San Francisco Giants to Pablo Sandoval: Be careful what you wish for
By Mark ONeill
Having thanked Pablo Sandoval for the memories yesterday, and waxed on eloquently about San Francisco Giants’ deep and unwavering appreciation for all that the recently relocated, rotund third baseman has done for the Orange and Black and the City of San Francisco, the time has come to say openly, what has been slinking around behind the curtains in my razor-sharp, cottage cheese brain, for quite some time now: Pablo Sandoval represents the classic tragic hero who is primed to take a slide, down a slippery chute. Better it be in Fenway Park than AT&T.
Unlike Hamlet, whose flaw was indecisiveness, Pablo’s is the total opposite because he had no trouble making a decision, even if it turns out to be the wrong one, for him. His tragic flaw is the belief that he is invincible to the foibles of a grueling 162-game baseball schedule, and that no matter how badly things might stack up against him, he will always be able to extract himself, give or take a little help form his agent and/or brother.
Pablo represents the classic tragic hero, because though he has always been successful in the past, and has had the undying adoration of his fans, he is doomed to failure unless he takes control of his health regimen. His defensive prowess depends on mobility and excess weight limits mobility. He is destined for relegation as a designated hitter, until that too eludes his grasp.
Pablo will find out that it’s not wise to mess with the gods.
Athleticism is a gift from the gods, but one that comes with stipulations, the most important one being to not throw away a gift from said gods.
Pablo has maintained an ongoing unwillingness to confront the expanding problem of his girth. Wait-that’s not right. Pablo has always been good at confronting the issue: It’s just that his enthusiasm deflates the closer to the dinner table that he gets.
Sep 17, 2014; Phoenix, AZ, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Buster Posey reacts in the dugout prior to the game against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Yes, there have been multiple efforts to reduce some of that circumference, with appropriate spotlights sensationalizing the profoundly charismatic Panda, sweating and running, and then running and sweating, and subsequently winning the sympathy and support of a vocally appreciative NorCal fan base. What was the ultimate outcome of these weight-reducing extravaganzas?
The result was that Pablo gained a huge following of supporters, who also happened to be Giants fans, thus ensuring that any time in the immediate future that Pablo needed a cheering squad, all he had to do was play the weight card.
Like a good suitor, Pablo has delivered to his multitude of adoring fans, unmitigated joy, not to mention a penchant for expecting them to overlook his faults, just as any good paramour is want to do. Except that Sandoval was not quite an equal partner in this love affair.
Let’s face it, like the penultimate lover, Pablo did the one thing that mattered most, in October, and did it so well, that fans, still experiencing paroxysms of ecstasy, allowed him to get away with Safeway robbery the next spring, and then the next, ad nauseam. Whereas Safeway is good to go as long as Pablo wants to continue pillaging anything but the produce department, his body is not.
Far be it for the Giants to have to explain to Pablo, the need to stay in shape. They are more than relieved to leave that to Boston.
Gasp. Boston? What does Boston know two bamboo shoots about, when it comes to pampering a Panda?
Answer: Absolutely nothing.