Let’s pump the brakes on the Pablo Sandoval waistline watch, OK?


Yesterday was the first day Pablo Sandoval worked out down at the Red Sox’ spring training complex. And a photo was taken of him that was less-than-flattering:

And so it begins.

What “it” is, of course, is premature worrying about a problem that may not be a problem. Because, yes, that may be a bad photo of Pablo Sandoval and, yes, in the past Sandoval has come under fire for being out of shape on occasion. But it’s also the case that (a) an “in shape” Pablo Sandoval is not the same thing as a thin Pablo Sandoval; and (b) one photo of a player on the first day of spring training does not establish, ipso facto, that he is out of shape. Or are we all forgetting “Fat Derek Jeter” and “Fat Chipper Jones?”

Obviously Sandoval is not Jeter or Jones, two athletes who were always in great shape. Indeed, it’s totally possible Sandoval is not in the shape the Red Sox want him to be in. And if he is not in shape, that is newsworthy.

But how about we wait for John Farrell or someone to say so based on their assessment of Mr. Sandoval rather than rely on the often unreliable method of looking at quick snapshots of a guy in a big t-shirt and calling him a fatty?

Mike Trout voted 2019 American League Most Valuable Player

Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

The Baseball Writers Association of America voted Angels outfielder Mike Trout the Most Valuable Player in the American League for the 2019 season. He received 17 of 30 first-place votes, earning the third AL MVP Award of his career.

Trout, 28, missed the final three weeks of the season due to a foot injury, but his numbers were still strong enough to overcome the competition. He led the majors with a .438 on-base percentage and a 185 adjusted OPS, and led the AL with a .645 slugging percentage and 1.083 OPS. He also slugged 45 home runs, knocked in 104 runs, scored 110 runs, and stole 11 bases in 600 plate appearances. FanGraphs also gave him an edge over the competition in WAR at 8.6.

Trout, who also won the award in 2014 and ’16, is the third Angel to snag the hardware, joining Don Baylor (1979) and Vladimir Guerrero Sr. (2004). He is the 11th player to win three MVP awards, joining Jimmie Foxx, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, Mickey Mantle, Álex Rodríguez, Stan Musial, Roy Campanella, Mike Schmidt, Albert Pujols, and Barry Bonds. Bonds is the only player to have won the award more than three times, winning a whopping seven MVP awards.

Alex Bregman finished in a close second place followed by Marcus  Semien, DJ LeMahieu, and Xander Bogaerts. Also receiving votes were Matt Chapman, George Springer, Mookie Betts, Nelson Cruz, Gerrit Cole, Justin Verlander, Rafael Devers, Jorge Polanco, Austin Meadows, Francisco Lindor, Carlos Santana, Gleyber Torres, Eddie Rosario, José Abreu, Max Kepler, J.D. Martinez, Yoán Moncada, Charlie Morton, Matt Olson, and Jorge Soler.