I know, I know, get over it you’re saying. Old news‒move on is what some of you think. I can’t help it. I thought Pablo Sandoval was so far behind us he wouldn’t show up in our rear view mirror. Even if objects are closer than they appear.
But this morning I looked up and he was standing in front of the bus. Again. I can’t help it—I’m driving the bus right over him. When he left the Giants he made me angry. Not for me, we never had a personal relationship. But what did Buster Posey do to him? or Madison Bumgarner for that matter? Because when he left he said the only ones he would miss were manager Bruce Bochy and outfielder Hunter Pence. Apparently the other kids were mean to him.
Now that he’s back in the headlines, naturally he is going to generate good riddance/World Series hero debate. Again.
I fall squarely in the good riddance camp. I’m glad he went to Boston. If he hadn’t, we wouldn’t have enjoyed the talents of Matt Duffy as our everyday third baseman. Or would we?
It seems that Pablo lost his job to a rookie who came into Spring Training and put up better numbers on both offense and defense than Pablo did. Pablo has been benched in much the same way that Casey McGehee (who was cut by Detroit earlier this week and just re-signed with Detroit on a minor league deal) lost his job last year. The prospect who was auditioning for a spot on the big club was better than the veteran. By far.
Travis Shaw, a 25 year old prospect who was drafted by the Red Sox in the 9th round of the 2011 draft, will be the team’s starting third baseman. His father, Jeff Shaw, was a two-time All Star closer who played in the majors for 11 years with‒among others‒the Indians, Reds and Dodgers.
According to Matt Pepin of the The Boston Globe, Shaw will earn league minimum, $515,000 compared to Sandoval’s second year share of his 5 yr/$95 million deal. Shaw played 90 error-less innings at third base this spring (11 innings at first base, also error-free), while Sandoval committed four errors in the 84 innings he played. Pepin wrote that Shaw hit .333 in 57 at bats compared to Sandoval’s .244 in 41 at bats.
Part of me can’t help but think if Pablo had stayed with San Francisco, and he performed the same in the Giants camp this spring, Matt Duffy still would have ended up with the job. We’ll never know. Doesn’t matter anyway, we have the best third baseman in the bigs. Matt Duffy’s stamina, work ethic and team player mentality make him a better player. By far. Rookie of the Year in my book.
If Pablo had left San Francisco without taking a shot at his former teammates, we might all cry “foul” at Boston’s treatment of the once-beloved Kung Fu Panda. Instead, it seems that the general consensus is that he is getting what he deserves. It just goes to show you‒karma is a vicious bitch.
What does the future hold for Pablo Sandoval? I hear San Diego is looking at him. Maybe Boston will keep him. Either way I don’t much care.
Like I said before I’m firmly placed in the good riddance camp. Grab some pine, meat.