Pablo Sandoval has been taking infield practice at second base and he, along with Gregor Blanco, helped Brandon Crawford fix his swing because he remembered how Brandon Crawford’s swing used to be from the last time he was with the Giants. Earlier in the season, he rather famously pitched a scoreless inning against the Dodgers in a blowout (there’s even a t-shirt to commemorate it).
Despite the fact that he knocked the Giants out of the #1 pick in this year’s draft, he’s minded his p’s and q’s and played the “good Giant” role very well since his return. Has everything that’s happened turned you around on Pablo Sandoval? Were you ever really “out” on him?
There’s a headache threshold I think all teams are willing to manage and as a fan I have my own, too. I think the Giants letting Pablo walk after the 2014 season was one of the few times where the team’s threshold aligned with mine. He had become more of a distraction than a contributor, and as much as I’d like to think he’s contributing more this season, I think the easier answer is that he’s far less of a distraction this go-around.
His quick ascent into a star and key contributor coinciding with the team’s first titles in San Francisco has surely cemented his status in Giants lore, but this odd second chapter of his is... here. It exists. It’s odd and not easily forgotten. Something happens every week that reminds me, “Oh yeah, Pablo’s on the team. Wait — Pablo Sandoval is on the team. What’s happening?”
Bringing him back into the fold at the end of a dead season then felt like a desperation heave by a front office spinning its wheels, and the decision to give him another shot and bring him back this season also feels like it’s in that same arena, even if the Giants adamantly point to the numbers to justify their decision-making in this instance.
But his impact on the team is undeniable. He brings a different energy. For now, it seems like the kind of energy this team needs. Like most of the Giants’ decisions this season, it’s still probably best not to think about it too hard and just hope for the best.