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The Panda: Maturity Stalling……

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 28, 2013

I read Passan’s article at Yahoo a couple of days ago. Now, listen to me, I loath Jeff Passan. He hates the Giants, it’s clear in all his article over the last few years, and I’ve traced it back to his panties getting bunched about Bonds and his PED use. He’s a fool, as are most of these internet writers who somehow have jobs.

But he wrote an article about Sandoval on Tuesday that I’ve been ruminating about since then. There was something about Panda’s comments that rubbed me the wrong way and it wasn’t the obvious stuff. If you read the article, you’d know what I mean. Here’s a link to it, read it before you read the rest of this thread.

http://tinyurl.com/cz9t5qk

You have no idea how much it pains me to give Jeff Fu*kwad Passan even the slightest bit of acknowledgement other than the usually twitter zingers I fire off at him in the Summer……

Before I comment negatively on The Panda let me start by saying that I LOVE HIM. I didn’t always feel that way about him. I didn’t always love Barry Zito. But feelings are fluid and I have no problem changing mine if you give me a reason to do so. For instance, him being overweight used to bother me. I didn’t think his poor conditioning was good for his play, his production or our team. He was a mess in 2010 and he didn’t deserve to be on our post season roster (even though he was). He didn’t deserve it the same way Barry Zito didn’t deserve it. And he was a non-contributor in the 2010 world series. Just like Zito except the Panda sucked up a roster spot (along with anything else he saw on a dinner plate)……

But he transformed his body before the 2011 season and went out and had a fantastic year. He dealt with the hamate thing (#1) but he hit .315 with a .909 OPS, he seemed to have matured, seen the big picture, and he was ready to mine his unreal talent to the surface.

Then the Giants did something that surprised me a little. In the off season, they avoiding arbitration and gave him a 3 year/17.5 million dollar contract that would cover him from 2012-2014. I was surprised because they didn’t have to do it. He had proven to be unpredictable in his approach to his conditioning and one year of production isn’t worth 3 years of guaranteed big time money. And yet, the Giants did it. To me, it was a show of faith. And I liked the fact that they were showing faith in him. I hoped it would push him to showing faith in himself, his team and their goals.

But he showed up fat before the 2012 season and there was the Santa Cruz story that embarrassed the team. I understand that ball players are targets and I fully believe Sandoval was innocent, but I also believe that he put himself in a bad position that more *aware* players don’t put themselves in.

His 2012 season was underwhelming, he had another hamate bone problem (#2) and a hammy issue, he hit .283 and his power took a major dive (12 measly bombs).  All in all, I would grade his 2012 season about a C.

And then the post season began and he turned into a player that looked like he was the product of a Babe Ruth-Reggie Jackson love-child. He was brilliant and epic and I will never forget his post season. And those are my complex, real, current feelings about Pablo Sandoval….

Now, to the Passan article…… It was typical on the surface, a classic Passan hatchet job on the Giants. This one focused on fat jokes. Every article he writes is terrible. But then I read Sandoval’s comments, which are not-disputable (unless you think Passan manipulated them and I can’t think he’s THAT bad). Here’s the comment that bothered me on Tuesday, festered within me for 2 days and ended up inspiring this thread:

“I’ve got this year and next year to change all the things (referring to his conditioning/weight). It’s going to take me a while but I can do it. I know I can do it.”

I like the last part of the comment. He’s talking about fact. He HAS gotten himself in shape in the past. If you did it before, you can be confident that you can do it again. But the middle part doesn’t sound right, I don’t understand why it’s going to take him “a while” (and he referenced 2 full years) since he got into shape before the 2011 season in about 2 months. He’s clearly talking about the duration of his CURRENT contract with this statement.

The first section of the comment is the one that pisses me off. This dude was given a gift from the team to the tune of nearly 18 million dollars. That was a show of faith. When you show faith you are expected to receive it and reciprocate. He did not do that except for his fantastic post season performance which, while worth it to us as fans, could easily have just been a guy who got hot for a couple of weeks.

Now he’s got the fucking gall to publicly snub the rest of his contract by shooting for 2015 as the season that he finally starts to get his shit together. A year in which he can sign with the highest bidder on the open market. You’re giving yourself “this year and next year?” Well that’s awfully generous of you. Hopefully you get yourself in shape by the end of the 2014 season in time to score a 100+ million dollar contract with your next team. And if you don’t take that contract seriously, as you are not taking this one, you will underwhelm and disappoint that team, too……..

42 Responses

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  1. twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    He was hitting before the hamate injury and he started hitting again in September. And he was a the best player in the postseason (not just the WS). He can say anything he wants to…

    • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:41 pm

      I should have said he was the best *hitter* in the postseason. But what’s the *gift* thing? That was a low ball contract.

      • Flavor said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:54 pm

        if he’s gonna kick back and avoid conditioning for the next 2 seasons before he gets into shape, which is what he said he was going to do, he clearly agrees with you.

  2. xoot said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    I heard (from Chico, among others) that during a recent radio interview Passan explained Pablo’s comments about the two-year plan. Apparently, Passan interpreted Pablo’s view to be do it now, because it’ll be impossible to do in two years from now. Or something like that. His English is rarely clear. He has things to say, and he’s uninhibited about trying to say them in English. So the result is often off key.

    Scott Ostler, btw, jumped on the Passan article and wrote a fat-joke piece for sfgate yesterday about it.

    I’m more concerned about Pablo’s elbow than about his belly or his head.

    • Flavor said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:45 pm

      I’d like more clarification on this. And if it’s true, I will recant this thread. Passan put his comments in quotes and I take that for what it is: the words he spoke, in a second language or otherwise.
      Until I see something that refutes his quote, that’s what I’m going with.

      • xoot said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

        Take a look at John Dowd’s Revenge, the current Tommy L thread, at my 5:36 pm 3/27 comment and Chico’s response.

      • Flavor said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

        I will tomorrow, I have to get my kid to bed and do other things. But I will definitely check it out in the morning.

  3. twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    “I also believe that he put himself in a bad position that more *aware* players don’t put themselves in.” Really, like going to bars ?

    • Flavor said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

      How many pro baseball players that go to bars get accused of rape? And how many of those accusations make the papers and embarrass the team that pays them? Whether it was bad luck or stupidity is not important. I’m gonna say that less than .01% of baseball players get publicly accused of rape, even falsely.
      My point, which you missed, doesn’t have anything to do with the countless players who go to bars on a regular basis.

      • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

        Being accused of rape ( which you claim to believe he was innocent of ) is somehow his fucking fault? I didn’t miss shit, it makes zereo sense to fault him for being falsely accused of a crime.

  4. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:51 pm

    When Sandoval dropped all that weight in 2011 he was looking unbelievable sprinting around and snagging everything in sight. Maybe things come too easily for him as Passan says in his piece but he does himself a disservice by not getting fit. When he gets the WS MVP in the condition he was in last year it makes it seem less likely he’ll change things up.He’s more competitive than people think and I want to believe he’ll get serious about his conditioning

  5. twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    *

  6. DJLoo said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    I’ll just keep talking to myself on the old thread.

    • chipower9 said, on March 28, 2013 at 11:14 pm

      I’ve been there, Loo (this morning)…surprised we didn’t have a 1-on-1 conversation at one point…

  7. unca_chuck said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:55 pm

    Did Timmy suck? Just turned on the game and its 6 in the 5th? Not a good sign.

    Good of the FO to extend the brain trust.

    • dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

      He was pulled with the game tied at 2 in the bottom of the 5th with 2 out and 2 on. 1st pitch from the bullpen(can’t remember who) almost went into the cove.

    • xoot said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:59 pm

      Lincecum was damn good until the 4th. He made another mistake to Cespedes. Maybe he’s setting him up the for the regular season.

  8. DJLoo said, on March 28, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    I don’t think too many ballplayers go to bars anymore. They go to clubs and hang out in roped off VIP sections.

    • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

      So he deserved it, I get it.

      • Flavor said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:21 pm

        you don’t get it, at all.

      • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:40 pm

        No, you don’t. At all. Maybe you’re pissed he didn’t have surgery yet.

  9. DJLoo said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:00 pm

    Syracuse-Indiana was your classic men vs. boys game…

  10. DJLoo said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I doubt Jeter bellies up to the bar at Stan’s for a mug of Rheingold.

  11. twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    “Passan said that Pablo told him “he knew if he didn’t lose the weight in the next two years, it would get even harder. Passan also made a point of talking about what a hard worker Sandoval is, showing up at 7:30 in the morning to take extra batting practice during spring training.”
    Chico says he heard the same interview on the radio. If anyone is FOS it’s the writers involved.

    • xoot said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:18 pm

      That’s the important part of what I posted on JDR about what others posted, complaining about Ostler’s article on sfgate. Pablo’s a big target. Flavor’s post at least is searching in its purpose. Ostler’s was nothing but fat-joke exploitation.

  12. Winder said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:30 pm

    Panda has probably always been fat and he probably always will be somewhat fat. The guy is a gamer and can play some ball and I am so glad that he plays for us.

  13. twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I wanted to post it here- I *KNOW” Chico woudn’t lie about what Passan said in the interview. I have no way of knowing the why’s of the contradiction but I do know from the outrageous comment from Greg Papa ( Papa said we needed an interpeter when Pablo was speaking *English* ), and from other interviews that Panda can be difficult to understand.

    • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:44 pm

      BTW,I found it’ on the Hanley thread, not the Tommy one.

      • xoot said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:54 pm

        Well, JDR has an ongoing series of Tommy Lasorda threads. Tommy stops by to offer his wisdom to Giants fans. The most recent post concerned Hanley R’s thumb. All of the Tommy L posts so far, however, concern the importance of high-calorie high-fat late-night dinners.

      • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 10:00 pm

        I only said that about the thread to help others find it.

    • xoot said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      Chico was on the issue instantly and he definitely would not twist a thing.

      Pablo’s English is obviously imprecise, but he tries hard. I always get pissed off when “journalists” carefully quote and then attack Latinos who are doing their best to explain something subtle or complex in their second language. Renteria got that treatment during the 2010 offseason. Happens all the time.

  14. sportdude said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    Being fat is just plain stupid when you are a pro. Ask Bengie Molina. His next to last year he was still one of the best hitting catchers around. Good D too. Settles for 1 yr from SF cause no one would give him 2 years. FAT. Players can get to the park around lunch.. 30 min on a life cycle daily. That’s it. Daily. Did I say daily? For most who are not inclined the 30 min ex routine is hard because WE WORK. He doesnt. If he got in shape like 2011 he could eat and drink anything he likes by just riding at the stadium. Easy. LOVE the Panda, but he is an idiot, who puts his career at risk, and his wallet at risk cause he is lazy.

    • twinfan1 said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:51 pm

      You guys claiming to LOVE him while trashing him are full of it. “Passan also made a point of talking about what a hard worker Sandoval is, showing up at 7:30 in the morning to take extra batting practice during spring training.”
      Doesn’t sound lazy to me.

  15. DJLoo said, on March 28, 2013 at 9:49 pm

    Gwynn might’ve hit .400 if he wasn’t a blimp…

  16. paulinasia said, on March 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    I interpreted Pablo’s comment about the next year or two to mean that he will be working this year and next year on losing the weight and maintaining it at a decent level because once you hit about 30, it’s not as *easy* to do it… so he’ll be doing it this year and next. I did not interpret his statement to mean he’s going to wait two years to start. Whether he’ll do it or even be able to do it remains to be seen. It was a hatchet job by Passan. “Passable” at playing 3rd, and he “couldn’t catch” when he came up as a catcher? Passan’s the idiot, not Pablo. Could Pablo be a better player if he was more in shape? Sure. Maybe he’s just big, and not that out of shape. I’ll take him just the way he is. And there is absolutely NO indication that he’s lazy.

    • Chico said, on March 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm

      Exactly.

  17. chipower9 said, on March 28, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    I don’t doubt that Pablo is dedicated (early to show for extra BP, etc.). But I do wish he would take to eathing healthy, etc. to get in shape (he needs to hang with Pence). There are numerous studies that show for every pound you lose, you decrease the stress on your joints by 3-5 pounds. Panda can hit the shit out of the ball, I just think he could be an even better player if the got his ass in shape.

    Was glad to see Boch and Sabean get extended. So where are all the Lunatic Fringe who wanted to can Sabean’s ass a few years ago?

  18. Chico said, on March 28, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    I was in the back yard building what will be a piece of furniture to keep my sports memorabilia on since I don’t have the room or the money for a ‘man cave’.. Compressor was going on and off, and my nail gun was staying busy popping off finish nails when I heard a snippet of a guy talking about his interview with Pablo (who later turned out to be Passan), and from what I got out of it was Pablo told him that the next two years are going to be *crucial* in regards to his weight issues – that he’s going to have to work hard because his career depends on it. . . I wasn’t really paying attention as my work was on my mind, but that’s the little part I heard when my compressor’s motor stopped for a breather..

    Later on that day I logged into SFGate and saw Ostler’s piece, which I thought was full of shit, and his headline didn’t match what I heard.. Mimbres (good dude who I’ve talked baseball and politics with for a while), chimed in to express his dissatisfaction with the slant that Ostler was taking – and I agree.

    Headline: “Pablo Sandoval says he’ll lose weight — in two years” Like I said, I heard a snippet of the thing but that’s not what Passan said that Pablo said.

    Mimbres: “I heard Jeff Passan interviewed on KNBR this morning, and this is a distortion of Pablo’s statements. Pablo said that he knew if he didn’t lose the weight in the next two years, it would get even harder. Passan also made a point of talking about what a hard worker Sandoval is, showing up at 7:30 in the morning to take extra batting practice during spring training.

    Maybe Pablo never talked to Ostler about his weight because he knew that one way or another, Ostler would find something in what he said to stir up crap.” – 1:48 pm time stamp.

    http://blog.sfgate.com/ostler/2013/03/27/weight-nazi-piles-on-panda/?plckFindCommentKey=CommentKey:e91e60a4-5ab0-4cb6-aec5-3204192bc2cb

  19. Chico said, on March 29, 2013 at 12:00 am

    I wasn’t aware that Passan was anti-Giants.. To be honest, I’ve only read a couple of articles of his (I usually stick to the SFGate, or Baggs stuff) but one of the better articles I’ve read about the HOF was by Passan – I even posted it on my facebook page after I read it. Sounds like he’s a sensationalist per Flavor, and I know most of you read about baseball a lot more than I do so I’ll for sure take your word for it; but I enjoyed this piece http://sports.yahoo.com/news/scrubbing-of-character-clause-among-first-reforms-hall-of-fame-needs-to-remain-relevant-as-ped-era-inductees-come-knocking-202718797.html

  20. Bozo said, on March 29, 2013 at 6:05 am

    I’ve felt for some time that Pablo is keeping 3B warm for Posey. My feeling is, if he is unable to follow whatever guidelines the Giants give him, he’ll be traded next year and Buster will move to third. If Pablo is able to turn the conditioning thing around and/or has a monster year, they will keep him and Posey will be playing Second or LF. I don’t think the Giants want Posey to be the Catcher come 2015 and the only viable positions are Third, Second and LF. That’s my opinion, anyway.

    OK, this doesn’t have anything to do with Pablo. An article in the WSJ about the Yankees had this line, and I fucking loved it. “If the Yankees’ goal was to reassemble a 2006 All-Star team, then congratulations—they have succeeded.”


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