Barry Zito told us that it isn’t only cheers being rained down on them. “If you’re not your best, they’ll let you know quick.” Zito doesn’t take the same approach to the game as most players. “I used to do yoga when really people thought it was super weird. Now, apparently, it is not as weird.” Zito says that the yoga has been helpful in improving his flexibility and strength. “You don’t have to lift a bunch of heavy weights, but people in yoga are usually a lot stronger than people that bench press weight since they are using their body weight,” he said. Zito says that one of his biggest day-to-day stresses is trying to balance his baseball career and his home life. “You don’t want to have one be so big and forget about the other so you try to keep all those things kind of the same,” he said.
First baseman Brandon Belt said that his biggest day-to-day stresses were about his performance on the field. “There’s a lot of perks that come with playing in the big leagues, but at the same time there are a lot of stresses because you want to do well for your team,” Belt said. “If there’s times when you are not doing so well for your team it gives a little bit of anxiety, maybe a little bit of stress, but I think once you get to this level you learn how to deal with it, learn how to move past it.”
Like most young ballplayers, Belt still has a lot of learning to do. “A lot of player players get like 1500 to 2000 at bats in the minor leagues, I got like 500 so there is still a lot to learn up here,” he said.
Playing in just 189 games in the minor leagues over the course of two seasons, Belt impressed the front office enough to be named the starting first baseman this year after splitting time between the majors and the AAA team in Fresno last year. “At times it is tough,” Belt said, “But at the same time, I get to learn at the big league level so I couldn’t be happier.
Like Belt, centerfielder Angel Pagan is a fresh face in the Giants clubhouse. Pagan said that he has eased his transition to the new team by trying to be a good person as well as a good person and by being there for his teammates in both the good and the bad times. “Sometimes we are going to struggle, it’s about being there for your teammates and that’s how you fit in,” Pagan said.