Noting Giants 1B/3B Pablo Sandoval’s fall from grace, Cal Inman solemnly announced the former fan favorite was “getting lampooned for his askew baserunning, beer-league-softball belly and, above all else, slumping bat” last June in the San Jose Mercury News. Months later, as San Francisco travels to Atlanta for Game 3 of their NLDS series with the Braves, Inman, through the auspices of the Contra Costa Times, provides the lampooning all by himself (link swiped from Repoz and Baseball Think Factory)
It is OK that Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval watches the “Kiss Cam” skit on the stadium’s video board in between warm-up throws in the top of the fifth inning.
It is OK that he hams it up with the Giants’ mascot when the national anthem concludes.
It is even OK that he mingles with opposing players while waiting to take pregame hacks at the batting cage.
That is Pablo Sandoval. He is a fun guy. He won over Giants fans with that love-of-the-game spirit the past couple years.
But he also is a liability thus far in his first postseason.
Is it OK if he can’t grip a grounder and thus throws wide to first base, extending a pivotal eighth-inning rally?
Is it OK if he carries a .167 batting average and hasn’t met a pitch he doesn’t like?
Did you know that Sandoval’s .167 average is still better than four of the six guys ahead of him in the batting order? True story, and an appalling one.
The Giants probably will not abandon him, not when others also failed to ride A-games into the ATL.
If the Giants haven’t taught Sandoval how to reinvent that wheel of a swing of his during a rough regular season, they won’t try in the 11th hour.