Then the fox looked up in the tree, which was filled with hitters with limited in-game power and weight concerns, and he said, "I'll bet there's a better way for the Giants to spend $100 million."
Before we get to that smooth, smooth stage of acceptance, though, it's time to wail and gnash some teeth. The Giants have likely lost a homegrown fan favorite for the first time since Will Clark went to the Rangers. This isn't supposed to happen. The Giants keep everybody. The Giants keep everybody.
Everyone's upset. I'm upset. I wasn't going to drink this early, but like the saying goes, "It's noon somewhere." Pablo Sandoval probably isn't on the Giants anymore, and that's horrifying and gross.
Pablo Sandoval probably isn't on the Giants anymore.
Because everyone's upset, you're going to read or hear some things about the former fan favorite. Some will be nasty. Some will be irrational. Some might be strangely rational. They'll run the spectrum. Allow me to chime in with some reactions to the reactions:
Pablo Sandoval is a traitor/trader because the Giants were offering him the same money
Baseball players aren't normal. You probably remembered that because of words like "$95 million," but I'm talking in a professional sense. They have 10 or 15 years to play Major League Baseball, and that's if they're lucky. They don't get decades to experience new things, different situations. Sandoval could have tried for a fourth ring in a familiar place, or he could experience something new. I don't see what the problem is with someone taking the latter option. It's a viable human response. Some people want to spend their vacations hiking every trail in Yosemite, over and over again, and some people want to backpack through Nepal because they've never done it.
Or maybe Sandoval just hates you, specifically. He heard those things you were saying back in May.
This is probably because the Giants lowballed him in March
Henry Schulman reports that the Giants' offer was closer to five years, $90 million, but that could be post-deal PR. The reports were three years, $40 million in the spring, which was organizational code for GTFO. That offer was basically what was in the envelope Christian Slater gave to Gary Oldman in True Romance.
On the other hand, if the Giants re-signed Pablo before the season, everything is different. Don't forget Jeff Goldblum creepily dropping water on Laura Dern's hand in Jurassic Park! An under-contract Pablo might not get the hit off Drew Storen. Would you have traded five years of Pablo for a World Series ring? I think we all would have before the season started. It worked out just perfectly, then.
It's like what John Malkovich said to Matt Damon in Rounders, that, uh ... "I flopped the nut straight" and ... well, I can't think of an applicable quote here. Was just trying to keep the string going.
Pablo will hate it in Boston when he starts to fail
Oh, get over yourself.
If Pablo Sandoval started to struggle at the same time he gained weight here, it would have taken exactly one month-long slump for the fans to turn on him. I know the Tim Lincecum Theorem posits that fan favorites stay fan favorites around here, but fans get seriously weird about Sandoval and his weight. I watched people turn on Aubrey Huff and Andres Torres in a month.
If/when Pablo starts to struggle, it's going to be hard for him wherever he is. It's not like Giants fans reek of perspective and rational thought compared to fans everywhere else. Fans are fans, and they're jerks everywhere when it suits them.
There would have been more leeway in San Francisco, sure, but not that much more.
The worst reaction of all. You spoiled twit.
I bring up 2008 a lot around here because it's impossible to describe how awful that team was. They had a Cy Young winner, sure, but the future was so bleak that the Giants were actually considering trading that Cy Young winner for Alex Rios before the season started. The only way the Giants were going to get hitters -- the absolute only way -- was if the Giants traded Lincecum or Matt Cain. People were so, so adamant about that.
Then a prospect jumped up all the way from A-ball and started hitting. He wasn't on Baseball America's list of the 30-best Giants prospects, but he never stopped hitting. He was the first homegrown hitter to make an All-Star team for the Giants since Matt Williams. It was a long, uncomfortable ride between Williams and Sandoval, with stops in Dantepowellsburg and Giuseppechiramonteville. Finally, here was a hitter the Giants could call their own.
Then that hitter helped the Giants win three World Series.
Unless Bruce Willis breaks through the glass and rescues Julia Roberts from the gas chamber like in The Player, here's the last thing he did in a Giants uniform:
That's not a bad way to go out.
Sandoval was the 2012 World Series MVP, and in this postseason, he set an all-time record for hits. He is a Giants legend, even if he gets 2,000 hits with the Red Sox or retires tomorrow. Pretending that he's anything else requires some serious cognitive dissonance. It also takes a short memory. If you can't remember the feeling of 2008, you should probably sit this one out. It was hopeless, and then there was Pablo.
Next up: acceptance. But don't let your grief tweet terrible things on your behalf in the meantime. It is better to have pabloed and lost than never to have pabloed at all.