Thursday, March 24, 2016

Panda Watch

Dan Shaughnessy, October 24, 2014:
SAN FRANCISCO — The Red Sox can’t sign Pablo Sandoval fast enough.

Truly. John, Tom, and Larry need to bring the Kung Fu Panda to Fenway Park.
Shank, same day:
I promise never to rip Sandoval for being out of shape or going on the disabled list.
Shank, seventeen months later:
FORT MYERS, Fla. — Sitting at a table in the Red Sox interview room Thursday morning, John Farrell was asked an innocent question about how he was going to divide playing time at third base — Pablo Sandoval vs. Travis Shaw — over the last week of spring training.

“Travis is starting today,’’ the manager answered. “Pablo is dealing with some low back stiffness on the ball he dove for the other day in Jupiter. He’s going to be down for a couple of days, just trying to get back. He’s going to be unavailable on a day-to-day status right now.’’

And so it begins . . .
Always portly, he somehow got heavier as the woeful season played out. There were no panda hats in the stands and not much damage by Sandoval at home plate. He hit only .245 with 10 homers and a measly 47 RBIs in 126 games. He made 15 errors. He got caught browsing photos on Instagram from a clubhouse bathroom in the middle of a game.

At the end of the dismal season, the Sox sent him home and told him to shape up. When Panda arrived this spring, he looked exactly the same as he looked the year before. A first-day photo of him fielding grounders was positively gut-wrenching. Still, Sandoval said he had nothing to prove and went about his work.
So much for that promise...

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