Originally posted on Croix De Candlestick  |  Last updated 4/11/12
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.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Brian Cashman defends A-Rod despite season's struggles

Report: Charles’ workload won’t be limited if healthy

Report: Westbrook doesn’t want trade, will think about extension

Chargers don’t know if Joey Bosa will report to camp

Report: RG3 to be given four out of five first-team reps

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Peterson likely entering last season with Vikings

Cubs trade for Chapman a risk, but potential payoff too hard to ignore

Wisconsin kicker will wear 27 to honor Nebraska's Sam Foltz

Dennis Schroder wears disguise to play in German streetball tournament

Browns indicate they will give Josh Gordon another chance

Prince Fielder to undergo season-ending neck surgery

Kobe Bryant called ‘a–hole’ in LeBron James-produced show

Top five storylines heading into MLB trade deadline

Angels listening to offers on Hector Santiago

Chris Sale’s so-called ‘apology’ was anything but

Ten hottest golfers heading into 2016 PGA Championship

Five NFL sophomores poised to break out in 2016

Tre Mason's family concerned about RB's mental health?

Dion Waiters' deal signals the end of the 2016 money grab

Tom Jackson could leave ESPN after almost three decades

Cavs sign coach Tyronn Lue to a five-year extension

More than 10,000 people registered for Jaguars Pokemon Go night

NFL issues new concussion protocol

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Effect of ban on Russia could span beyond the Olympic Games

One Gotta Go: NBA players hate Facebook too

QUIZ: Name every city to host the NBA All-Star Game

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

One Gotta Go: NBA players make tough choices on their favorite rappers

One Gotta Go: NBA Summer League is not about that Game of Thrones life

The top NHL free agents available as offseason winds down

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker