BREAKING NEWS: Pablo Sandoval is in town. It’s barely been talked about around here, I know.
On Monday morning he was presented with his 2014 World Series ring by a contingent of Giants that included Bruce Bochy, Larry Baer and Bobby Evans. Brian Sabean didn’t make the trip, which isn’t a surprise considering the amount of travel his new role entails along with Sandoval’s comments about Sabean from that Bleacher Report story by Scott Miller.
Sandoval capped his day with an 11th inning home run to give the Red Sox a 5-4 win over the A’s, then the next day he was interviewed by CSN Bay Area’s Amy Gutierrez. I transcribed the interview (as best as I could) below. He didn’t mention anything specific about contract offers before the 2014 season, but he made it pretty clear that he didn’t appreciate how his former team let the media know they were concerned about his weight.
Amy G: You had some statements that came out that were tough to hear, maybe to say, for Giants fans to hear, for your former teammates to hear. Let’s start with who you missed, and you said you missed Boch and Pence. As you just said, three championships in five years. Did you leave anyone out?
Sandoval: I don’t. If I’m going to start naming, name by name, it’s going to be a long interview. So I don’t say nothing wrong. It probably came out wrong. The guy put the wrong part, because everyone want a piece that I say something wrong to put out there. So I just say Bochy is like my dad. He always got my back. He always supported me no matter what. He believed in me. Hunter is a guy that wants to play every single year. He inspired me to play the right way. But at the end of the day, I miss those guys, I miss all the coaching staff. There’s a lot of things. The fan support that we have was big. So it was just everything. It probably came out wrong, the wrong side. But at the end of the day I meant it, that I said it.
Amy G: Did you find it in a tough spot that you win your third world championship, to maybe want to stay now?
Sandoval: It was tough, it was tough. I got three days that I don’t sleep. I don’t even eat. So it was a tough decision for me, because you see this part. You put this situation on both sides. This is the team that gave me the opportunity to be in baseball, opened the door to be a big leaguer, and gave me three World Series. Then I’m going to ruin that, move to the other side to find a new challenge, try to find out something new, that I want to try to find something different, different stadium, different fan support. It was tough. It was tough. It was not about the money. It wasn’t about the fan support. It was about trying something new, something different. That was the tough moment for me.
Amy G: You made a comment that when you went to Boston, you felt at home. Did you not feel at home in San Francisco, or did you at one point feel at home in your seven-year stretch, and then you needed a different scenario?
Sandoval: I felt at home here. In San Francisco I will always feel at home, because this is the team that gave me the opportunity. But at the end of the year, it was tough. It was tough because when I came here, I just want to play ball. I just want to be me. And at the end of the year, of my career here, I can’t be me. So it was tough.
Amy G: Did you feel that you were not treated with respect last year?
Sandoval: Do you want me to tell you the truth?
Amy G: I do.
Sandoval: Yeah. I feel like that.
Amy G: Why?
Sandoval: Something. Things happened. A lot of things. I know they want me to be the best, they want me to be healthy, all the kind of comments they say. But at the end of the day, when you are a person and employer, you can come to me and tell me you have to do this. You don’t have to come straight up to the media, be public, say everything that you say.
Amy G: You got your ring last night.
Amy G: You saw Bochy, you saw Larry Baer, you saw now new GM Bobby Evans. How was that moment for you and reunion?
Sandoval: Exciting. Exciting for me to see my dad. I call Bochy, he’s my dad. You know, see Larry, that kind of stuff. Now I’m happy because Bobby, he came with me, all my minor league (years). It’s exciting to see all those guys and tell them that I miss them. It’s a good relationship. We care about it, all my career here. I got nothing with them. Nothing with no one. I still love those guys. They teach me a lot of things. Bochy teach me a lot of things. It’s happy to see them out there. It’s way different because they came to the hotel, surprised me. Everything changes sometimes, but you have to care about all those things. You have to have heart to appreciate the things.
Amy G: What are you want to say to the fans that are going to watch this? They missed you, they didn’t want you to go, they love their Panda. And are hurt a little bit, (A) that you left, that’s a business decision, but some of the statements that came out. What do they mean to you as you go on in your career? What did you learn from them?
Sandoval: They mean a lot. I respect my fans. I don’t want to disrespect no one out there. Because I love them, I played for them. Those guys come every single day to bring food to our table. So we have to respect that. So I don’t try hurting no one. It’s a business. It’s a professional business. Some days you’re going the right way, some days you don’t. So when you’ve got an opportunity, you have to take advantage of that.
Being a free agent means he can go wherever he wants. He was an integral part of two of the WS wins, he doesn't owe the fans anything. He gave us everything. Now he gets to play in Boston, as is his wish.
I wish him well, and good for Amy G, asking those questions.
Even though it's easy to have disdain for Pablo because of his comments, as some have pointed out, he helped the Giants win 3 WS titles, so at the same time, it's hard to really dislike Pablo because he meant so much to this team and to this franchise. The Giants really could use him this year with all due respect to Casey McGehee. I think when players make comments like the ones Pablo made, the media, especially the national media, should do a better job of having these players explain themselves more.
Hopefully Pablo learned from this. If he ever leaves the Red Sox and he makes similar comments to this, he will have to do a better job of explaining himself, even though those comments after he left the Giants were probably in the heat of the moment and he was probably mad about how the Giants didn't give him the deal he wanted last year in spring training.
First off, I have to say, great interview by Amy G! This is probably the best interview I've seen/heard her do so far. I wish she did these interviews with the players after games. It was a serious interview from Amy G for once. LOL.
As far as what Pablo said goes, he really was hurt about the weight stuff. In a way, you can't blame him. That must've been embarrassing for him. Why spill out to the media his weight stuff, when they could've just handled the situation in house? The Giants probably should've handled that differently, especially since Pablo was/still is sensitive about his weight, but the Giants had to find different ways to motivate him to lose weight, and eventually the Bay Area media caught on to it and it became one of the main talking points regarding Pablo during his tenure here with the Giants. We'll see if his weight issues eventually becomes a big deal with the Red Sox. Wouldn't surprise me if it does, even though he's kind of still in the honeymoon stage with the Red Sox right now where everything seems like it's good for him there right now. But yes, it sounds like in a way, the weight stuff probably changed everything for Pablo during his tenure here with the Giants.
With all this being said, my feelings about Pablo changed after this interview. I think it was good that he did a Bay Area interview to kind of explain himself more. I won't be buying a Pablo jersey or Panda hat anytime soon, but I don't have as much disgust for him now. An interview like this was needed. It brought more closure to that situation, and it kind of gave Pablo a chance to explain himself and maybe reflect more on what he meant by what he said.
My son grew up loving Pablo Sandoval. He has two panda hats, one in white, one in Orange. The Panda was his first sports hero. When Sandoval decided to move to another team my son was sad but he understood, it's business. However when Sandoval said all those hurtful things, especially about only missing Bochy and Pence my son was very hurt. He no longer feels anything for his boyhood hero. It is so sad. It is no surprise that when Sandoval walked around near his SF hotel not many approached him. He is no longer our hero. He has only himself to blame.
@TracyMetherell Wow, what a sad, but impactful story. I don't think Pablo really realizes the damage he did to Giants fans here in the Bay Area, with his comments after he left the Giants.
Even around the Bay Area, you don't see too many people with Pablo stuff anymore. I think he might be dead to a lot of people here. He might even be dead to the Giants. The Giants don't talk about him that much or bring him up. Yes, he's not on the team anymore, but Kruk and Kuip don't bring him up or even mention his name. You can't even tell that he played for the Giants.
But yes, hopefully Pablo learned from this. He really should've been more grateful when he left the Giants.
Here's what I've learned from Pablo Sandoval's Bay Area return visit: Pandas talk out of both sides of their mouths.
Did find this quote buried in Matt Kawahara's coverage especially amusing:
"Sandoval said he spent some time walking around San Francisco – where the Red Sox are staying – on Monday but that he didn’t interact much with fans. “Nothing,” he said. “I was surprised.”