The Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo published an article today that examined how individual Giants felt about losing Pablo Sandoval. Well into the piece is a quote from a Giant who wished not to be identified that said
“I think maybe his time here had run its course. Sometimes you want to stay just long enough. Maybe things might not have gone as smooth if he had hung around over the next five years. And so maybe a change was good for everyone.”
Cafardo's final thought is that maybe this was a change that was needed but one the Giants might not be able to overcome. It's kind of a "whatever" article in that it's obviously published to make Red Sox fans feel even better about their team by leading them to believe their team pilfered something tremendously valuable to another team. And, of course, if someone else suffers from your gain, then your gain is even greater. That's The American Way, after all.
What I really want to talk about here, though, is the above average insight given by this Anonymous Giant. That's not a damning statement. It's a fair one. It's a good reading of the room and of understanding the personalities involved. There's definitely a fine line in a major league clubhouse between antics and performance, and perhaps there was a prevailing sense that for all his goofy charm and decent performance, at some point he was going to have to simply perform without any excuses. The weight fluctuations might've been viewed as a lack of commitment by his teammates. Who knows?
Well, again, that quote carries some insight. The Giants have a goofy, yet professional clubhouse, and maybe it was Pablo's lack of professionalism that started to get under his teammates' skin.
Or maybe it was none of that and it was simply a player relating his understanding that Pablo was getting antsy to move on and the Giants were aware that the relationship wasn't going to last forever. Maybe Pablo wanted to be The Guy. Maybe he didn't want to be The Guy. In Boston, he could be either, in San Francisco, he'd be in Posey's shadow but would also be expected to be #1A or #2 in terms of leading the offense. Perhaps the Giants are guilty of being a bit inconsistent with their needs and the Red Sox simply stating "you're going to do this for us and we expect only that", which came as a relief to Pablo, who really (probably) had to be everything the Giants asked of him.
The polarized state of discourse demands that there be a clear winner (Red Sox) and loser (Giants) here, but a reasonable person who takes a minute or two to consider the situation in full might actually come to the correct conclusion: this separation is what's best for both parties. Maybe the Giants won't be *as good* without Pablo Sandoval this season, but maybe they won't be worse off over the next five years. And maybe they would've been worse with him as he declined and his act wore on the players and management. Pablo's happier now and the Giants have moved on, still confident that they can compete. That's probably the best case scenario, given the circumstances. And, better still, Red Sox fans will be miserable no matter what because they live in Boston.