. Jason Bateman was in Mila Kunis’s seat the previous night. I think he’s hilarious. We see George Lopez there all the time. Pat Riley was there. And it’s fun to see Magic over by the Dodgers’ dugout.

Theriot, who’s been around the league, says he’s seen more celebrities at Cubs games.

Having said all that, give me Giants fans any day. There is nothing like the crowd at AT&T. We’re all excited to be back in the Bay and see who’s going to be the hero tonight.

Thanks for reading and keep your questions coming.

-Brandon B.AT&T