Sandoval passes eyeball test
Thursday, Feb. 13
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Pablo Sandoval was in a hurry due to a personal appointment and politely declined an interview request Thursday afternoon. “I owe you one,” he said before leaving the Giants’ Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse.
You owe me nothing, Pablo. Just play hard. And he looked ready to do just that.
Sandoval’s well-documented struggles with his weight may have ended. Make no mistake, he’s still a big guy. But the oversized gut was gone. His clothes seemed to fit smoothly. Those positive reports on social media about Sandoval’s off-season conditioning appear to have been valid.
Did Sandoval firm himself up because he’s eligible for free agency after this season and wants to cash in big by getting in shape for a productive year? Or was he tired of underperforming (.280 batting average, 26 home runs in 249 games from 2012-2013) and used professional pride to stoke his desire to improve?
We may never know the true answer. Moreover, we won’t know until the season unfolds whether Sandoval’s exercise program truly worked.
But on this day, at least, he passed the eyeball test. Let’s see how he does with his legs, a glove and a bat.
– Chris Haft