Pablo Sandoval doesn’t have fond memories of his time with the Red Sox
Pablo Sandoval wishes he didn’t sign with Red Sox in 2014
I didn’t think I’d be kicking off the second half of the season talking about Pablo Sandoval, but here we are. The former World Series champion recently spoke to Joseph Bien-Kahn of GQ about his career and one of the topics he dove into was his Red Sox tenure. Sandoval doesn’t remember his time in Boston very fondly and it’s safe to say, neither do the fans.
He signed with the Red Sox after being beloved while playing with the San Francisco Giants. He received a 5-year/$90M contract from Boston and was touted as a massive free-agent signing by FSG. Between his unique look and quirky personality, it felt like the Sox were trying to create another “Manny being Manny,” situation. Well, things didn’t really go as planned and Pablo would become one of the most hated players to play in Boston in recent memory.
I appreciate that he can look back on his time and admit that it wasn’t the best move for him personally or professionally. Then again, getting a truckload of cash sure isn’t a bad thing. It didn’t take long for Red Sox Nation to turn on the big third baseman as they felt he didn’t earn that type of contract, and they’d be right. He wouldn’t last the length of the deal and would be shipped out before he could even get to the back half of the agreement.
I’m not going to go into Sandoval’s weight, though many at the time did and still don’t mind doing, as he always seemed to make it work. He routinely made excellent defensive plays, slugged with the best of them, and could just flat-out go. Unfortunately, those things all came while he was wearing a Giants uniform and didn’t seem to make the trip to Fenway Park.
Pablo spoke about how different the two markets were and while one seemed to embrace his size and personality, the other didn’t.
"“We make mistakes. We can make errors. And you know, it’s part of the game,” he says now. “But fans don’t realize that we are human beings. We got lifestyle. We have problems, too. We have off-the-field things. And they don’t understand that.”"
The thing is, we do understand. But there can only be so much leeway given if there aren’t any signs of effort being shown. Again, he was embraced and loved out in San Fran but when you join a new team you have to earn that stuff all over again. You don’t just get to jump right in and everyone is just supposed to accept it. Sorry Pablo, that just isn’t it.
During the interview, Hunter Pence also speaks about how young Pablo was when he left for Boston and how it was going to be a mistake. He also mentions that at that age with that kind of opportunity it’s hard to say no to what’s on the table. Pence is absolutely correct and now it seems that Sandoval sees that and if he could do it all over, he would.
"“I should have stayed. I know. I learned my lesson,” he says. “But I’m happy I went through it, man, because I kept my eyes open and learned a lot of things.”"
I’m not a Pablo Sandoval fan but I respect his ability to have some hindsight and honesty about his career. I don’t believe he’s a bad guy whatsoever but he was merely a young kid who took a great offer and it just didn’t work out. Could both sides have done more to make things better? Sure. But at the end of the day, things just don’t work sometimes.
While Pablo was a star in San Fran, he was more of a square peg trying to fit into a round hole in Boston. I hope he continues to play and love the game of baseball. That’s one thing that I don’t think gets talked about enough. How being a professional can lend itself to the passion eventually dying out. It’s sad, really, but at 35 years old it looks like the Kung Fu Panda still has some fire burning.