Maybe Pablo Sandoval isn’t as fat as everyone thinks (photos)
Pablo Sandoval created a seismic stir on the Internet earlier this week when an unflattering photograph surfaced (above) which gave the impression that the new Boston Red Sox third baseman may be a bit more portly than usual heading into spring training.
Of course, Sandoval has never been viewed as svelte by any stretch of the imagination, but even the normally stout slugger appeared to be carrying an extra pound or two or three above the 245-pound listed weight he carried last season.
Sandoval fired back at critics Thursday, arguing that the photo in question, showing him taking part in infield drills, was from a “bad angle,” making him seem a bit more corpulent than he actually is at the moment.
“Let them talk, talk and criticize,” Sandoval told Marly Rivera of ESPNDeportes.com, via ESPN.com. “No matter what they say, it will never change me or the player that I am.”
In other words, haters gonna hate.
“We live surrounded by critics, so let them talk, let them criticize me as much as they want. Ultimately that makes me a better player,” Sandoval said. “What really matters is who you are when you step on the field, and I will let my bat and my glove speak for themselves. That’s the only way you can shut them up.
“Critics have said that I am lazy, that I am not working hard; that picture caught me at a bad angle. But once again, let them say whatever they want to say. I will prove who I am on the field and show Boston fans how hard I am working to be a champion with this team, too.”
When looking at other photos of Sandoval from this week indicate that his protestations have a basis in reality and those critics — this writer included, who dubbed him “Moo Goo Gai Panda” — should go pound rocks.
Pablo Sandoval Feasts On Opposing Pitching. Story: http://t.co/44pbkkIfu2 via @MLBHotCorner pic.twitter.com/v8g29mh35h
— Frank Pimentel (@FrankBostonTank) February 20, 2015
Red Sox 3B Pablo Sandoval: "Let them talk, talk and criticize." http://t.co/075A0U4raS pic.twitter.com/BsllLS9GPQ
— Baseball Tonight (@BBTN) February 20, 2015
.@RobertGreim gives us a glimpse at Pablo Sandoval, newly arrived in #RedSox camp today pic.twitter.com/IdSdyLMEjx
— Sean Leahy (@leahysean) February 17, 2015
These photographs clearly are more representative of the shape Sandoval actually is in as opposed to the “bad angle” one. Although it warrants pointing out that another photo culled from the Twittererse lends to the belief that Kung Fu Panda is not what is referred to as a “workout warrior.”
Hurdle mobility! RT @PeteAbe: Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval in stretching this morning #redsox pic.twitter.com/OAHZrWPyYY
— Sam (@milesoftrials) February 17, 2015
Boy, does that pose scream “not interested” or what?
In the end, Sandoval has always been a bit on the heftier side, but his productivity at the plate, his surprising nimbleness in the field and his experience in the postseason arguably makes the $95 million the Red Sox invested in him well worth it.