San Francisco Giants: Time for Pablo Sandoval to Grow Up
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Pablo Sandoval’s return to the lineup should be the headlines that San Francisco Giants fans are expecting. As of Friday, as CSN Bay Area first reported, Sandoval ran into some trouble in Santa Cruz County regarding a possible sexual assault incident.
While the legal process plays out, Sandoval will continue his rehab assignment for the Single-A San Jose Giants and then later in the week move to Triple-A Fresno.
Any time there is a sexual allegation, it should take first priority. No matter what happens with this information, this is a reality check.
Sandoval should be making progress to become the Giants' best offensive player. But like his weight issues the previous seasons and even recently, he has not progressed or even fully grown up.
The "Kung Fu Panda" moniker is his legacy, but that nickname identifies his childlike personality. Now is the time to grow up.
Sandoval’s statistics improved last year after he went on a diligent training program to keep his weight down. He disappointed during the Giants' 2010 World Series run by hitting only .268, well below his career .308 average.
Before the incident and before breaking the hamate bone on his other hand, Sandoval was batting .316 and was leading the team in home runs (five). This was before Melky Cabrera turned white hot and Sandoval was the only power supply for the then-light-hitting Giants.
But just like Barry Bonds before him with the steroid allegations, Sandoval is running into a difficult situation. He had problems during the 2010 season with the bitter divorce from his former wife, Yoletzade, and he brought those problems to the plate.
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So we can hope and pray for the potential situation to go away, but that is the easy way out. Will this affect the Panda going forward?
Just like his preseason training program, Sandoval will need to sharpen his focus and realize he has a very important job. He was just rewarded with a thee-year, $17.15 million deal this January and the Giants brass don’t want to have another potential Angel Villalona-type situation on their hands.
Giants management and Bruce Bochy need to talk with Sandoval and tell him to be a man and focus on his job.
Yes, he can keep the laid-back, fun "Panda" attitude, but not without the responsibility needed to succeed. Only Sandoval can decide if he will be the dominant offensive force the Giants can rely upon for years to come.
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