One day your belt bursts, the next everybody's coming at you.
When Pablo Sandoval's belly broke the strap keeping up his pants in Toronto this past weekend, I smirked. But I was also like "Man, he's going to get absolutely killed for this." And that turned out to be a correct prediction which I might toot my own horn for, except it was the most obvious fuckin' prediction in the world.
This week it was almost as predictable that his waistline would be scrutinized further, and that also turned out to be true. First we learned that his former team, the San Francisco Giants, reportedly made arrangements with the front desks of the hotels they were staying at to prevent him from getting food service when they were on the road. Comcast Sport's Net's Sean McAdam relayed that tale, saying:
"This is how concerned the Giants were when he played for them ... they would make special arrangements at the hotel the Giants were staying in to not allow him to order room service. They would tell the front desk management, “If he calls down for room service at night after games, do not send anything to this room.” They went to great measures to try to cut down on those eating binges, and it would only work for a time because he would find someplace to get food."
Additionally a report by the Boston Herald outlined how Sandoval's former personal trainer said the third baseman basically needs a babysitter to prevent his constant food indulgences. That trainer (Ethan Banning) likened the two-time All-Star to an "alcoholic":
"He needs to be smart enough to say there's a problem. It's like the alcoholic that won't admit he's an alcoholic: well, you can't address that you're an alcoholic if you don't ever admit there's a problem.
"He’s proven to me and shown consistently that he’s got to have somebody like me holding his hand doing that. And it’s not an exercise thing, it’s an eating thing. Obviously exercise is an important factor in it, a very important factor, but eating is going to be the component that needs to be managed and monitored."
He also said that Sandoval gained 21 lbs. in 21 days over Christmas in 2011, and it got to the point where he had to hide him from the Giants because the two sides were in the midst of contract negotiations.
For the record I at least understand where Sandoval is coming from. He's (now) won the World Series three times. He's got a nearly bottomless bank account to match his appetite, and there's a whole lot of good food out there. What's left to prove? But 21 lbs. in 21 days is a lot. That's a bear prepping for hibernation. It's hard to defend. Though it wouldn't exactly be shocking if we were to learn he has an eating disorder.
Whatever the case, his problems are the Red Sox's problems now, and they certainly deserve their share of the blame for signing him since this isn't a new thing. Last year Sandoval and Boston agreed upon a five-year/$95 million dollar. That means Beantown will be stuck with him (or just his salary) through 2019.
This season he's already lost his starting job to a guy making the league minimum, and was also quickly put on the DL with a shoulder injury.
Send all complaints, compliments, and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org