Pablo Sandoval was an excellent player for the Giants during his seven seasons spent in San Francisco. He made two All-Star teams and helped lead them to three World Series titles.
Despite his excellent regular seasons and postseason brilliance, the Giants always seemed to have an issue with Sandoval about his weight.
Sure, Sandoval’s pudginess was cute and resulted in his catchy “Kung Fu Panda” nickname, but there always seemed to be storylines about the team being upset with him for being overweight like he appeared in this spring training photo.
Sandoval acknowledged he was irritated by what he considered the Giants’ harping on his weight, which tended to increase significantly during the season, hampering his defensive range. He pointed out the Red Sox have hired a nutritionist and he’s trying to pay heed, but conceded the results don’t show so far. He wouldn’t reveal where the scales stop, saying simply he’s comfortable at his current weight.
Sandoval is pleased the Red Sox have not made an issue of his weight, and they smartly refrained from bringing up the topic while pursuing him in the offseason.
We understand why the persistent questions would bother him, but it’s not like the Giants didn’t have legitimate concerns. Sandoval is a professional ballplayer, and staying in shape is an important part of the job. They didn’t want him wearing down late in the season, and they didn’t want his career to decline because of weight problems. The Red Sox probably feel the same way, but since they owe the man $95 million, they probably realize it’s best to stay on his good side. Luckily for them clubhouse leader David Ortiz is trying to sell Sandoval on the benefits of shedding a few pounds.