Upon signing Pablo Sandoval this prior offseason, almost everyone knew that he was on the heavier side. The Red Sox never seemed to be particularly concerned about Sandoval's weight, but most of Red Sox Nation was jolted to attention once pictures of Sandoval surfaced in Spring Training.
To be perfectly honest, I don't even really like to write this article. Talking about people's weight is a touchy subject to almost everyone, but it is very necessary in Sandoval's situation. The Red Sox aren't paying me, so if I want to kick it back with a nice big pint of Ben and Jerry's (Chubby Hubby, preferably), then I will. The Red Sox, however, have invested close to $100 millions into the third basemen and expect him to maintain his body.
However, many players, including David Ortiz, Pablo Sandoval and Prince Fielder, are able to play just as good, if not better, than their leaner selves. We all can remember David Ortiz coming into camp significantly slimmer and starting off very slow. Once he plumped up after a couple nice size helpings of clam chowder, he tore the cover off the ball.
When those photos of Sandoval surfaced in March, Red Sox Skipper John Farrell was quick to rush to the defense of the newly acquired 3-time World Series Champion. Unfortunately for Sandoval, he is struggling this season. Badly.
A couple of days ago (July 29th), Sandoval left the game with dehydration and his manager was not as quick to jump to his defense:
"Whether he was declining in speed because of the onset of the dehydration, I can't answer that in a split-second moment," said Farrell after the loss.
Farrell was also very quick to include that he was not aware that Sandoval was dehydrated or in any discomfort prior to him being thrown out at home.
Moreover, on August 31st while on WEEI to talk about the Trade Deadline, Sandoval's weight was again put into question by the Skipper. Farrell went on to say that Sandoval needs to 'maintain some discipline (with nutrition) to keep him at an optimal weight.'
Now this is the type of manager that the members of Red Sox Nation want to see. Fiery. Enthusiastic. Committed. Farrell, like his mentor and predecessor Terry Francona, is known for always being behind his players. However, with the sense that he is losing not only the clubhouse but also his job security, could we see a different John Farrell for the rest of the season?
Lets hope so.
Hang in there Red Sox fans, only a couple of months left.
By Pete Packowski @Pete_BBS