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

1 Comment

We do know, to some extent, and it’s a mix of both.

Pablo angered a lot of fans (and from what I understand, fellow players and Giants management) for saying before the 2013 season that he has two years to get in shape (http://sports.yahoo.com/news/giants–pablo-sandoval-gives-himself-another-two-seasons-before-he-s-forced-to-confront-weight-issues-053729912.html), instead of coming into 2013 already in shape. Basically, he was saying that he needed to get in shape for free agency and big money, and essentially, who cares about the Giants? So we know that is part of his mind-set, getting the big money.

But the Giants were already paying him a lot of money in 2013, even more in 2014, and that’s not the attitude fans want to see from their players when they are being paid a lot of money.

However, he did start showing some professionalism in 2013 season, his brother became a chef and started the Panda Diet, and Pablo started losing weight at the end of the season, looking much better from the great media reports, like those here by Haft. I assume the team was happy about that, but the team was clearly unhappy he went home when he normally gets fat going back home, but now very happy to see all the twitpics of him looking in better shape plus now you report he’s “Looking Good” as Freddie Prinze used to say (RIP…).

Scientists say that guys literally have a “hole in their head”, that a major part of their brain is still developing until around 25 YO, and that is why car rental places don’t rent cars to guys under 25 and insurance companies jack up premiums for guys under 25, as they can make poor decisions up to then. I’m hoping that Pablo weight problem was related to this fact, and that this is the new and mature Pablo who is more professional. If so, the Giants will continue “Lookin’ Goood!” to becoming the Team of the 2010 Decade, as a lineup with Belt, Posey, Pablo, and Pence in the middle will be all the more formidable if Panda is hitting like he did in 2011, it will be great!

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