Good Luck: Making Sense of Why Pablo Sandoval Chose Boston


Well, it’s official. It took many hours on Monday morning to confirm, but Pablo Sandoval is going to Boston via free agency. This is a new feeling for Giants fans, having one of their beloved leave for another team. Jeff Kent may very well be the last example of this, in 2002 when he left for the Houston Astros.

Pablo has provided many great memories since his debut in 2008, chief among them was hitting three home runs in Game 1 of the World Series in 2012, which led to him winning the World Series MVP. Sandoval was a member of three championship teams in five years. He means a great deal to San Francisco, both the team and the city.

Many fans were outraged that Pablo left for Boston, with the two team’s offers reportedly being very similar. According to an interview that Henry Schulman had with Bobby Evans, Pablo said he, “wanted a new challenge.” Well, there’s one reason. He could have taken the challenge of controlling his lovable weight in San Francisco, but went to Boston instead. Sorry, had to throw in one last weight cheap shot.

The weight issue could be another factor that played in to his decision. As we’ve all noticed, Panda’s weight tends to fluctuate from season to season. In the National League, he has to play third base for the duration of the contract, while in the American League, and especially with Boston, he will be able to be the designated hitter once David Ortiz retires.

That, coupled with his relatively young age, lead to one more point. Receiving a five year deal for the 28 year old means that he’ll be just 33 when this contract is up. If he is able to remain productive in some facet, especially offensively, Sandoval could land another contract in five year’s time.

There is also the fact that it feels as though Boston wins on the opposite years of the Giants (odd numbered years), so five years, starting next season, adds another three rings to his resume. Obviously, this is going to happen, and is all a part of the master plan.

Pablo likely chose an AL team (the Padres reportedly offered more money, and quite possibly years) to have the DH role be available to him. There is also the fact that Hanley Ramirez signed with Boston mere hours before Sandoval was rumored to be joining him. Perhaps they are forming baseball’s version of the Miami Heat. For that, we’ll have to watch the press conference on Tuesday and see which one of them (if either, it’ll be Hanley) says, “Not one, not two…”

For now, let’s remember all of the spectacular moments that Pablo Sandoval provided in San Francisco, and look forward to seeing many more of them, from afar. Good luck, Pablo. And thank you.