Yesterday, as the photos of Pablo Sandoval’s exposed gut were making the rounds, Dan Shaugnessy of the Boston Globe was penning a column about the Red Sox’ third baseman. It’s here.
In it Shaughnessy, like a lot of other people in the past 24 hours, decided that mocking Sandoval’s weight was the tack to take. “Mercy. Get a load of that gut,” the most recent Spink Award winner wrote. “[T]he fat hit the fan,” he said in reference to Sandoval only showing up four days early to camp rather than six. Shaughnessy even purported to engage in public service while allegedly looking for Sandoval for comment:
I looked everywhere for him Saturday night. I checked the deli counter at Publix and the popular Two Meatballs in the Kitchen restaurant off Daniels Parkway. I even went to the Regal Cinemas Belltower 20 to see if he might be taking in the late show of “Kung Fu Panda 3” but . . . no luck . . . Photos were snapped as [John Farrell and Sandoval] walked arm-in-arm past the barbecue grill outside the clubhouse . . . Based on what we saw Sunday, Pablo’s weight loss must be like the proverbial two deck chairs tossed off the Titanic.
Sandoval’s conditioning is a legitimate topic of conversation, at least insofar as it affects his play or the Red Sox as an organization take issue with it. But the fat jokes — and acting as if Sandoval being a big guy is somehow new — are a bit much. It’s something that even Dan Shaughnessy himself thought in October 2014:
The Red Sox can’t sign Pablo Sandoval fast enough.
Truly. John, Tom, and Larry need to bring the Kung Fu Panda to Fenway Park. I promise never to rip Sandoval for being out of shape or going on the disabled list.
Oh well. What’s a promise worth when there are pictures to blow out of proportion and fan outrage to stoke?