That’s a clip from the newest Section 10 Podcast that drops today, but we recorded that episode before these Pablo Sandoval comments came out, where he basically admits to everything that we criticized him for.
In a joint English-Spanish interview with ESPN.com and ESPN Deportes, Sandoval said he got “complacent” after signing a five-year, $95 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in November 2014 and pledged to “start my baseball career all over again” now that he is fully recovered from left shoulder surgery.
“My career had fallen into an abyss because I was so complacent with things that I had already accomplished,” Sandoval said by phone in his first public comments since August. “I did not work hard in order to achieve more and to remain at the level of the player that I am and that I can be.”
“I have been following a really strict routine that has taken a lot of dedication from my part,” Sandoval said. “It has not been easy to wake up every single day at 6:30 in the morning to then head to the gym and start a full day of work. But you have to have that kind of dedication if you want to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.”
“I certainly get it. I understand all the frustration [fans] must have felt, and I can’t hold any grudges,” Sandoval said. “I have no ill will about anything. Actually the opposite. It was another lesson for me. It fueled me. It gave me the courage to work harder every day so one day I can be a part of another Boston Red Sox championship.”
Basically, everything that I ripped on him for in that segment was spot on. The dude won three World Series titles in San Francisco, cashed in on a free agent deal with Boston, and instead of using that albatross of a contract as motivation to continue to perform at a high level, he looked at it as his reward for what he did with the Giants, like the Red Sox or their fans give a flying fuck about what he did with the Giants. This is why I never felt bad for the guy. I KNEW that’s what his attitude was. I don’t know how or why any Red Sox fan could ever have an ounce of sympathy for him whatsoever.
I’m not gonna sit here and rule him out as a bounce back candidate. Like I said, it’s nothing personal against Sandoval. I just saw through his bullshit, and knew exactly what his mindset was. If you’re a Red Sox fan, you should find that to be nothing short of infuriating. That’s why, as much as I liked the returns on the Travis Shaw and Yoan Moncada trades, I wish that Sandoval actually had some competition in spring training at third base, beyond just Brock Holt.
It’s just a slap in the face to the Red Sox organization to get a payday like that, and then not give an ounce of a fuck about living up to that deal. It’s an insult to the fans, but more so to the players on the team who are busting their asses day in and day out to win a fucking championship. Then the Red Sox just hand the starting position right back to him, no questions asked. It ain’t right. He didn’t earn it. Not yet, at least.
But hey, I’m rooting for ‘em, I guess. I want the Red Sox to win. Do they NEED Sandoval to be at his best in order to win a World Series? Not really, no. They won a World Series with Julio Lugo as their shortstop. People forget that. But without David Ortiz, it would certainly be a big help if Sandoval got back to the level of performance that netted him that $95 million in the first place, which he has yet to earn a single cent of.