Found April 11, 2012 on Croix De Candlestick:
San_francisco_vs_9740

I can never pretend to understand the mind of Bruce Bochy.  From a managerial standpoint, the guy is rooted in old-timey gritty hard-nosed nicknamey baseball of the past.  He’s often referred to as a “player’s manager,” sticking with his “proven” veterans against the tide of public pressure no matter how poorly they play.  His complete aversion to playing anyone under the age of 30 is borderline pathological.  If you’ll remember, back in 2010 Brian Sabean had to trade Bengie Molina before Buster Posey was allowed to catch every day.  Because hey, Bengie was Bochy’s guy and benching him would have resulted in hurt feelings, and we all know those are more important than winning ballgames.

"Brandon Belt? HA. He had his chance."

All snark aside though, this Brandon Belt situation has been downright baffling.  During February and March, it was made clear that Belt would have to prove himself in Spring Training if he wanted to make the big club, because benching Aubrey Huff after a horrid season would have resulted in more hurt veteran feelings.  Well Belt rose to the challenge down in Scottsdale, hitting .378/.420/.608 before winning the everyday job at first base, pushing Huff to the outfield.  Even in winning the job though, it was made public knowledge that Bochy and hitting coach Hensley Meulens thought Belt’s swing needed to be overhauled.  Out of curiosity I decided to see if I could find what the problem was:

What you see here is a completely balanced, compact hack.  Everything from the load to the follow-through looks about as solid as humanly possible, which leads me to believe that management is really grasping at straws to keep Belt out of the lineup.

Shortly after winning the starting job, Bruce Bochy came out and said that Belt would get “fair shake” in the starting lineup, essentially guaranteeing him a chance to fail for awhile before he succeeds.  After all of ten at-bats in the first series of the year, it would appear as though “fair shake” means “insanely small sample size,” as Belt is out of the lineup for the second game in a row tonight, with little chance of playing tomorrow with lefty Jamie Moyer starting.

Apparently, Belt was “pressing” and needed a day to clear his head, which is Bochy-speak for “he had his three games, what more do you people want from me?”  Part of Belt’s struggle’s against Arizona could be attributed to him swinging at just about everything; one of the main criticisms management had of Belt last year was that he needed to be more aggressive at the plate.  In following the inane advice to swing more, Belt has rightfully looked uncomfortable at the plate.  It’s clear that this is a team that’s encouraged to swing away early and often, and anyone who diverges from this strategy promptly has it beaten out of them.

You can’t expect someone not to press at the plate when there’s a chance you can lose your starting job after all of ten at-bats.  Imagine being a player in your early-20s who’s been yanked around as often as Belt.  Imagine that your starting job is in jeopardy every at-bat.  Now try not to press.  It’s not an environment conducive to a young player’s development and Bruce Bochy is completely responsible.

If Aubrey Huff can have a full season of rolling over on every pitch, it stands to reason that we can give Belt a couple hundred at-bats to get comfortable.  At this point my biggest fear is that this poor kid is going to be a wreck both mechanically and mentally as the Giants management continues to screw with him, as it’s a little hard to adjust to Major League pitching when your fearing for your job in every at-bat.  Good luck Brandon, your battle will continue to be of the uphill variety.

THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Buster Posey Comes Down With Shingles

So word is just coming out that Buster Posey has been scratched from tonight's lineup after coming down with shingles. Buster Posey out of the lineup. Came down with shingles after Sunday's game. Painful blisters made it hard to sleep. — Andrew Baggarly (@CSNBaggs) April 11, 2012 He is being replaced by Hector Sanchez, as of right now there are no further details...

SF Giants Rumors: Scoring Isn’t A Problem, Young vs. Old, Today’s Lineup

It’s no secret that the San Francisco Giants pitching is no where close to where it should be. All I can say is these guys are way to good, so they will get this turned around soon.   The offense is what really has a lot of Giants fans excited right now. We know the pitchers are going to get back in their groove, and the wins will start to pile up with the way the G-Men are putting...

Tim Lincecum gets a haircut, proceeds to get racked by Rockies (Picture)

Tim Lincecum is known as much for his long locks as he is for his nasty pitches, but at some point the hair had to be tamed. Sometime between his first and second starts of the season, Lincecum decided to take several inches off his flowing hair that was well beyond shoulder length a week ago. As you can see from the photo above on the right, the hair is still long — just not...

Posey Diagnosed With Shingles, Giants Need Caution

A few hours before first pitch in the San Francisco Giants game against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday evening, news broke that Giants catcher Buster Posey was pulled from the lineup. The problem? Posey’s come down with shingles. Shingles is caused by the same virus (varicella-roster) that causes chicken pox in children. The virus remains in the body’s nerves in a dormant...

Tim Lincecum’s Early Struggles

Something is wrong with Tim Lincecum. After giving up five runs in his first start this year, things got worse for him last night. In just 2.1 innings, Lincecum allowed six runs on nine hits while walking two and striking out only one batter. While it’s usually not smart to make conclusions based on just 7.2 innings, Lincecum has already shown some reasons for folks to be concerned...

Zito tosses first shutout in nine years to lead Giants over Rockies

Pablo Sandoval continued to swing the hot bat and Barry Zito pitched a complete game shutout as visiting San Francisco snapped a three-game losing skid with a 7-0 win over Colorado on Monday. After getting swept by Arizona in their opening series, the Giants avoided their first season-opening four-game skid since 1950.Zito (1-0) recorded his 10th career shutout and improved...

Line of the Day: Barry Zito

Barry Zito pitched a four-hit shutout to lead the San Francisco Giants to a 7-0 victory over the Colorado Rockies in Denver. It was his first shutout since 2003 and gave the Giants their first victory of 2012. Line: 9 IP| 4 H | 0 ER | 0 BB | 4 K; W (1-0) | QS | CG | SHO My fantasy perspective: So, Zito did something to get noticed by fantasy baseball owners and it wasn’t something...

Slugger Pat Burrell decides to retire

Outfielder Pat Burrell will retire from baseball next month as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies, the team announced Thursday. Burrell, who was selected by the Phillies with the No. 1 overall pick in the 1998 draft, will sign a one-day contract, allowing him to retire as a member of the ballclub whose uniform he donned for nine seasons. He will be honored in Philadelphia on...

Postgame Wrap: Well, There Went My Plans For the Evening

Through a combination of quirky work/gym schedules, early start times and overall malaise on my part, my partner Thomas Todd has been a trooper at cranking out these postgame wraps in my absence. I offered to finally write my first tonight; 5:40 pm start, so I figured I could watch the game, jot down some notes, and still have a pretty nice little Wednesday. I was going to go...

Giants 4, Rockies 2

No win for the ages. Or, for that matter, the aged. Madison Bumgarner scattered four hits over 7 1-3 innings and took a no-hit bid into the sixth Thursday in the San Francisco Giants' 4-2 win over the Colorado Rockies. At 49, Moyer failed in his second attempt to become the oldest pitcher to win a major league game. Moyer (0-2) surrendered four runs, two of them earned, and...

Pat Burrell Retires as a Phillie

The Philadelphia Phillies announced on Thursday that outfielder Pat Burrell will retire as a member of the organization. The 35-year-old will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Phillies and will be honored in May. Burrell will throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Philadelphia’s game against the Red Sox on May 19. Burrell was the first overall draft pick by the...

Burrell To Retire A Phillie

Today the Phillies have announced that former left fielder, Pat Burrell will retire a Phillie. The Phillies will sign "Pat The Bat" to a one day minor league contract. The long time Phillie and 2008 World Champion will retire as a Philadelphia Phillie, as he should. Reports say that Pat will be honored in one of the games during the Boston Red Sox series in May. Burrell...

Burrell to Retire a Phillie on May 19

Pat Burell will retire a Phillie. (AP)From the Phillies:Outfielder Pat Burrell will officially retire as a Phillie during the Boston Red Sox series at Citizens Bank Park in May.The 35-year-old will sign a one-day minor league contract with the Phillies, thus officially retiring as a member of the organization that selected him as the very first player in the 1998 draft.  He...

Pirates-Giants Preview

Though the San Francisco Giants had hoped to fare better during the first week of the season, they'll head home with some momentum. The Giants look to build on a winning series when they open play at AT&T Park with Matt Cain on the mound Friday against the Pittsburgh Pirates. After dropping three straight one-run games at Arizona, San Francisco (2-4) took two of three at...

Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants – Game 7

Swept out of LA.  That is very bad news.  Now the Buccos need at least two wins in this series to salvage a respectable road trip. Also, I will try to do all the previews this week but if they are lacking in quality or quantity it is because I will be out of state [...]
All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.