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.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.