Yogi, meet Pablo
SAN FRANCISCO — As I write this, there’s still a little more than an hour left (at least in the Pacific time zone) in Yogi Berra’s 84th birthday.
What does that have to do with the Giants?
Here’s the connection: Pablo Sandoval’s three-run, ninth-inning homer made him the hero of Tuesday night’s 9-7 victory over Washington. And, on Sunday in Los Angeles (I could have blogged this on that day, but for some reason decided to hold off), no less an expert than Dodgers manager Joe Torre compared Sandoval to Berra, the Hall of Fame catcher who was quite a free swinger himself.
That’s probably the most flattering comparison Sandoval has prompted since he ascended to the Majors last August.
“He’s like a Yogi Berra from both sides of the plate,” Torre said, then added half-jokingly, “How do you get him to swing? All you do is throw it.”
Torre proceeded to explain the challenge of pitching to hackers such as Sandoval.
“It’s very difficult if you’re the catcher. ‘Where do I go here?’ ” Torre said. “We can’t throw him a strike, but that doesn’t mean anything because he can hit the other stuff. It’s not a knock at the kid because he’s successful. And so was Yogi Berra. [It] is not comfortable for me to sit here [watching Sandoval] and think, even if we’re ahead on the count, ‘We’ve got him.’ “
– Chris Haft