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Another Goddamn Brandon Belt Post

July 23, 2012

I’ve written close to 200 posts on this blog. Without looking, I’m going to guess 197 of them are about how Brandon Belt needs more playing time. And, of course, I’m not alone. Belt is the topic du jour among the Internets-trolling portion of the fanbase, replete with his very own hash tag. Belt should start over Huff, Belt should start over Pill, Belt should start even though he’s in a gutter slump because that’s how you evaluate young hitters, blah, blah, blah. You’ve heard it. You’re sick of it.

But then we get tonight’s lineup for the opener against the Padres…

RF Schierholtz

2B Theriot

LF Cabrera

C Posey

1B Sandoval

RF Pagan

3B Arias

SS Crawford

P Vogelsong

…and we’re forced to revisit the debate. Well, not forced. But we’re going to.

Belt had a terrible road trip, vacillating between overmatched and holy-crap-did-a-Little-Leaguer-with-elephantiasis-just-wander-onto-the-field. His at-bat in the 12th inning of the Phillies finale with Crawford on second was pure, unadulterated ugly: everyone — including my deceased great-great-great-great granduncle who died before baseball was invented — knew Belt was going to get pitched away. And yet still he flailed. Flailed like it was going out of style. Flalied like they were having a going out of business sale at Flailing Depot. Flailed like his name was Flaily T. Flailerson, Esq.

If this is just a day-off-to-clear-his-head kind of thing, I’m fine with it. Arias deserves the odd start and getting Pablo reps at first isn’t a bad idea as long as Posey is the only other backup. But if this is the Plan for the foreseeable future, we’re right back to where we were. Back to another 197 redundant posts. Back to not knowing if this is merely a blip at the outset of a brilliant career or the flailings of another AAAA flop. Back to #FreeBelt.

Sigh.

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