This isn’t exactly news, but it’s a slow day and slow days are made for Bill Lee rambling about stuff. Here’s Lee comparing and contrasting Andre Dawson and Jim Rice:
“Hawk’s a leader. He led by example through pain and suffering, going
out there every day and laying it on the line. Character! I’d take him
over Rice any day of the week. Rice had one of the greatest years in
’78, but over the course of a career? Hawk could play the outfield.
Rice was a good outfielder there for a while, but then he got heavy. He
got sedentary. He really didn’t work as hard as Hawk had to work every
day. He was a pain in the [butt].”
And actually, I’m less interested in Lee’s opinion of Rice as I am in using this an excuse to talk about the show I saw on ESPN Classic this morning. It was some sports quiz show from the mid 70s that pitted Fred Lynn, Bill Lee and Red Sox manager Darrell Johnson against Bobby Bonds, Frank Tanana and Angels manager Dick Williams. Great stuff. Lynn carried the Red Sox to victory. The Angels team was mostly Bonds and a bit of Williams, though Dick was way too quick on the buzzer. Tanana and Lee were close to non-entities, though it’s worth noting that Lee did appear to be completely lucid, which is frankly surprising.
OK, we probably need some real news to happen now.
Pablo Sandoval could be tabbed to play second base in the near future, per a report from John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle. According to Shea, Sandoval has been spotted taking grounders at second during pre-game warm-ups and may be considering switching to the keystone on a part-time basis.
It wouldn’t be the weirdest thing the 31-year-old corner infielder has done this year — that distinction goes to the flawless inning of relief he pitched in a blowout loss against the Dodgers last month. But it would represent a pretty notable departure from his comfort zone even so; Sandoval has primarily manned first and third base throughout his 11-year career in the majors and has also taken a few reps at DH during his resurgence with the Giants in 2018.
Of course, this wouldn’t necessarily be a permanent switch for Sandoval. As Shea points out, the Giants are thin on middle infielders after losing Joe Panik to a torn UCL in his left thumb and backup Alen Hanson to a left hamstring strain. Provided he can get up to speed quickly (no easy feat, according to infield coach Ron Wotus), he’d give the club some added depth behind Kelby Tomlinson and Miguel Gomez until Panik is ready to take the field again. Sandoval has impressed at the plate this spring, batting a healthy .270/.329/.429 with six extra-base hits and a .757 through 70 plate appearances.