Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants

Pablo Sandoval on weight critics: “I’ll shut their mouths when spring training begins”


Ten days ago Giants manager Bruce Bochy voiced some mild concern about Pablo Sandoval’s conditioning, offering a little dubiousness that Sandoval’s reported 25-pound weight gain was “all muscle,” and saying “he knows he has some work to do.”

Today Carlos Alberto Zambrano at Lider en Deportes — translated for us by amigo-of-HBT, Nick Collias — reported that Sandoval didn’t take too kindly to Bochy’s mild criticism and waxed defiant about it:

“I’m not interested in what people say about me. I’ll shut their mouths when spring training begins. That’s the date when I need to arrive in shape.”

“They’re going to say I’m fat because of seven pounds? Seven pounds isn’t anything. But people like to talk. I don’t pay attention to those things. I trust in what I can do on the field and always achieve my objectives.”

“I want to know what those people who’ve said bad things about me are going to say when I arrive in perfect physical condition. I don’t have more fat on my body; the truth is that I’ve gained muscle mass.”

They make you take your shirt off at spring training, dude, so I guess we’ll all know next week.  And no matter how much fat is on those bones, something tells me that Bochy isn’t going to take too kindly to being told that Sandoval is going to shut his mouth.

I mean, they won a World Series without Sandoval being particularly effective. Something tells me that Bochy would be willing to try it again if he was sufficiently pissed off about it.

Kenny Lofton, Carlos Baerga to throw out first pitches in Games 1 and 2

CLEVELAND - OCTOBER 05:  Kenny Lofton #7 of the Cleveland Indians runs to first base against the New York Yankees during Game Two of the American League Divisional Series at Jacobs Field on October 5, 2007 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
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Major League Baseball just announced the details for the ceremonial and off-field stuff in connection with Games 1 and 2 of the World Series. The one most people were wondering about was the ceremonial first pitch. Sorry, Charlie Sheen fans. Sorry fans of “Major League” in general. Two real baseball stars are handing first pitch duties: Kenny Lofton before Game 1, Carlos Baerga for Game 2.

Lofton needs no introduction. He should be a Hall of Famer but is criminally overlooked, perhaps because he bounced around to a lot of different clubs. He made his name in Cleveland, however, doing three separate tours with the Indians, leading the AL in stolen bases for five straight years early in his career and putting up a line of .300/.375/.426 in ten seasons on the shores of Lake Erie.

Baerga played for the Tribe between 1990 and 1996 and was, for a time, quite the superstar, even if people don’t talk about him much anymore. His career fell off pretty quickly in that way that often happens for second basemen and/or stars who end up on the Mets, but there was a time when he was perhaps the biggest star on some excellent Indians teams. People had “will Carlos Baerga be a Hall of Famer?” conversations and stuff. The mid-90s were a special time.

Beyond the first pitches, the National Anthem will be sung by Rachel Platten before Game 1 and by the group Locash before Game 2. As I am an old man out of touch with most things, I have no idea who they are, but I am sure their fans are passionate and their renditions of the Anthem will be fine and non-controversial. Fox, MLB and the folks at major record labels are pretty good about that sort of thing and everyone will be especially vigilant in light of what happened with that Canadian tenors group at the All-Star Game. If nothing else, I bet you pick up the check for the Anthem performance after the song, and not before these days.

I guess the White Sox don’t count

CHICAGO - APRIL 04: General Manager Ken Williams of the Chicago White Sox shows off his World Series Championship ring during ceremonies prior to the start of a game against the Cleveland Indians on April 4, 2006 at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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I realize everyone is super excited about the Cubs being in the World Series for the first time since 1945, with the chance to win it for the first time since 1908. But you’d think folks would remember that it’s just the Cubs — and not Chicago as a whole — who have been away from the Fall Classic for so long.

I know their recent struggles makes it seem like a long, long time ago, but the White Sox won the World Series in 2005. They were in the World Series in 1959 too. You wouldn’t know that, though, if you looked at some prominent media outlets:





I understand the impulse to tell the “a whole city is coming together!” story every time stuff like this happens, but there are a lot of White Sox fans in Chicago. A good number of them don’t give a crap about the Cubs. Many even resent them for being the glory franchise in the city in the eyes of many. They certainly don’t feel like there’s a championship drought afoot, and I imagine they’re somewhat cranky about having their team’s glory plastered over like this.