You know the old joke: quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a hundred times!
The same goes for losing weight with some people. Personally, I’ve lost 100 pounds! The ten pounds I tend to get overweight in the winter on ten different occasions.
Pablo Sandoval has been like that throughout his playing career. No one tends to make Best Shape of His Life claims with him anymore, but I’ve lost count of the number of seasons he’s had weight issues reported followed by offseasons from which he has emerged a thinner, more nimble man. This offseason will apparently be no different:
I dunno. Sandoval is never going to be a perfect specimen or a particularly lithe fellow and there is an annoying phenomenon in which the rancor about his weight is tied directly to how well he or his team is playing at the time. His production and durability certainly have improved when he has paid better attention to conditioning, but there is an element of name-calling and scapegoating to it as well. While not ideal, he has performed OK when not in his best shape and he has had some injuries that were unrelated to general conditioning that have sapped his performance in the past. That tends to get lost in the weight watching of the Kung-Fu Panda.
Expect to see the flashbulbs popping if and when a thinner Sandoval shows up down in Fort Myers next month. But also expect his good performance or poor performance to be more closely tied to his weight in the minds of fans and the press than tends to be the case for a lot of other players. Some of whom suck while in The Best Shape of Their Lives.