Giants Sending Giraffe to Dominican Republic

The Giants want Brandon Belt to play some winter baseball in order to hone his game.

Brandon Belt probably doesn't want to play winter baseball because there's no point in spending your offseason working on your baseball skills when the only thing you do is travel between Fresno and San Francisco all season long.

But he's going to play anyway, because Bruce Bochy threatened asked him nicely. Which means a fun offseason vacation in the Dominican Republic!

"After talking with him, I really think it's going to make me a better player," said Belt, per Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury-News. "If it's the best thing for me, then it's important that I go. There's a lot I can work on, and it'd probably be for just half a season."

Belt's 2011 season has been the subject of much consternation from Giants fans, and with good reason.

The team put him on the Opening Day roster and then gave him a cup-and-a-half of coffee in the bigs before deciding he wasn't ready to play at the MLB level and then spent the rest of the year yanking him back and forth from Fresno, only to sit him on the bench in San Francisco.

So, he probably has no clue what the team thinks about him.

"He knows how I feel," Bochy said. "I feel strongly it could benefit him at this point in his career."

 Or not -- at this point, Belt's kind of stuck doing whatever Bochy and Brian Sabean want him to do. Not that playing more baseball and practicing more and generally getting better at baseball won't make him better. It will.

It's just that all this would probably be fine if the team was in first place and hitting the mess out of the ball every night. Or even playing Belt.

But they're not doing either of those right now.

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