Holding little back, Brandon Belt answered criticism he received following Sunday’s loss in Philadelphia. Writing in a blog that he shares with Brandon Crawford called Brandon and Brandon, Belt posted a lengthy response Tuesday morning to comments that he felt were misconstrued and assumptions that were inaccurate.
Belt starts off the blog by saying, “I’m going to get right to the point. One, I have not lost my confidence.”
Belt then goes on to say that he doesn’t have an issue with Bruce Bochy sitting him; in fact, he thinks it is best for the team considering the slump he’s mired in.
Speaking on a range of issues, the first baseman commented that he’s “learning a lot this season” and one lesson was about speaking to the media right after the game without “gathering his thoughts."
“It was a hard lesson. I now know I should take a few minutes to gather myself before talking. I have to think about the impact of my words. I was so angry with myself when I read the stories in the paper on Monday. I don’t blame the reporters – they printed what I said. But the stories left a completely false impression.”
The original comments were made after Belt went 0-for-5 on Sunday with three strikeouts, the final one coming in the 12th after Brandon Crawford led off the inning with a double. The awful performance wrapped up a six-game road trip that saw Belt go 1-for-20, dropping his average down to .231.
Belt's comments regarding his mental struggles at the plate were quoted by the Giants beat writer for the San Francisco Chronicle, Henry Schulman.
With the focus of the article centering around the Giants potentially making a move at first base, Schulman remarked that Belt looks lost at the plate.
The comments that Belt really felt a need to respond to were made by Carl Steward of the blog "Giants Extra." Making disparaging remarks about Belt's body language and apparent lack of confidence, Brandon puts the direct quotes in his blog while responding.
“The media talks about my body language – that it 'is pitiful to the point of pathetic,’ as someone put it. Look at me when I’m going well. I look the same. It goes back to the whole awkward thing. I’m awkward.”
Belt continued, "if my 'lack of confidence is appalling,’ wouldn’t it be affecting my defense? Wouldn’t I be carrying my failures at the plate onto the field if they were so devastating to me? But my fielding percentage is .996 – the best among all first basemen in the National League.”
Belt finishes the blog by vowing he’ll get out of this slump and will be ready when Bochy decides to put him back in the lineup.
Bochy commented on Belt prior to Tuesdays game, saying “it was my plan to give him [Belt] two days rest….that was my plan the whole time even though I didn’t tell him that.”
It’s not clear if Bochy still considers Belt his starting first baseman, but with the injury to Sandoval, Belt will likely need to play even if his slump continues. What is clear is that Belt is not only struggling at the plate, but he’s struggling with the negative criticism.
Belt claims in his blog that “all players experience droughts…. if you can’t fight through it, you don’t belong in the big leagues. It’s part of the game.”
Negative criticism is also part of the game, and Belt might do himself a favor by avoiding the newspaper or blogs and keep his focus on the field.
(Unless noted, all other quotes obtained first-hand.)