Sandoval recently said leaving the San Francisco Giants to sign with the Boston Red Sox in free agency over the offseason wasn’t a difficult decision, which created plenty of buzz given his successful, and seemingly amicable, tenure in the Bay Area. The third baseman clarified earlier this week he never meant to disrespect his former teammates or Giants fans, but it’s clear he’s closed the book on that chapter of his career.
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“New house, new friends,” Sandoval told USA TODAY Sports in Spanish on Tuesday. “I turned the page and now it’s on to a new one. That’s the way I am. I’ll try to do my best here and hopefully do with my teammates here what we did there. I cut things off at the root.”
Sandoval spent his first seven seasons with the Giants, winning three World Series titles and earning two National League All-Star selections. He also became a fan favorite, as AT&T Park in San Francisco routinely hosted a crowd littered with panda hats in honor of Sandoval’s Kung Fu Panda nickname.
“Being a homegrown player, for them not to demonstrate the love for me to come back there, I think that says a lot,” Sandoval told USA TODAY. “I’m not going to play someplace where I was happy with my teammates but I was personally unhappy with them (management).”
Sandoval’s weight was a storyline earlier this spring when an unflattering photo of him playing third base surfaced at Red Sox spring training. Both the Panda and the Red Sox have expressed comfort with his weight, however. And while Sandoval is working to maintain his figure with the help of David Ortiz, weight might have been much more of an issue if he stayed in San Francisco.
“I’m a professional and I know what I have to do,” Sandoval told USA TODAY. “I know where I’ve failed and how I’ve grown up. If I had signed (with the Giants), I knew I would be under a (weight) regimen for five years, and I’m not going to be happy someplace where I’m under that kind of regimen, where I can’t be myself.”
Sandoval sure is himself with Boston: honest, enthusiastic and living in the present.