With all this palaver about recent trades, possible trades, and trade deadlines, I can’t help but notice that the Pablo Sandoval hype has quieted down somewhat, despite his recent success with the bat. The Panda’s current contract expires at the end of this season, and unless the San Francisco Giants are willing to pony up the big bucks, the cellar being one hundred million for five years, we will be seeing Sandoval in pinstripes next season, or even worse-far worse-Dodger Blue.
The Giants and Larry Baer need to find a way to make it happen. The Panda is the complete third base package, with the ability to go horizontal, defensively, quicker than Jake Peavy reacts to a perceived bad call by the home umpire. I think Pablo is as good as it gets.
Sandoval has raised eyebrows in the past with his weight issue, but not as high as he raised them that night in Detroit, hitting against Justin Verlander, when he stood up and announced to the baseball world, that the underdog Giants would not be denied. His three homeruns in that opener in the 2012 World Series makes any salary he demands worth it.
When it comes to justifying salaries, sometimes the evidence emerges immediately, and other times it takes its sweet, jolly time, as in the case of Barry Zito, who contributed in similar fashion in that same momentous series. Who would look at Zito’s stay in San Francisco as anything but successful, despite his not even being invited to the first Show, in 2010.
I know Pablo began the season in a funk, I know that in past seasons he has had injury problems, and I know that he does not seem to distinguish between pitches in the strike zone and pitches with a zip code somewhere in the next county.
Panda has that innate quality of being able to make something happen, even if the pitcher gives him nothing. Making something happen from nothing is not something that nothing should be done about. And the something that Brian Sabean should not do nothing about, is the signing of the Panda.
Of course, nothing will happen until the season is over; that much is certain. But that being understood, I can only hope that the Giants recognize that they a very special commodity in the Panda, and not let him get away.
Otherwise, baseball being baseball, Pablo Sandoval will come back to haunt us at the most inopportune moment(s), possibly again and again. It is a chilling thought.