Never Again — Brandon Belt

We’re settled back in Texas and having fun with family and old friends. I’m watching the postseason, at least some of it, but still thinking about our own season.

People ask me what went wrong. I don’t have a good answer. Yes, there were a lot of injuries, but there’s no reason we should have been like we were. We have a great core group of guys here, and we know what it takes to win. We’ve been there. We’ve done it. But we let that slip away from us this year.

I think I speak for everyone when I say this can’t happen again. We can’t allow it. When teams go through a season like this, you hear people say you should put it behind you and move on. But I’m not sure that’s right. I think we have to think about it and remember it, especially how awful it felt. I’m using the 2017 season as a driving force during the off-season. I’m guessing everybody is. You want to do everything you possibly can to never go through it again.

And that’s the mindset I’ll have — we’ll all have — from Day 1 of spring training — focused and hungry. Each of us has to come back in February and be thinking about what we can do to win the World Series. Because that’s why we’re here. That’s the only goal.

Having a concussion made the season even worse. The main side effect was to my vision. I worked with a vision specialist in San Francisco and am continuing with one here in Texas. I’m doing a lot of eye exercises, like focusing on an object far away and following it as it gets closer — like a pitch or a throw. I’m working on increasing the speed of the transition, which translates into picking up the spin of a pitch a little bit quicker and reacting faster to a bad throw. By spring training, my vision will not only be better than it was before the concussion, it will be better than it’s ever been. It’s the one silver lining of the concussion!

Usually when the season’s over, I don’t want to step foot on another airplane. I really love being home. But because I was on the DL and wasn’t traveling with the team, I can’t use that excuse with Hayley! We bought a couple trips at charity auctions last year, so we’re going to the CMA Awards in Nashville next month and to Lake Louise in Canada soon after that. We have to get them in before I start training. Once I start, I don’t let anything interrupt it.

Thanks for reading and for cheering us on this season no matter what. Happy Halloween, Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas! See you at FanFest!