Pablo Sandoval

Comparing blurry photos of Pablo Sandoval playing Venezuelan Winter League baseball

Here’s the list of San Francisco Giants who’ll be available for today’s Media Day and FanFest tomorrow.

  • Jeremy Affeldt              George Kontos
  • Brandon Belt                 Joe Lefebvre
  • Gregor Blanco               Tim Lincecum
  • Bruce Bochy                 Javier Lopez
  • Matt Cain                      Hensley Meulens
  • Brandon Crawford         Michael Morse
  • Jake Dunning                Nick Noonan
  • Tim Flannery                 Hunter Pence
  • Mark Gardner                Buster Posey
  • Heath Hembree             Dave Righetti
  • David Huff                    Sergio Romo
  • Roberto Kelly                Ryan Vogelsong
  • Michael Kickham           Ron Wotus
  • Roger Kieschnick

Among the notables who won’t be there: Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro, Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval batted fifth Tuesday night and went 1-for-5 for Navegantes del Magallanes, who took the Venezuelan Winter League title with a 11-6 win over Caribes de Anzoategui.

Last year around this time, I was in New Orleans and I saw a short YouTube clip of Sandoval hitting a home run in Venezuela and rounding the bases. It’d be an understatement to call what was going on in the stands “bedlam,” so let’s just say it’s impossible to imagine a crowd letting loose like that at a baseball stadium in the United States or Canada. It was a spine-tingling scene that I probably rewatched about 20 times, but as the video made the rounds people spoke less of the home run and more about Sandoval’s apparent weight gain.

Grant Brisbee tweeted out a link to Tuesday’s championship game, and I turned it on right as Sandoval stepped in to face Ramon A. Ramirez (no, not THAT Ramon Ramirez). Sandoval laced a single to right-center, I took a few screenshots, so I figured it’d be fun to compare blurry Sandoval from 2013 with blurry Sandoval from 2014.

Last year Sandoval got to wear pinstripes. A fun myth that’s totally false (that’s why it’s a myth) is that the Yankees adopted the pinstriped look to make Babe Ruth look thinner. In the case of 2013 Sandoval, it didn’t help much.

Pablo Sandoval Venezuela 2013

Maybe the reason why it looks like the Panda ate John Kruk in the photo above because it was a bad angle.

pablo sandoval venezuela 2013 winter ball

Alright, that’s probably a “no.” But look how much lighter he looked on Tuesday!

Pablo Sandoval Winter League

I swear that’s Pablo.

Pablo Sandoval Winter League Venezuela


Pablo Sandoval rounds first Venezuela 2014

Pablo Sandoval Venezuela Winter League

Okay, that’s all I got. Is he 42 lbs lighter now than he was a year ago? It’s impossible to say, but the amount he shed has to be well into double digits.

As the Giants consider whether they should sign Sandoval to an extension that could cost well over $10 million annually, the fact that he won’t arrive in Arizona looking like the Babe (when John Goodman played him) is pretty encouraging. Yes, even though it took a contract year for him to get his act together.

A lot of Sandoval’s weight troubles have been blamed on a lack of discipline that was exacerbated by living life a little too lavishly in his home country. Before the Giants (or any team) can feel comfortable giving Sandoval $90 million or whatever, they’ll have to trust that Sandoval’s body mass will look somewhat reasonable every time he shows up on some blurry internet stream of a Venezuelan Winter League game.

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