Vince Wilfork… I mean Pablo Sandoval… reported for duty at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers Sunday morning. Forget all the reports of Sandoval losing 20 lbs. as Red Sox manager John Farrell would have us believe. The Paunchy Panda looked as fat as he did last season when he was the poster boy for yet another Red Sox last place finish.
And here is where it gets interesting. Sandoval was asked if anyone in the Red Sox organization told him to lose weight this offseason.
Sandoval said no.
Is he kidding us? Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski and Farrell are both on record saying they told the portly Panda that he needed to lose weight. Someone is lying and my guess it’s Pablo.
How tone-deaf is this guy? Sandoval told the media he does not know how much he weighs and when asked if he had anything to prove this year, he answered back, “No, I don’t got nothing to prove.” Later in his media session, he backtracked and admitted that he did have something to prove.
The Red Sox list Sandoval as 5-feet-11-inches and weighing 255 lbs. It’s the job of any professional athlete to stay in the best shape possible to help his team win. Sandoval had five months since the baseball season ended to work out and put himself in the best position to succeed. Instead, Pablo comes into camp looking like the only thing he worked out was his fork and knife.
That’s what happens when you give someone a 5-year, $95 million deal. The Red Sox still owe Sandoval $70 million for the next four years. In 2020, they can buy out the final year of his deal for $5 million. So why should he work his ass off to be in the best possible condition when he knows he can hit the buffet table and still collect $75 million? If this were the NFL — and he came to camp looking like a human bowling ball — they would cut his fat ass on Day 1.
— Steve Silva (@stevesilva) February 22, 2016
The Sandoval Situation will also be the first test for Farrell this spring. The first few days of happy talk are over. Today in his press conference, the Red Sox manager will be asked repeatedly about Sandoval. Farrell loathes to criticize a player in public. And what has that gotten him? Two last place finishes in a row.
Farrell will be on the hot seat right out of the gate this year. The team better get off to a fast start or the popular manager could be gone by July. This is one of those moments where he has to show his players and the public that the status quo is not good enough. Farrell needs to say, “We asked Sandoval to lose weight and he did not.”
— Dan Roche (@RochieWBZ) February 21, 2016
And Farrell did not hold Sandoval accountable in his Sunday presser.
“I can’t tell you if he got on the scale or not,” Farrell said according to MassLive.com. “I can tell you that visiting him in January, he looked like he was in better condition. I will say when we met with every player at the end of last season, each player was given a specific plan, a workout routine to go into the offseason. There was the need for Pablo to come back into camp in better overall condition.
“I will say, typically when you come back in better shape, you’re probably going to lose weight. But to give a specific number of how many pounds were to be lost, we didn’t give that to him. We gave it to Hanley [Ramirez]. But we also gave a very clear message to Pablo that coming back in better shape was a marker and a goal for us.”
It’s time to hold the players accountable for the mess they’ve created at Fenway and Farrell should have started with Sandoval.