Pablo Sandoval must be ready for fresh start in 2017

Pablo Sandoval is ready to be what the Red Sox paid for after two disastrous seasons in Boston

Pablo Sandoval has been anything but exciting to watch as a member of the Red Sox. From his first year fall from grace after winning the 2014 World Series, to last years’ disaster and ultimate season ending surgery. Panda has been abysmal. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t one of those people who called him out and said he should just flat out retire and return the money he didn’t earn. Unfortunately, with a sport like baseball where contracts are guaranteed, the Panda is getting paid. Fans started getting really upset when he used the term complacent during an interview. Who can blame them?

He’s done nothing to earn the paycheck. The word complacency should never be used when you’ve just signed a lucrative contract with a new team after you were disrespected by your former squad. Nothing made Sox fans angrier than that. When you’ve retired from baseball and won a World Series Championship with a team, then, I suppose, you can say you’re complacent with your life. Here comes a guy who has done nothing and earned $34 million dollars in two years.

The Panda earned $2.83 per at bat last season, that’s cringe worthy. Fans have got to try to forget the at bat while in Toronto when he swung and his belt came undone. Just embarrassing. Thanks again Mr. Cherington. This goes right up there on the list of bust contracts next to Carl Crawford, one of the few names that still gives me the goose bumps.

However, after everything that’s happened, year 3 of the Panda Experiment has shown signs of promise. After Dombrowski traded away Travis Shaw and Mauricio Dubon for Tyler Thornburg during the off season, it’s cleared the way for Sandoval to once again be the everyday 3rd baseman. In Early December a photo was posted of Sandoval where he looked great after losing a ton of weight. It remains to be determined if he can stay hungry, for playing solid baseball that is, for the 2017 season. My fingers are crossed for a rejuvenated Panda.

Sandoval is due $17 million this season with $18 million due in both 2018 and 2019. I’m all up for 2nd chances especially if this is going to a player who has realized that he needed to make some major changes and admitted to making a mistake. He’s got a lot to prove and I’m looking forward to watching him turn it around. Do I see him making an All Star appearance? I’m not saying that’s in the cards just yet, but I will say that I’m looking forward to seeing him put up bigger numbers than he did in 2015.

Fact of the matter is, he can’t possibly repeat 2016 over again. If Pablo Sandoval can do what he did for the Giants back in 2014 I’d consider that a step in the right direction and a huge victory for the boys in Boston.

Photo Credit: Jim Davis / Globe Staff

Photo Credit: Dan Roche – Twitter (courtesy of Alvaro Hernandez


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