Red Sox: Pablo Sandoval closed mouth on his diet

Sep 24, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) works out prior the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 24, 2016; St. Petersburg, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval (48) works out prior the game against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports /

Boston Red Sox third baseman Pablo Sandoval has a new diet that has been successful, but Panda appears reluctant to share his secret.

Boston Red Sox spring training circa 2017 has become a great wasteland for lack of internal and external conflicts. The only notable flare-up on the baseball front was a heated exchange between Boston Herald writer Evan Drellich and the usual ratings-hungry bombastic crew of Callahan and Minihan – or is it Minihan and Callahan?

I managed to listen to a few snippets of what passed for a debate and found it as tedious, outright boring and as non-informing as an exchange between pro and anti-Trump forces. The fact that it gathered page three on the morning paper certainly sheds some light on the dreary condition of everything baseball this spring. This comes under “I told you so” as I twist myself pretzel like for a positive backslap.

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So much for a few paragraphs of nonsense before paying some attention to another Drellich article that centers on the most significant item to surface in camp – Pablo Sandoval. The Panda appears pleased with his diligent offseason preparations to construct a new and more presentable Panda. No more apparitions of a Sumo playing third base.

What Sandoval has omitted is just what method one applies to that most important of all components of weight loss – his dietary regime. Is Panda on some type of new age diet? Did his recent sojourn through Europe find a eureka moment? Does he employ a staff of nutritionists, chefs, and a personal babysitter to keep Panda away from all the pratfalls in diets?

"“I got a program. I got a program, it’s all included,” Sandoval said. “So I don’t worry about that. I got a program, it’s all included. I’m going to continue to keep doing my program. So that’s my main goal.” – Sandoval"

Panda is being secretive about that part of the new Panda – even evasive. For those who wish for some “inside” information, it will be exceedingly frustrating. Sandoval may have found a key to weight loss that does not involve starvation, surgery or running a daily marathon. Please, Panda, for the sake of my spouse relinquish this vital information for public consumption.

"“I don’t want to tell you about my secrets,” said Sandoval."

The real issue for those of us more concerned about catching and hitting the ball than eating it is just how Sandoval appears to perform on his job – will the skills promised finally come to fruition? That is the only real concern and for this fan the single most important issue of the spring training session.

I had made a promise to myself to avoid further Sandoval articles, but like saying no to ice cream (and cheesecake) the temptation is too great. Another promise to be added to the very long list of others either broken or skirted around. That is exactly what happens when the writing well runs dry with a flat-out boring spring training.

The Panda saga will be two-fold with the first being constructed in March. Just how will Sandoval perform? Will be consistently switch-hit? Will be-be able to cover (finally) more ground than a Forever Stamp? Is the surgically repaired shoulder up to game standards? Will Sandoval remain the fine tune and well-conditioned specimen he now appears to be?

Next: Sleepers on the 2017 roster

The bottom fold of the saga is the important one. In a majestic leap of Sandoval faith, I will assume the questions asked above are all in the positive or in the baseball “Goldilocks Zone” for keeping the fact that third base appears to be solid. That, however, does not eliminate the games that count portion. That is the real test – including post game buffets – as to if Sandoval has finally given the Red Sox a return on investment.