Brandon Belt checks in from the Dominican Republic

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Brandon Belt checks in from the Dominican Republic

As Brandon Belt gets ready to wrap up his time in the Dominican Republic for winter ball, he took a few minutes to answer some questions via email. Some are baseball related, but I was also curious about the culture, his experiences, and of course the food. --------Hi Brandon! Just wanted to check into see how everything is going down at winter ball. The fans would love to hear from you.I started playing winter ball on October 14th and I'll be coming home on November 23rd. Everything is going good. I've been playing pretty well and I've gotten back to the place where I want to be hitting wise. I have been very fatigued though and I'm ready for some rest, but I want to make sure I finish strong.

Despite the fatigue, are you glad you went?Even though I am exhausted, I am glad that I came because it allowed me to face good competition against good pitchers. As I mentioned, it also allowed me to get back to that place where I want to be as far as hitting goes after a disappointing and inconsistent half year in the big leagues.Aside from baseball, what's been your favorite part?Apart from baseball, my favorite part about being down here in the Dominican is the scenery and going to the beach on the off days. It is absolutely beautiful down here. My hotel is right on the water. On the off days, all of the American guys either go to the beach or the pool which is awesome since for the past 5 or 6 years I haven't had any time to do that because of summer or pro ball. I have had the worst farmers tan over that time so my stomach, back, shoulders, and chest were thanking me for the sunlight.Any weird foods you've tried?The weirdest food I've tried down here has been fried plantains, which are pretty good. Other than that, I usually just eat any American food that I can get my hands on. We have a Champs Bar and Grill here at the hotel so that's where I get most of my food from. I will say that I have eaten some of the best steaks I have ever consumed in my life down here. I don't know why that is but they are delicious.Anyone in particular you've bonded with down there?I haven't bonded with anyone in particular down here I don't think, but I have bonded with just about all of the Americans. I got lucky. I'm on a team that has a lot of cool guys and we all became pretty good friends within the first couple of days. A few of their names are Cole Figeroua, Brett Wallace, Sam Narron, Mike Cervanak, David Carpenter, Everett Teaford, Graham Godfrey and Steve Clevenger.Has your wife been able to visit?My wife did get to come visit for 10 days which made the time go by a little faster. It was nice for her to come see what baseball is like in another country. The people down here have so much passion for the game which makes it even more appealing. We were able to spend a couple of nights on the beach while she was here so that was a lot of fun.Looking forward to getting back? What's on the menu for Thanksgiving?As much fun as I have had down here, I can't wait to get home and spend time with my friends and family. We have so much on the menu for Thanksgiving I can't even write it all down but my favorite is my Aunt Donna's cheese potatoes, my Aunt Nita's rolls, and of course the turkey and ham.

More toaster magic? Bochy, Crawford sign appliance before Giants game

More toaster magic? Bochy, Crawford sign appliance before Giants game

When you have the second worst record in the National League, you'll try anything, right?

It appears the Giants are looking for some of the same magic Klay Thompson and the Warriors received during their run to the 2017 NBA title.

Prior to Sunday's game against the Mets, Giants manager Bruce Bochy and shortstop Brandon Crawford signed a fan's toaster.

The legend of the toaster is well-documented for the Warriors now.

In March, Warriors fan Ronnie Reyes had Thompson autograph a toaster at a signing event. Thompson looked a little puzzled after he autographed the appliance. But from that moment, the Warriors went 31-2 en route to the NBA championship. The only losses came on April 10 when Thompson did not play against the Jazz and Game 4 of the NBA Finals against the Cavs. They were 30-0 with Thompson in the lineup until losing to Cleveland.

So mark June 25 down on the calendar. If they Giants turn things around, you may have to credit this autographed toaster.

Ageless wonder: Ichiro surpasses record held by Rickey Henderson

Ageless wonder: Ichiro surpasses record held by Rickey Henderson

MIAMI — Ichiro Suzuki has become the oldest player to start a game in center field since at least 1900.

The 43-year-old Suzuki was in the lineup batting leadoff Sunday for the Miami Marlins against the Chicago Cubs. Suzuki surpassed the record held by Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson, who was a month younger when he started in center in 2002 for the Boston Red Sox.

Suzuki, a member of the 3,000-hit club, reached on an error and scored in the first inning. He has played in 63 games this season, mostly as a pinch hitter, and began the day batting .209.