“The Life of Pablo”

“The Life of Pablo” is more than just Kanye’s new album title, it’s become an existential question for Red Sox Nation. “What goes on in Pablo Sandoval’s life that makes him think its ok to treat ‘us’ this way?” It’s all over sports talk radio, all over the blogs, and papers that Pablo has wronged Red Sox Nation. Kayne probably didn’t think that when you typed ‘Pablo’ into Google News this week you’d get results about the Red Sox corpulent 3rd baseman ahead of his album, but alas Kanye finds himself in the shadow of Pablo’s potbelly.

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Hey I didn’t like the Pablo Sandoval signing at the time because I knew what he was and that he wasn’t worth the dollars (and wasn’t capable of the expectations that came with those dollars). Let’s look at his MLB Numbers.

Year  Age G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS TB
2009 22 153 633 572 79 189 44 5 25 90 52 83 .330 .387 .556 .943 318
2010 23 152 616 563 61 151 34 3 13 63 47 81 .268 .323 .409 .732 230
2011 24 117 466 426 55 134 26 3 23 70 32 63 .315 .357 .552 .909 235
2012 25 108 442 396 59 112 25 2 12 63 38 59 .283 .342 .447 .789 177
2013 26 141 584 525 52 146 27 2 14 79 47 79 .278 .341 .417 .758 219
2014 27 157 638 588 68 164 26 3 16 73 39 85 .279 .324 .415 .739 244
2015 28 126 505 470 43 115 25 1 10 47 25 73 .245 .292 .366 .658 172

His 2009 looks great, did you expect that? You’re stupid if you did and I didn’t. His 2011 looks pretty nice too, even if he didn’t play almost 40 games, was that what you were expecting? Stop being dumb, look at all those other seasons! I think the truth about Pablo was told in his 2010 season. A guy who is a nice player, but certainly not a superstar and certainly not someone who should be the 3rd highest paid 3rd baseman in the game. So I wasn’t disappointed by much in Pablo in 2015, because I knew what to expect.

All this complaining about him being “in shape” or “out of shape” is moot. Public opinion or media opinions aren’t going to sway what Pablo does or doesn’t do in the off season. Why? Because he has a guaranteed contract and doesn’t listen or care about what anyone in Boston thinks or says.

The Red Sox claim they didn’t tell him to lose weight, well, it wouldn’t have mattered if they did really. Unless of course they had put a contract stipulation in about weight. To the best of everyone’s knowledge they didn’t, so he can do whatever he wants.

I’m not saying that that’s “right”, but that’s reality. Personal integrity is something that is going by the wayside more and more these days. We have insulated ourselves with so many protections and preservatives we believe we are entitled to everything without having to prove our worth or earn those entitlements. Well, this is magnified exponentially by MLB’s guaranteed contract.

The media can scream at the top of their lungs about it, the Red Sox can scream at Pablo about it, but in the end what good is it going to do? If how he approaches the game is simply as a job to get paid at and he has no qualms with his performance, then he isn’t going to change anything and the Red Sox and their fans just have to deal with it until they trade him or his contract is up.

I think the fix is pretty simple in reality and it has nothing to do with his waistline. He needs to go back to seeing more pitches, getting better pitches to hit and walking more. Most players get better at walking more as they advance in the big leagues, Pablo has gotten worse. That could be because of the same indifferences that he seemingly holds about baseball in general, but if he got back to walking 7-8% of the time instead of 5% as he did last year, his stat line is going to pleasantly surprise Red Sox Nation.

He is never going to be an offensive monster and he is never going to put up numbers that make the contract look good, but he can contribute in a positive way to a championship team. We know that from the 3 championship notches on his belt. The belt is just a little bigger now and that’s good, more room for championship notches.

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