Welcome to Boston, Pablo! Aren’t you glad you signed here?
I’ve been saying the Pablo Sandoval signing was a big mistake since before he even signed his name on the dotted line. But maybe, just maybe, Sandoval is starting to realize that it was a big mistake, too — that is, assuming he hadn’t already come to that realization point some time last year. If you can ever get Carl Crawford to stop hysterically crying and hyperventilating when he talks about playing for the Red Sox, then he would be a good person to ask about the Boston experience. There’s nowhere to hide in this town. If the expectations are high, and you fail to meet those expectations, we will find you, we will criticize you, and it’s entirely up to you as to how you want to take that criticism.
Some players are accountable for their actions and try to learn from their mistakes and poor performance. Some players are sensitive, and it takes some time getting used to the media attention. And then some players flip out on reporters, and hit tables with baseball bats.
In San Francisco, Sandoval was a huge fan favorite. A hero, even. They actually have a plaque outside the stadium between the right field wall and McCovey Cove to commemorate his three home run game in the 2012 World Series. That’s like your ex having a tattoo of your name. It’s there forever now, but that’s the impact that he made on that Giants franchise. Three rings is nothing to shake a stick at. But in Boston, I don’t think we’ll be planning any plaque unveilings any time soon. Probably never, and it’s because — stating the obvious now, which apparently wasn’t obvious to Ben Cherington at the time — Sandoval was a bad fit for Boston.
People forget this detail, but the San Francisco Giants offered Sandoval the same amount of money that the Red Sox did. Sandoval got up there during his introductory press conference and talked about how he needed a new challenge, but make no mistake about it. He chose Boston over San Francisco for the same money, because the Giants wanted to put a weight clause in his contract, and the Red Sox were dumb enough to sign him without one.
The main point of this story, though, is that a reporter went up to him, and asked him questions about his defense, which was indisputably shitty in his first season with Boston, and has been just as shitty all spring long, and he didn’t like that. Dude, if you were looking great out there at third base this spring, and a reporter wants to bring up how bad you were last year when you’re off to a great start this year, then go ahead and smash a table with a bat. Do you, man. But when you show up to spring training overweight, again, and you make an error in three straight games, people have a right to ask questions. You can either take it like a man, be accountable and say the right things, or you can have this massive ego, and act like nobody can dare to question the great Pablo Sandoval, even though you were statistically the worst third baseman in the game last year. It’s up to you.
Also, if Sandoval actually got that mad over being asked about his shitty defense when his defense really does suck, then how am I still alive?
PS – This was the article that Sandoval saw that set him off about his defensive metrics.