‘Twas a year ago San Francisco’s marketing mavens turned 3B/1B Pablo Sandoval into an NL All-Star Game candidate and local fan favorite, but following a string of baserunning blunders and a league-leading propensity to hit into double-plays, the San Jose Mercury News’ Cam Inman writes, “fans are ready to impeach him from their good graces and return those (Kung Fu) Panda hats.”
Sandoval is getting lampooned for his askew baserunning, beer-league-softball belly and, above all else, slumping bat. Call this mantra: “Pick on Pablo.”
This does not faze Sandoval. Should it? Is it time he stops treating this game like, well, just a game?
Be careful what you wish from him. His happy-go-lucky attitude is an asset. The world doesn’t need another jaded, disgruntled, inconsolable, elitist athlete.
“I come in every day with my head up, and I work game by game,” Sandoval said before Tuesday’s shift against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “You have to believe, you have to trust yourself. I want to (succeed) so bad. I try to do too much.”
Asked Tuesday if the game is no longer so simple, he replied: “No, it’s the same. We use the same bat, same ball, same glove. I keep working.”
That includes working on adjusting to pitchers, whom he admitted “know me a little more.”
And that includes hacking away at his weight: “My body type, I’m working hard. I’ve been working day by day about my weight. Last year, I was the same weight. It’s part of the game.”