THE San Francisco Giants Blog

Happy Panda

Posted in Uncategorized by Flavor on March 12, 2018

From Baggs:

“Sandoval might have been in good and grateful spirits last season after he rejoined the Giants, but he has truly settled back into a comfortable skin this spring. He’s the happiest that I’ve ever seen him. And while his presence with the club might continue to be polarizing for many Giants fans, including those who hate the way he blithely shuffled off to Boston after the 2014 season, the bet here is that the Panda is poised to win some people over.”

Is that why some Flappers are down on him? Because of how he left? Or is it because he’s not the same guy anymore? Because if he stays in shape and happy I am down with that kind of Panda sitting on the bench, plugging into first and 3rd base as needed, and providing some left handed pinch hitting smack.

Anyone else? Who would you want to do this job if they cut Panda loose?

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59 Responses

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  1. sandog said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:23 am

    I’ve been one of the anti-Panda guys, but it has nothing to do with his free agency exit. I just think his skills have really fallen off and I loved the thought of his last at bat in the big leagues being a walk off homer at ATT onto the arcade.
    If it is going this well, I don’t have a problem with him getting a bench role to fill in at 1st and 3rd.

  2. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:25 am

    For me, he’s not the Panda anymore. That character doesn’t exist anymore, and perhaps never did.
    If he can contribute this season from the bench, that’s fine. The Giants don’t have to pay much for him.

    • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:30 am

      On John Lennon’s first solo album, he sang: “I’m just John.”
      To me, Pablo is now just Pablo. And that’s OK. I hope the Panda hats don’t make a comeback. The Panda hats belong to a different era.

  3. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:36 am

    I said it before, as long as he’s in reasonable shape, bring on the Panda. Of all the issues with this team he’d be the least of them having him on the bench. At the money he wanted I was glad he left.

  4. blade3colorado said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:42 am

    Apparently, he is doing well in Spring Training. So, no problem with him being on the roster if he continues to rake and field his position competently. Giants gave him a competitive offer (The Giants offered Sandoval a five-year, $95 million deal per the Mercury News) versus the Boston offer, which he eventually accepted.

    At the time, I actually was hoping for him to leave, thinking that the Giants offered too much money. Consequently, I was grateful for him taking the Boston offer. His comments were hilarious about not liking anyone on the Giants (except Hunter Pence) and the Front Office disrespecting his agent, blah, blah, blah . . . Same thing with his lackluster training habits and weight gain. If that “Sandoval” comes back, can his ass.

    However, I don’t think that will happen again. He was a kid and I remember what I did at that age (much worse). Again, the Giants will get rid of him if he doesn’t perform . . . It will have nothing to do with his training habits or attitude. He learned his lesson in that regard.

  5. willedav said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:49 am

    Nah, waste of space. Money has nothing to do with it; get a better player. I’d keep A Blanco to back up Longo and Panik. Shaw should be back up 1b and LH PH when he isn’t starting. Posey can probably play better 1b than Sandoval. No idea what they see in Sandoval other than the bochy love. He was awful last year.

  6. willedav said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:23 am

    State of Texas got 7 teams in. UT Tech A&M TCU Houston Tex So and Steven F Austin, wow.
    Don’t think any other state got more than 3-4.
    California got 3, SD St. UCLA (both 11 seeds) and Fullerton 15 seed. Rhode Island got 2 and could outlast entire state of Cal by Friday. Yeow!

  7. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:42 am

    On the KNBR morning show the big theme was how 49er fans should automatically be big Richard Sherman fans now because he’s a Niner.
    No thanks. I hope he plays well for the Niners, but I’m not thrilled with this acquisition.

    • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:45 am

      One of their “logical” points was that if you love Draymond Green, then you have to love Sherman.
      There’s a lot to like about Green, but I bet most Warrior fans get weary of some of Green’s antics. And his behavior ended up costing the Warriors a lot in the second Finals vs. the Cavs.

  8. alleykat69 said, on March 12, 2018 at 9:23 am

    Their keeping Panda around just for the presence on the bench, keeping it loose, whatever, Cueto wanted more Latin flair,since the team had no fire going last year,98 losses will do that to any teams morale though.
    500K big deal no risk, compared to Pence 18 mil with no value now..

    • blade3colorado said, on March 12, 2018 at 9:37 am

      AK I agree with the “$500k” premise to a point. However, if he is flailing away without results, he needs to be canned. A roster spot is valuable and our bench was the worst or near worst in all of MLB last year.

  9. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Draymond may be a hot-head, but the suspension in the finals was strictly on the league, noot Draymond. Sure, he shouldn’t have been in that situation that he was, but LeBron whined to the league after the fact and created the impetus to suspend him. If King Whiner had shut up about it, Green wouldn’t have been suspended.

    The league didn’t want the series to be a sweep and saw an opportunity to:

    a) Punish Green
    b) Extend the series

    Beyond that, Green is one of the best, if not the best, in the game at defense. His intensity is legendary, and the team feeds off that. You take the good with the bad.

    Sherman is much the same deal. He’s outspoken AF and tries to get into people’s heads. Sure, I didn’t like his antics when he was a Seahawk, but I sure respected his game. He’s one of the best CBs in the game given all the rule changes as how you can cover a WR (mostly!) without touching them. He’s a lot like TO in that there are few players with his size and speed and instincts at his position.

  10. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 10:21 am

    As far as Panda on the bench goes, you’d prefer Gorkys? Parker? Miguel (who?) Gomez? Who would you rather have there?

    I mean, if Panda takes the spot rather than Specs, I’d take Specs every day and twice on Sunday. But it isn’t coming down to those two. It’ll be one of the guys mentioned above. Austin Slater would be better off hitting all the time in AAA as would Duggar if he doesn’t make the squad. Ryder Jones? Same deal.

  11. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 10:22 am

    Blade, as of now Panda is hitting. He either works out or he doesn’t. He will be easily shitcanned should the need arise. Pence not so much. I’m much more concerned about Pence than the bench.

  12. Macdog said, on March 12, 2018 at 11:07 am

    If there are no better options for the bench — and other than Specs, I’m not seeing any — then, sure, give Sandoval a shot. This already is a veterans-or-bust roster, so one more thirtysomething isn’t going to make or break the season.

    • unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Bingo. It’s not like Mickey Mantle is being forced to the minors because of Panda. The fact that Marrero, Gorkys, and the list of holograms we trotted into the outfield last year are now washing cars leads me to believe our bench isn’t exactly aces.

  13. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 11:58 am

    There’s a decent chance that Pablo starts the season on the roster, and then is released mid-season, or hits the ol’ phantom-injury DL list. Pence has a strong chance to make the phantom-injury list, too.

    • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 11:58 am

      Or, in Pence’s case, actual injury list.

  14. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 12:08 pm

    Ye olde foot injury.

  15. alleykat69 said, on March 12, 2018 at 12:43 pm

    12 pitchers,8 starters
    The bench is Tubbs,Specs,Hundley,Jackson&Williamson
    Adds up to 25 Thanks for playing..

  16. blade3colorado said, on March 12, 2018 at 12:49 pm

    Here’s a guy that didn’t sit on his ass all winter . . . Mac Williamson. I hope the rest of the roster got the memo too. The following excerpt I cut from an article I just read:

    “Williamson learned these stratagems from Doug Latta, an accomplished hitting coach based near Los Angeles. Latta is credited with transforming third baseman Justin Turner, once a backup with the Mets and now an All-Star with the Dodgers. Catcher Tim Federowicz, who spent last year in the Giants’ organization, recommended Latta to Williamson. After batting .226 in 92 games spanning parts of three seasons with the Giants, Williamson knew changes were necessary.

    “I’m not getting any younger,” Williamson reasoned. “I’m 27, and what I have done in the past hasn’t worked. I’ve gotten some really good opportunities to show what I can do at the big league level, and I haven’t fully taken advantage of them. … I didn’t want another year or two or three of the same bouncing around. Who knows what the future holds this year, but I want to be able to put myself in a better position to be successful whenever I get another opportunity.”

    • sandog said, on March 12, 2018 at 1:06 pm

      Good stuff. If nothing else, we’ll always cherish that tape measure grand slam a few of us got to see Mac hit in person at Yankee Stadium off Aroldis Chapman that led the Giants to a rousing victory in the summer of ’16.

      • blade3colorado said, on March 12, 2018 at 1:16 pm

        Saturday, he hit a bomb over the center-field wall at Tempe Diablo Stadium, which was quite impressive because it overcame light rain and wind that was blowing in.

        Hunter Pence said. “That was not an Arizona home run.”

      • sandog said, on March 12, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        ….or was it a double off Andrew Miller that bounced off the warning track during a loss in unbearable heat and humidity?

      • blade3colorado said, on March 12, 2018 at 2:27 pm

        This must have been the victory that you and your son viewed on Sunday . . . I didn’t see any Giants victories against the Sox and Yanks.

      • sandog said, on March 12, 2018 at 3:20 pm

        Just a lame attempt at humor. They also lost the day game Trev and I went to. One of the games I attended Mac hit a double off Miller. Bochy said something about it being a great at-bat and it was practically the only thing that went right for the Giants during that series.

      • djloo27 said, on March 12, 2018 at 6:15 pm

        I think the double was at the Friday night Flapalooza, Dog…

    • Macdog said, on March 12, 2018 at 6:41 pm

      Yes, the Mac double was at the Friday Flap game. I think Mac hit a HR in the Saturday game that the Giants won.

  17. alleykat69 said, on March 12, 2018 at 1:55 pm

    Hey I’ll put my Flap vote in for Doug Latta as are hitting coach..

    • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 3:11 pm

      Launch angle! 🙂

  18. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 3:13 pm

    Speaking of launch angle….Duggar hit another HR today.

  19. dirtnrocksnomo said, on March 12, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    I give Williamson a lot of credit for taking the initiative to improve. Ripken seemed to have a different stance every year, especially as he got older. More players should be open to it.

    Chippy game in AZ today with a hit batsmen and high inside cheese from Dyson. The A’s are playing like the rights to San Jose are at stake.

  20. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 3:24 pm

    The NBC BA channel re-ran a Giants 2012 highlight film. One of the highlights was Justin Christian making a great catch to save a win against the Dodgers during the regular season. I had totally forgotten about him. One of those players that just kind of comes through a season for a short time, and gets forgotten. In Baseball Reference it shows that he only played parts of two seasons for the Giants, and only played parts of three MLB seasons total. But he got a World Series ring!

    • djloo27 said, on March 12, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      Well, Parker got one for 2014 and was on the roster for 3 hours IIRC…

  21. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 6:59 pm

    “With 11 games left before the team packs its bags and leaves Arizona, the San Francisco Giants made their first wave of cuts from spring training on Monday afternoon.
    Most notably, Steven Okert was one of eight 40-man players optioned to Triple-A Sacramento, along with Tyler Herb, Pierce Johnson, Chase Johnson, Reyes Moronta, D.J. Snelton, Aramis Garcia, and Miguel Gomez.
    Inert had put together a strong spring, posting a 1.93 ERA in 4.2 innings pitched with five strikeouts. But that performance wasn’t enough as he fell behind Tony Watson and Josh Osich (who hasn’t allowed a run in 4.2 innings pitched with six strikeouts and only one walk) in the bullpen pecking order.
    Yet, with few left-handed options in their bullpen, it’s not out of the question that the Giants will recall Okert to the major leagues this season.
    Five non-roster players will also depart from camp. The Giants assigned Tyler Cyr, Jose Flores, Dereck Rodriguez, Madison Younginger, and Alen Hansen to minor-league camp.”

    • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:01 pm

      My phone autocorrected Okert to “inert.” That’s just wrong.

      • unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:10 pm

        It’s actually more right than wrong . . .

  22. snarkk said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:49 pm

    Not surprised re: Inert.
    When I saw him Thursday, just wasn’t impressive stuff at all, as I said he was on the bubble. It burst.
    How many shots do he and Osich get before it’s time to move on from these guys other than for AAA roster fodder?…

  23. snarkk said, on March 12, 2018 at 7:51 pm

    Interesting that Duggar has another HR today.
    He’s already pretty much done enough to make the 25. Given the OF situation, I don’t know what else he needs to do. He should be ready to play CF and LF whenever needed. Bochy can’t bury him on the end of the SF bench, then expect him to be aces at the plate. Play the kid. Looks to me now that in the OF its Cutch, Jackson, Pence, Blanco (ouch), Duggar, maybe Mac as 6th OF and PH. But, I doubt Mac is on 25, he needs to hit everyday at AAA for at least 6-8 weeks with that new swing. It’ll be very interesting to see how Pence does outta the chute. No question to me he’s going to be truly injured or faux injured onto the DL at some point(s) this year…

  24. mrsprtdude said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Saw the saturday game in Scottsdale. Fun high scoring game. It was raining and I was drinking beer. We scored a lot. Hope that trend continues. One good note…Duggar played a ball off the wall and hit cut off perfectly and we nailed the guy at 3rd. Right after telling the guy behind me he should play for SF out of the gate for his defense to support Pence and mcCutchen. It was cool…

    • snarkk said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:56 pm

      Sounded like a fun ST game, lots of offense and HRs flying. Bochy and Sabes love them some Blanco. Nobody else wanted anything to do with the guy, so now he’s a lock for the Giants 25. That’s the Giants Way. I reserve dibs for an “I told you so” when Blanco goes 5 for 50 starting in June…

  25. mrsprtdude said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:07 pm

    And i would keep Duggar and Williamson and send Blanco packing. His catch in the Cain game will live forever in my memory. The rest..not so much…

  26. djloo27 said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:16 pm

    Were they still calling Mays the “Say Hey Kid” when he was 40?

    • xoot said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:24 pm

      I know a fairly old woman who bumped into Willie Mays a couple years back in a doctor’s office lobby. She instinctively blurted “the Say Hey Kid!” He pulled a new baseball out of his briefcase, signed his real name on it, and said, “Sell this on ebay, if you want.” Or so she claimed at the Berkeley youth orchestra fundraising auction, where the autographed ball did in fact raise some money.

    • snarkk said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:26 pm

      WTF was “Say Hey” anyway? Was that the Wassup? equivalent in those days?…

  27. djloo27 said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:21 pm

    Over/Under on combined wins for Bum & Cueto? 32.5?

    • xoot said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:25 pm

      combined WHIP o/u–2.5?

    • snarkk said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm

      Under 32.5…

  28. zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:42 pm

    Supposedly the young Willie would start off conversations with “Say hey….”
    But several baseball books claim Willie never said it all that often, and it became his nickname because sportswriters had a thing in those days about giving players nicknames.
    Marichal has said he doesn’t like “Dominican Dandy” and who can blame him?
    Chamberlain hated “Wilt the Stilt” but he did like The Big Dipper.

    • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:47 pm

      Magic Johnson got his nickname from a local sportswriter when he was in high school.

      • zumiee said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:50 pm

        Of course, everyone probably knows Walt Frazier became Clyde because of stylish hats he wore reminded people of the hats Warren Beatty wore in the Bonnie and Clyde movie.

    • snarkk said, on March 12, 2018 at 8:48 pm

      What would Pence’s nickname be now?
      The Preacher?
      The Kaffeine Kid?
      Topper to Short?
      Down, Away & Out?
      The Hammy Swami
      Mr Vid
      The Human DL…

  29. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 9:01 pm

    Dribbler

  30. unca_chuck said, on March 12, 2018 at 9:04 pm

    The story I am prolly misremembering is that when Willie would forget someone’s name he was going to talk to, he would say “say hey! instead of “Hi Bill!””

  31. zumiee said, on March 13, 2018 at 2:29 am

    The Giants’ championship ring for 1933.

    • zumiee said, on March 13, 2018 at 2:34 am

      “The proudest moment in Lefty O’Doul’s career was his bases-loaded pinch-hit single that broke open Game Two of the 1933 World Series. Fred Lieb called it the turning point that led the Giants to victory over Washington.
      In 1944, Lefty lost the ring in New York while attending the winter baseball meetings. After nearly giving up hope of finding it, a soldier named Martin Pepper (not Pepper Martin), found it in the street and turned it in to the hotel,… where it was reunited with O’Doul.
      In December 2015, that ring sold at auction for in excess of $22,000.”

  32. zumiee said, on March 13, 2018 at 2:40 am

    I’ve been reading this interesting and entertaining book:

  33. unca_chuck said, on March 13, 2018 at 8:23 am

    I talked to Lefty’s nephew the night Lefty O’Doul’s closed. He should be in the Hall of Fame. Just for his service to the game as a pitcher, outfielder, manager, and ambassador. I need to get that book.

    Version 2


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