Results tagged ‘ Brandon Belt ’
Yes, the blog is back.
This was supposed to be posted on Tuesday, but the posting got screwed up and here it is now:
Today was the first official day of spring training. Everyone is here. We had a great team meeting first thing in the morning. Bochy talked and Hunter talked. It If we weren’t already pumped to go after another World Series title, we are now. I love spring training personally. It’s good to see the green grass again and get back on the field and feel it beneath your feet. As much as we all work out in the off-season, nothing gets you into baseball shape like playing baseball.
One of the things we do in the first few days here is sign baseballs, jerseys and photos that the community relations department uses through the season to try to fill all the requests for charitable donations. They set up a bunch of tables in a hallway near the clubhouse and we sit there before or after practice and just sign. I’m in the midst of signing 27 dozen baseballs. Hunter has to sign 43 dozen. The bigger the star, the more baseballs you’re asked sign. Travis Ishikawa said he used to sign one dozen balls. This year he signed 20-something dozen.
We’re also asked to make a few appearances during spring training.
“There’s a barbecue here at the park,’’ Bobby from community relations said as I signed the baseballs, “or an event at the local zoo, but you have to drive out there so it’ll be more consuming.’’
“And a lot cooler!’’ I said. “I’ll do that one.’’
You know what my favorite zoo is? The one in Omaha, Nebraska. They have all these different sections so when you go to see the water animals, it’s like a swamp area with alligators and beavers. It’s low lighting so you feel like you’re in the swamp at nighttime. They have all these little bridges and the animals swimming underneath you. It’s awesome.
Another thing about spring training is you’re back with all your teammates. We saw a lot of guys at FanFest but now we’re really together. And there are more guys. Brandon Hicks! The third Brandon. I was happy to see him back and happy to be able to use our Brandon handshake. It’s a pretty easy handshake. Kind of feminine actually. We tried to make it as awkward as possible.
For whatever reason, spring training also means — for me — watching a lot of Shark Tank. I’m too busy in the off-season to watch, but here it’s like the best thing to watch after practice. It’s kind of Shark Tank non-stop on X-box video. I like the feel-good stories about people who bring stuff in and make a company out of it. I love the brutal honesty the Sharks have with these people. It’s hilarious sometimes. I like rooting against some people and rooting for other people. Haylee hates that I watch it all the time. But she’s just as bad with HGTV. Every time I come home, HGTV is on. She used a lot of the info when we built our house. But we’re done building our house, so I’m not sure why she still needs to watch it.
I did take a break to watch the Oscars, or at least about half of it. I thought it was boring. It took them like an hour and a half to do six awards, and they’re mostly awards nobody cares about. And I wasn’t as interested as I usually am because I didn’t see most of the films because it turns out when you have a baby, you don’t go out as much. That’s my excuse for getting one pick correct — just Patricia Arquette. Me and the academy do not agree on a lot of things.
I saw two movies when I was in San Francisco for FanFest. Here are my reviews.
The Kingsmen: It’s about this secret, kind of James Bond organization. This kid’s dad was a part of it, so they kind of recruited the kid to be a part of it as well. He goes through all these tests and ends up being a spy. It was a less cheesy version of a spy movie in that they didn’t follow the same storylines that most spy movies follow. A more adult version. The acting was great. Samuel L. Jackson had a lisp, though I’m not sure why he found that necessary for the movie. Otherwise there were a bunch of English people.
Jupiter Ascending: Honestly to this day I still have no idea what I watched. It’s about this girl played by Mila Kunis who is a reincarnated Queen of the Universe. Her kids weren’t dead so they could take control of the universe, I guess. Channing Tatum is protecting her so they can get her back to power, I think. Honestly, it was a weird movie. There’s a lot of detail in it. It was very confusing. They colonize planets. It was a forgettable movie. It really was. Pretty cool special effects, that’s about it. I think it would have been kind of a cool movie if you knew what was going on.
Finally, just want to say how happy we all are that Bochy is fine and back on the field. He’s the leader. He’s the guy who gets the best out of his ballplayers. We’ve got to have him at the reins if we want to go out there and win another championship. He’s the one who sets the tone. That’s why, I think, when new guys like Casey McGehee and Nori Aoki show up, they fit in so quickly. The rookies, too. They figure out real quick we have a pretty special bond in this clubhouse. Everyone fits in, which is why we’ve been so successful.
OK, Hunter is giving me a hard time about getting back to signing baseballs. He’s been flying through his. So I’m diving back in. Then heading home. Shark Tank is cued up and waiting.
I’ve got news. I’ve been sitting on it since January, waiting for the right time, which seems to be now. There will soon be a baby Baby Giraffe. Haylee is six months’ pregnant, so there is no hiding her belly any more. The baby is due in September. We already know it’s a boy.
We’re really excited. We know we’ll be getting lots of advice from teammates and their wives. We might even listen to some.
It’s been two weeks today since my surgery. It’s kind of driving me nuts not to play. Someone asked me on Twitter on a scale of 1 to 10 how much I wanted to get back into the lineup and I said a million. I love watching baseball, and we’re winning, so that part is great. But in the dugout, because I don’t have anything else to do, I’m talking a lot more. I need to shut up. No one’s told me to shut up, but I’m sure it’s just a matter of time. The more I watch, the more I want to play. And the more it drives me nuts.
Morse is doing a great job at first. He’s an athlete. You heard about him tossing the ball in the dugout and hitting my broken thumb? He was throwing it to one of the clubhouse guys, but it bounced, hit the dirt and came toward me. I was on Vicodin at the time, soon after my surgery. So my reflexes were a little slow and my coordination was a little off. I waved my right hand at the ball to bat it away, and I completely missed it. And it happened to go right where my thumb was. That did not feel good. I spent a little time in the clubhouse until the thumb stopped throbbing. When I returned to the dugout, I put a batting helmet over it.
Right after the injury, I watched a couple of games on TV. I thought it would be weird. But, it was weird only in that it wasn’t as weird as I thought it would be. I felt like I had done this before, and I realized why. Sometimes I’d get home from a game and CSN would be showing a replay, and I’d watch some of it. So that’s what it felt like when I watched live games. Of course, the best part of watching any Giants game is listening to Kruk and Kuip. My family back home won’t watch any Giants broadcast if Kruk and Kuip aren’t doing it.
I’m getting a little better at using my ring finger and middle finger as a kind of claw to grip a fork to eat. I tried eating with my right hand and it wasn’t pretty. Haylee has to help me with my socks and tying my shoes. She’s in Mom Mode, taking good care of me.
A couple of movie reviews. (Thanks for saying you missed them!)
Godzilla: It’s a little long and kind of confusing at first. I was like, “I don’t know what’s going on right now.’’ But I liked the story line. Godzilla is kind of a good guy in this movie. You kind of like him at the end. It’s a different perspective.
Two and a half stars.
About Time: It stars Rachel McAdams and some British guy. The men in his family have always been able to travel back in time. They can even travel back to a memory and change it if they want to. They can do whatever they want. It’s kind of a like a normal Rachel McAdams movie like The Notebook and The Time Traveler’s Wife. So I wasn’t expecting much. But I really, really liked it. It hit on a lot of emotions. It was funny. It was sad. It kind of makes you appreciate the people you have in your life. I just really liked it. Of all her movies, it’s the best one. Haylee fell asleep. We started watching it late at night, she just couldn’t stay awake.
Three and a quarter stars. (I’d give it three and a half, except I’m just not crazy about the romance/chick-flick genre of movies.
Neighbors: I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out since December. I think I had built it up too much because I was kind of disappointed. It didn’t meet my expectations. I thought it was funny but not as funny as I thought it was going to be. It was kind of stupid, really.
Thanks for welcoming all the guest bloggers. I’ll jump in now and then. In the meantime, I’m working hard to get back on the field as soon as I can. Thanks for all the encouragement!
With Belt on the DL, we’re taking turns filling in, so here I am. I’m not a social media guy. I don’t do Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or whatever else is out there. But I thought it might be interesting to tell you a little about the bullpen.
Relievers are kind of a family within a family. Like our own band of brothers. We know we’ll be facing some pretty stressful situations later in the game, so in the early innings we keep things really loose and light-hearted. We’ll bring up some topic — maybe current events, something that happened the night before, something in the game at the moment — and we get the banter going.
Let’s say Santiago Casilla made a nice play on a come-backer the night before. He’s normally not a great fielder, so we start making fun of him for that. And he gets playfully defensive about it.
You can imagine the field day we had with Machi after his bunt in Pittsburgh. We all know he’s a good athlete even if he doesn’t look it, but we kidded him about not knowing how to hold the bat and about chugging down the baseline to first. Casilla promptly said he was faster than Machi, and Machi countered that not only was he faster than Casilla, he was the fastest in the bullpen.
I chime in and say I can take either of them. So someone says, “OK, we’ll have a footrace.’’
You’ll be relieved to know cooler heads prevailed. One of us would have gotten hurt, no question. (This is where I could take a cheap shot at Affeldt, but you’re already thinking it so I don’t have to.)
In any event, Machi was upset he didn’t get a hit on the bunt.
“A hit?’’ we said. “The ball beat you to the bag! How is that a hit?’’
You get the idea.
This is a different bullpen than I’ve been a part of. It’s very international with a lot of Venezuelans. There are no cliques. That’s one of the things that makes it pretty special. We spend some time learning English, some time learning Spanish. Casilla is one of my favorites because he genuinely tries to learn English. He’s always learning a couple of new phrases, and he has a few he goes to all the time.
The Venezuelan guys tell a lot of stories about the winter league down there. Machi told me Panda doesn’t talk in the Venezuelan league. He is not vocal at all, contrary to the singing, laughing character we see (and hear) in our locker room. Machi said it’s because there’s a pretty strict hierarchy down there, and Panda’s still considered a young guy. I found this hard to believe, but Gutierrez and Petit said it was true.
It’s kind of the reverse for Machi here: He doesn’t have a lot of time in the big leagues, so he doesn’t talk a lot. He’s talkative around us, but if you were to walk into the locker room he’s a pretty quiet guy.
Another thing I didn’t know that I learned in the bullpen: Even though Machi has been a closer in Venezuela for four years, he didn’t have a save in the big leagues. I had just assumed last year he must have gotten one with us at some point. (Shows you how much I really remember about our games.) He already had five wins but he really, really wanted a save in the big leagues. And he got one during the last road trip in LA. To see him do it, knowing how much it meant to him, was pretty neat.
So all this talking among the relievers is great, but what if there is no bullpen, like here at AT&T Park? The joking and laughing don’t go over real well in the dugout. We have to be kind of careful. At the start of the game, we park ourselves at the far left of the dugout, up by the rail. The coaches are at the opposite end, and the position players are usually on the bench against the wall.
At some point, we usually make our way to a small room at the bottom of the stairs (behind the dugout), where we can watch the game on TV and not bother anyone.
I don’t want you to think we don’t talk about baseball. We talk about situations that might have come up the previous night, and maybe there’s a similar situation today and Bochy has decided to go with a different pitcher. We’ll talk about different strategies and ask each other what we’d do against this hitter or that one. It’s always good to have Plan A but sometimes you need Plan B, C and D. So it’s nice to bounce stuff off each other.
The best thing about our bullpen is that we realize we’re in this together, and we have each other’s backs.
Thanks for reading. Now when you see a shot of us on TV in the early innings, you know we’re enjoying each other’s company and keeping things loose. Until the bullpen phone rings and everything changes.
Thanks to everyone for their messages of encouragement. I got through surgery fine this morning and I’m following doctor’s orders to take it easy today. For the next couple of months, I’ll be focusing on rehabbing my thumb and staying in shape so I can get back on the field as soon as possible.
So I’m going to turn the blog over to my teammates while I’m rehabbing. I might throw in an occasional update, but believe me, it will be way more interesting to hear from the guys who are actually playing.
Thanks again for all the good wishes. You guys are awesome.
Haylee and I went to the Warriors game last night on the off-day. Neither of us had ever been to an NBA game, so (through Giants connections) I bought two seats in about the 10th row across from the Warriors bench. We had a blast.
An NBA game could not be more different from a baseball game — there is so much going on every second! I’m thinking, “What’s happening right now?’’ I look up at the score and it’s tied. I look up again and somebody’s up by 15. Everything is happening so fast.
The other fun part was the chance to eat concession-stand food. You can get concession-stand food at a Giants game, but I don’t. Which is probably a good thing, being a professional athlete and all. But I was pumped to walk up to the concession stand at Oracle Arena. Haylee and I share a big plate of nachos, a choice we made only after discovering, with some disappointment, they didn’t have Frito Pie.
I guess Frito Pie is a Southern thing, kind of how Chicken Spaghetti seems to be a Southern thing. For those who don’t know, Frito Pie is a bowl of Fritos topped with chili and shredded cheese. I put mustard on mine. You eat it with a fork, and it’s delicious. When I was growing up, we’d eat it at home after church for lunch. I love it.
It was great to meet so many Giants fans at the Warriors’ game. As soon as we stepped out of the car in the parking lot, it was crazy how many people wanted to say hello and have their picture with me. It really surprised me. So I took a lot of pictures, and everyone was so nice. I think the only autograph I was asked to sign was for our usher, Frederic, who said he also works at Giants games.
During the day yesterday, I went to the mall to buy dress shoes. This is not exciting, I know, but it’s also not the easiest thing for me. I wear size 15 in tennis shoes, but the biggest dress shoes most department stores carry are 13s and 14s. Even at that, I have to be careful of which I choose. When a suit calls for a lighter brown, I can’t get shoes that are too light because they make my feet look like clown feet. So I have to find the right match for the suit and for my feet. You’ll be relieved, I’m sure, to hear that I found the right shoes.
I only have one movie review.
Heaven is for Real: I read the book when I was in Triple A and really liked it. The movie was good, but I was hoping for a little bit more. It’s about a kid who, after he has surgery, says he visited heaven. He’s four or five years old. He says he was sitting with Jesus and all this other stuff. Everyone is skeptical, even his dad, who’s a preacher. But the boy says stuff he couldn’t have known about, like seeing his sister in heaven. His mother had a miscarriage and the kid, of course, never knew that. I give it 2 stars (out of four).
Thanks for reading Haylee’s blogs and leaving her all the great comments. And thanks to everyone who was so nice to us at the Warriors game last night. Hope to see you at the ballpark.
Haylee is filling in today to follow up on your questions. I’ll write again soon. I’ll be in a better mood when we start hitting again. And winning. I promise it won’t be long. This lineup is just too good.
So here’s Haylee:
Thanks to everyone who read my blog! Here’s a picture of Lilly for those who want to know what she looks like and proof that Brandon loves her more than me ;) For those who asked, she’s a Heinz 57 dog! We think she’s beagle and dachshund.
I went through every comment everyone left! You all are so sweet and supportive. A couple people asked for the chicken spaghetti recipe. Here it is.
-1lb. cooked shredded chicken (I buy a rotisserie chicken already cooked and seasoned and just shred it)
-1 package of Velveeta cheese. It comes in a big block. I use most of it, but it really depends on how cheesy you like it. I cut half of it in cubes that I’ll melt for the sauce and then slice the other half and put a layer on top of the casserole and melt.
-1 box cooked noodles, any kind really but I use spaghetti
-1 can cream of chicken
-1 can cream of mushroom
– 1 can ro-tel
Mix in a big pot on low or medium heat,the cooked shredded chicken, cooked noodles, cubed cheese, whole can of cream of chicken and mushroom and ro-tel until cheese is melted. Salt and pepper to desired taste. Don’t turn heat up high or it will scorch the food. Dump it all in a 9×13 casserole and add extra cheese on top and put it in the oven until cheese on top is melted.
Someone else asked why most players rent houses instead of buy in San Francisco. I can only speak for Brandon and me. We love our Texas family so much, and we still love calling Texas our home. So we are not ready to leave that. We love going home as much as we can. It gives us a break from this fast-paced life in the city and with baseball and we get to relax! Maybe one day we will have a home here!
Also, there were a lot of comments about the Dugout stores not having Belt T-shirts or jerseys. I know it’s kind of weird. Brandon’s fans need to complain to the stores and petition for them to carry his jersey ;) I don’t even own one!
Thanks from Brandon for all the birthday wishes, even if his day didn’t turn out the way he wanted, at the plate anyway. We went out with the Bumgarners Saturday night after the game to Lou & Mickey’s, a restaurant near the park. I brought an assortment of cupcakes and made sure there was a big chocolate one for Brandon. We had a great time as we always do with Ali and Madison.
Thanks again for all your comments and questions!
All the pinch-bloggers have been so good! Unlike the guys, I am not thinking of this as a competition. I’d never even try to beat Brandon at anything! He is soooo competitive. (And Jalynne, I learned yesterday that you have your own competitive streak!)
I’m going to be kind of random and just toss some things out that maybe you’ll find interesting.
I remember after Brandon signed with the Giants, some people in town had this idea that when a guy makes it to the big leagues, he doesn’t stay with his high school sweetheart. They thought , “If you get big-time you’re going to forget about where you came from.’’ Nothing could be further from the truth.
Brandon and I met in eighth grade when he transferred into my middle school. The best friends we had then are still the best friends we have now. One works in the oil fields. A couple are teachers. Another works for his dad. When we’re home in Hudson, which is about 90 minutes from Houston, we hang out at somebody’s house and barbecue and talk and laugh. The guys might play video games. Nothing too exciting. Our lives haven’t changed that much, which I’m really happy about.
But I confess that I had this picture in my head of what life would be like if Brandon made it to the Majors. I thought, “Oh, that is going to be awesome!’’ I thought I’d be shopping every day and going to the gym and going out to lunch. You kind of think it’s going to be right out of a movie. Some of it’s true. We stay in nice hotels on the road and I definitely shop more than I would if Brandon didn’t have the job he does.
But like Jalynne wrote, we stay pretty busy with packing, moving, settling in, taking care of all the day-to-day business of laundry, car repairs, grocery shopping, hair cut appointments, vet appointments for our dog Lilly. (With two babies, Jalynne’s even busier!) The guys really don’t have time for all that stuff.
During spring training and the regular season, our schedules are built completely around theirs. Brandon always tells me he feels bad about how much time the wives spend just waiting — after games, for their planes to land, for interviews to be over.
I love to cook, so I’m always happy when Brandon can eat at home. Usually he eats at the clubhouse after games because Joe, the chef, is so great. When I do cook, Brandon usually wants chicken spaghetti, a dish his mom taught me to make. It’s noodles, shredded chicken, Velveeta, cream of mushroom soup, cream of chicken soup and Ro-Tel diced tomatoes. It’s sooooo good.
Jalynne talked about the pros and cons, and one of the pros is the group of wives we have here. I love all of them. I’m particularly close to Ali Bumgarner and Nicole Vogelsong. We always sit together in the family section. It’s great because if Brandon is in a slump, for example, I can vent about how he’s being a baby and getting on my nerves! And the other wives aren’t going to think I’m a terrible person. We’re all going through pretty much the same things so we can relate to each other.
Actually Brandon’s easy. We’ve been together for so long and have been best friends for so long that we can talk about anything. I don’t know if everyone can do that. So I feel really lucky.
One other thing about the wives. We do a lot of charity work together. This month we each have to do a “favorites basket,’’ which means putting together a gift basket filled with our husbands’ favorite things. So for Brandon, I’ll put in popcorn, a bottle of Coke, a gift card to the movies (as you know, he LOVES the movies), a few DVDs, some books, the Bible and autographed stuff. Each basket will be auctioned off.
I mentioned Ali Bumgarner. Well, here is a story I hope I never have to live through again.
I was staying with her in Arizona after the team’s season-opening series against the Diamondbacks. (Brandon and I had to move out of our rental, and the Bumgarners still had their house.) Ali and I stayed in Arizona while the guys went off to play the Dodgers in LA. Our plan was to pack up our cars and drive to San Francisco, where we’d meet up with our husbands for the home opener.
Ali and Madison’s rental had lots of land. It was way off in the desert. I had our five-year-old dog, Lilly. One day, I left Lilly at the house with Ali’s dad, and she darted out the door and disappeared into the desert. It was horrible. Lilly is Brandon’s baby. He was in Los Angeles and can’t do anything about it. He was devastated.
Ali and I put signs up everywhere and sent out emails. When Lilly didn’t come back that night, a neighbor told us that not too long ago a pack of coyotes had snatched and killed a chihuahua right off the leash while a guy was walking it.
Another night went by. We kept putting food out. We kept scouring every inch of the property. Nothing.
After the third night, we were sure she was dead. So Ali and I packed the cars early that morning and set out for San Francisco. Three hours into our trip, Ali’s father called. He spotted Lilly in the front yard. But she wouldn’t come to him. Ali’s brother tried to rope her — he’s a champion roper — but he couldn’t get close enough. We turned the cars around and went back to Arizona to track her down.
When I told Brandon, he hopped on the first flight to Phoenix after the Dodgers games that night. The next day was an off day. He got in around midnight. We put out clothes that had our smell on them. We put out more food. We went to bed around 1, setting an early alarm. We wanted to find her before anyone else got up. Lilly might not come to the house if she saw anyone but us.
We got up at 6:30, and Lilly walked into the back yard at 7:15! Amazing. I don’t know how she survived for four days. Probably because she’s so anti-social. She’s snappy with other dogs and won’t go near them. She probably thought the coyotes were dogs.
I’m not sure what Brandon would have done if we didn’t get Lilly back. Sometimes I think he loves her more than me.
One blog reader asked Brandon how we go about finding places to live in San Francisco. It’s not always easy to find a six- or seven-month rental. Most landlords want a year. We always use a Realtor to help us. We look for a place that’s furnished and the utilities are included. It’s a pain to set up accounts for electricity, water, garbage, internet, all that stuff, and then have to cancel all of them six months later and pay a cancellation fee.
As far as players who have school-age children, their wives and children usually stay back home until school is out then spend the summer in the Bay Area. They’ll come out for long weekends and spring break. Or they’ll meet up for a road game. But most of us don’t have school-age children yet.
I’m sure I’m forgetting some interesting things. But I imagine this is more than you ever wanted to know!
Thank you for being so nice to Brandon. I love seeing the Baby Giraffe hats and stuffed animals at the park. It is so cool. I wish we could meet all of you and thank you personally. This has been such an awesome experience here in San Francisco.
And one last thing: Don’t believe everything Brandon writes about me in his blog. I don’t always fall asleep at the movies!
I’ve been telling people today, “Yeah, it felt great when I hit that walk-off.’’
That’s the great thing about being a Brandon. Craw hit a walk-off yesterday but it was like I hit it. When one Brandon’s hurting, we’re all hurting. When one Brandon feels good, we all feel good. I didn’t have such a productive day yesterday, but Craw and Hicks carried the Brandon flag. Hicks got a couple hits and made some game-saving plays. So I have to say overall it was a really good day for me.
I want to go to a movie on our off-day today, but there’s nothing too exciting out there. I’m not interested in Draft Day. Sports movies are usually not very representative of real life and they end up being stupid. I don’t want to see Captain America. Maybe we’ll go to Noah or Divergent, though Divergent didn’t get good reviews. Maybe Joe with Nicholas Cage.
The movie I’m waiting for is Neighbors with Seth Rogan and Zac Efron. I think it’s out in May.
If Haylee and I don’t go to the movies, we’ll probably just hang out at home with the dog. Maybe go for a walk. The exciting life of a Major Leaguer.
We really like the place we’re staying. We’re two exits from Walnut Creek in one direction and two exits from Danville in the other. And at the end of our street is a shopping plaza with a supermarket and restaurants. Very convenient.
Wait, I just took a look at Craw’s last two posts. Do you know he has almost 300 replies between the two? Three hundred! That’s got to be some kind of blog record. I’m really proud of my fellow Brandon. Way to go! Of course, he had to ask you to reply so he could beat Hunter’s 90-something replies. I love Craw but he is so competitive it’s almost sad, really. Only somebody colossally insecure would stoop to such juvenile tactics to get readers to post replies (which you can do below; it’s very simple; doesn’t take any time at all). Really, Craw, give it a rest. Just let the best blogger win.
So Hicks and Hunter fill in for a couple days and suddenly traffic to the blog explodes. What’s that about? Hicks received 38 or so replies to his post, more than twice as many as my last one got! Hunter’s post yesterday got more than 60 replies in the last 24 hours.
And his post started a Twitter trend — #TogetherWeAreBrandon.
I mean, I love the team unity and all that. But it kind of makes Belt and me feel like old shoes. Everybody’s getting their heads turned by the new guys. We weren’t enough?
Believe, I’m going to count every reply. Not that we’re competitive or anything. The hitting groups Hunter wrote about in his blog are not batting-practice groups. They’re part of Bam-Bam’s new hitting game. Every player gets points for moving a runner over, RBI’s, extra-base hits, etc. The groups compete against each other. The group with the most points at the end of each month wins.
There were three captains — Buster, Hunter and Pablo — who picked teams, which include the starting pitchers. Buster drafted all three Brandons, so he named it Team Brandon.
Even before that, though, we kind of had a Team Brandon thing going on. We figured since a lot of guys have special handshakes with each other, we ought to come up with a Brandon handshake because, well, we’re the Brandons. It’s hard to get a three-person handshake, but I think Belt came up with it. If you look in the dugout before the game, you’ll see it. We slap hands down and up twice, then once patty-cake style then a chest bump as we say, “Brandon!’’ in a very manly tone.
We developed this in spring training. You might not know this, but just like we work on getting our swings back and fielding ground balls, we also work on handshakes. I have a different one for almost every guy. A lot of them are pretty similar. For my handshake with Hunter — which he came up with — we fist-bump then I go to punch him and he catches my hand and I straighten my fingers as if I’m going to jab him in the neck as if we’re in The Matrix.
Even with the Brandon-Brandon-Brandon handshake, Belt and I still do our own before every game. It’s a fist-bump and then I say a particular string of words to him. I won’t share the exact words. I basically called him a big dumb stupid idiot. It started after a game in which he did really well, and I’ve been saying it to him before each game ever since.
I still want to tell you about the start of the season and other stuff, but I want to get this posted before the game. Belt and I love #TogetherWeAreBrandon. It’s another way of bringing all of us together — the players and fans, everybody. We take it as a great compliment.
But, you know, to quote Marvin Gaye, ain’t nothin’ like the real thing.
Hello, everyone. This is Hunter Pence filling in for Brandon Hicks, or Brandon Crawford, or Brandon Belt, whoever’s turn it is supposed to be.
I’m filling in because — you probably didn’t know this — Hunter is a nickname for Brandon.
My middle name is Andrew, which is Swedish for Brandon. And Pence is English for Brandon. So my actual name is Brandon Brandon Brandon.
You also probably didn’t know that “Tim Lincecum’’ is Dutch for Brandon.
Buster is a nickname for Brandon. Pablo is Spanish for Brandon. Pagan is Puerto Rican for Brandon. Madison is Southern for Brandon. “Bumgarner’’ is — I have no idea what that is. I think it’s Arabic for Brandon.
Pretty much everyone is Brandon. We’re Team Brandon.
Kruk and Kuip have got to get with the program. Brandon’s throwing the pitch to Brandon. When anybody steps into the box, Brandon’s up to bat. The double play combo is Brandon to Brandon to Brandon. (Wait, they already call that one.)
So now if you yell “Brandon,’’ you’ll get everybody’s attention. We’ll all respond because we all became Brandon when the third Brandon arrived. We’re a unit. When we take the field we’re a family of Brandons.
The original Brandons still have some privileges. They have their own really cool handshake. It’s the patty-cake chest-bump Brandon. You need to check that out. (We new Brandons don’t get to do the handshake.)
You might notice the originals all have beards. Beards are part of the ancestral tradition of Brandon-dom.
The rest of us Brandons who also have beards are doing this to honor the Brandon history. Pagan, with his beard, is clearly honoring his Brandon-ness. Posey has not yet matured enough for a beard. He’s still a Baby Brandon.
The original Brandons are all in the same hitting group, which is called, of course, Team Brandon. Buster’s in that group and Timmy. My hitting group is called Laser Swag: Morse, Arias, Perez, Vogelsong and Hudson. It’s a name we all agreed on. The other one is Pablo’s group, called La Guerilla. I think it means gangster or army in Spanish. Or maybe it means Brandon.