April 16, 2016

Panda Problems

Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski said there is "a great deal going on" in Pablo Sandoval's left shoulder. Sandoval agreed: "I don't want to tell you what's going on, but it's pretty bad so I want to get a second opinion." Sandoval will be examined by Dr. James Andrews on Monday.

Meanwhile, in the Panda Rumour Dept., Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reported that Sandoval has told the Red Sox that if he isn't playing regularly, he wants out. Sandoval, who denied the report, is in the second year of a five-year contract.

Ethan Banning, owner of Triple Threat Performance in Phoenix and a former personal trainer for Sandoval, said the third baseman needs "a babysitter" to keep him from overeating. "He needs to be smart enough to say there's a problem. It's like the alcoholic that won't admit he's an alcoholic: well, you can't address that you're an alcoholic if you don't ever admit there's a problem."

In three games this season, Sandoval is 0-for-6, with four strikeouts. His replacement at third, Travis Shaw, has a .438 on-base average and is third on the team with a .899 OPS.


allan said...

Deadspin: Comcast Sports Net's Sean McAdam was on Toucher and Rich today and reported that when Sandoval was with the San Francisco Giants, the team made sure he couldn't order room service from the hotels during road trips.

"I'll tell you another anecdote. This is how concerned the Giants were when he played for them ... they would make special arrangements at the hotel the Giants were staying in to not allow him to order room service. They would tell the front desk management, 'If he calls down for room service at night after games, do not send anything to this room.' They went to great measures to try to cut down on those eating binges, and it would only work for a time because he would find someplace to get food."

FenFan said...

Maybe I'm naïve (and that may be easily argued) but it seems like "the machine" is trying to drive yet another player from Boston. Look, the kid had a poor 2015 -- I won't argue that -- and he's likely going to remain on the DL for most, if not the rest, of this season.

All that stated, the Sox didn't give him a big friggin' contract for no reason, and remember that San Francisco was ready to fork over big money to keep him as well. When healthy, this "fat bastard" is a damn good ballplayer.

I read stuff like what McAdam said and I immediately think of MUMS (Made Up Manny Shit) that peppered Ramirez for most of his tenure here. It amazes me sometimes that players want to come play in a fishbowl like Boston.

Zenslinger said...

I have that instinct when I hear shit about a player, Fen, but I've been here in San Francisco following and rooting for Sandoval since his career began (he had been a catcher, by the way!)

I believe these stories. He's been able to succeed despite his weight, but it's been issue number one for a while now. And in San Francisco there has also been this sort of straight-up evidence that he and the front office are not in agreement about what's expected of him in terms of conditioning. He used to say it was his Mom's cooking back in Venezuela.

The dynamic is weird/creepy from some Giants fans, despite being one myself (as my NL team, at least). I keep getting this "ha ha, you guys got stuck with his contract" vibe, which is based in anger towards Panda talking shit about the Giants after signing with the Sox. And even though I try not to put stock in these gossipy kinds of stories, I have heard enough of them over the years to think that Pablo may lack maturity and social skills.

But hey. Maybe his shoulder really is hurt, and maybe he'll become a decent player again. If not, it's a pretty stunning case of a player falling off a cliff.

laura k said...

Zen, you may very well be right, and I have no idea either way. But I would just caution about this.

And even though I try not to put stock in these gossipy kinds of stories, I have heard enough of them over the years to think that ... [anything]

Gossip/lies/innuendeo/MUMS can be repeated and circulated, and a whole mythology can be built around a player (or a rock star, or a president), and it can still all be lies.

FenFan said...

Agree, Laura. I hold nothing against Zen, who has more exposure to Panda than either of us. The stories may be true, and I would put some stock in what Banning says, being Panda's former personal trainer.

While McAdam begins his story stating that it's an anecdote, the problem is that people don't remember it this way. To Laura's point, it suddenly becomes truth, whether or not it is. McAdam (knowingly) adds fuel to the fire and Toucher and Rich will reference it as proof positive of Panda's "guilt."

FenFan said...

If you've never seen Doubt (2008), rent it. It's a great film.

This conversation reminds of a point in the movie where Father Brendan Flynn, whom is the center of suspicion, tells this story from the pulpit:

A woman was gossiping with her friend about a man whom they hardly knew - I know none of you have ever done this. That night, she had a dream: a great hand appeared over her and pointed down on her. She was immediately seized with an overwhelming sense of guilt.

The next day she went to confession. She got the old parish priest, Father O' Rourke, and she told him the whole thing. "Is gossiping a sin?" she asked the old man. "Was that God All Mighty's hand pointing down at me? Should I ask for your absolution? Father, have I done something wrong?"

"Yes," Father O' Rourke answered her. "Yes, you ignorant, badly-brought-up female. You have blamed false witness on your neighbor. You played fast and loose with his reputation, and you should be heartily ashamed."

So, the woman said she was sorry, and asked for forgiveness. "Not so fast," says O' Rourke. "I want you to go home, take a pillow upon your roof, cut it open with a knife, and return here to me." So, the woman went home, took a pillow off her bed, a knife from the drawer, went up the fire escape to her roof, and stabbed the pillow. Then she went back to the old parish priest as instructed.

"Did you gut the pillow with a knife?" he says.

"Yes, Father."

"And what were the results?"

"Feathers," she said.

"Feathers?" he repeated.

"Feathers; everywhere, Father."

"Now I want you to go back and gather up every last feather that flew out onto the wind."

"Well," she said, "it can't be done. I don't know where they went. The wind took them all over."

"And that," said Father O' Rourke, "is gossip!"

Zenslinger said...

Well said all around.

Like I said, I really try to resist this kind of thing. I've tried to let go of Schilling's political views, I think the persistent idea Ellsbury lacks toughness is crap, and I think MBM was at least exaggerated.

In this case I feel like I've heard the stories about Panda from enough *different* sources to think there is something behind it. But I don't give a shit about his maturity or his eating, for that matter, not for its own sake. I'm just to the point of thinking that this isn't just rumor mongering -- there's some truth to it.