SF Giants News

San Francisco Giants leave cage door open: Pablo Sandoval escapes

By Mark ONeill
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The End. The final curtain has fallen. There is an empty panda cage in the San Francisco Giants’ minds and hearts this Monday morning, clearly pointing out, with a twisted finger of fate, how patently transitory-and illusionary-worship of professional athletes is.

Jon Heyman tweeted the news out of Boston, that Pablo Sandoval and the Red Sox had reached a tentative deal for just under one hundred million dollars. Well, a hundred mil will buy a lot of loyalty, and Sandoval has earned the right to do as he chooses.

Sandoval contributed hugely to the lore of San Francisco, and to that of the San Francisco Giants. Pablo’s weight issues seared a particularly sensitive nerve in the health-conscious Bay Area, and fans followed his trials and tribulations, just as they followed the reality shows, because unlike the latter, the former was not fictional.

They watched the Giants set up Pablo’s own weight camp, following the 2010 season, so that Pablo could arrive in camp in excellent shape, at the start of the 2011 campaign.

Pablo Sandoval furnished the Bay Area with its very own game show: Guess Pablo’s Weight.

The Giants supported him when he had issues with injuries, attributable to being overweight, and the Giants were patient with him when off-the-field incidents, conjured up a different side to the charismatic third baseman.

Fans have also watched Pablo lead a strong contingent of fellow Venezuelans, in a vocal manner, and have watched him lead the Orange and Black to victories in the World Series in both 2012 and 2014. However, no matter what has been said or done, to show Pablo how much he was idolized, in some way Sandoval obviously felt slighted.

Better for most to reflect on what went right for the San Francisco Giants, than to focus on what might have gone wrong. Sandoval has the right to play for whom he chooses, and he chose Boston. Whether or not giving up the security that home affords, will turn out to bite him in the backside, has yet to be determined.

If the Panda starts out the 2015 season in a horrendous slump, the way he did in 2014, how will the Boston fans react? They are notorious for being among the most persnickety and demanding of all fans, so Panda will be on a short leash, unlike San Francisco, where being in a slump meant that not enough Panda hats were in the stands. Hey, come on now, the Boston fans aren’t really that bad.

Said no baseball fan ever.

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