I’m wondering if I need to get my eyes checked. Supposedly Pablo Sandoval gained a considerable amount of weight during the off-season, and the Giants are in CRISIS MODE.

I didn’t see it. I thought he looked rounder at the end of 2011 than he was during Spring Training, but when I sat down with Sandoval today he looked like the same old Panda. Not as big as he was during the 2010 World Series, not as small as he was after his crash diet sensible dinners and intense cardio regimen back in March.

What I noticed was the guy seemed happy. He’s never exactly rude with the media, but the slightest hint of an attitude will pop up every now and then. Maybe it was the afterglow of a 3-year, $17.15 million contract (and the new, beautiful watch on his left wrist), but Sandoval was full of energy and life when I walked into his suite, where he was sitting alone on a leather couch.

In the interview we talked about the contract, entering the HR Derby in Venezuela, his near-Gold Glove season in 2011 and more.