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Pablo Sandoval says goodbye

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The Panda era is over in San Francisco.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants Sergio Estrada-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday the San Francisco Giants further closed the books on an era, parting ways with Pablo Sandoval. It wasn’t surprising, but that didn’t make it fun or an easy pill to swallow.

Shortly after being waived, the Panda took to Instagram to say goodbye to the organization and the Giants faithful.

View this post on Instagram

#sfgiants

A post shared by Pablo Sandoval (@kfp48) on

If you can’t see the social media post, here’s what it says:

THANK YOU

San Francisco Giants, my teammates, coaches & the best fans in the world. You’ve been everything I could have dreamed of and more....

It’s been an honor and privilege to play for you. My heart will forever be in San Francisco.

As with Hunter Pence — his good friend who was designated for assignment a few weeks ago — it’s hard to imagine Sandoval remaining out of sight in San Francisco. He’s jovial, social, beloved, and always looking for a good time.

I fully expect Sandoval to be at every reunion, as well as any parades that may be in the Giants future. He’ll surely show up at games and pop into the broadcast booth to chop it up with Kruk and Kuip.

And if he wants it, I would expect that some role within the organization would be available to him.

For now though, he’ll get to return home to Miami, to finally be reunited with his family. His wife and children all contracted the coronavirus earlier in the season, with his wife needing multiple trips to the emergency room due to the virus. I’m sure he’s excited to get to be with them again.

Here’s hoping the Sandoval crew stays safe. I’m already looking forward to the next time we see the Panda at the ballpark, in whatever capacity that may be.