Pablo Sandoval has nothing bad to say about the Red Sox, or their fans, or the city of Boston. "Everybody was great to me," he says.
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But, in a Players' Tribune article entitled 'Back Where I Belong,' Panda described himself as "lost" during his two-plus seasons with the Red Sox: "And I think that’s another reason I struggled so much the last couple of years: Because every day I spent in Boston, my heart was still back in San Francisco."
Now he's a Giant again. and you can click the link to read all about how happy he is. But here's what he has to say about his time here:
Then I chose to go to the Red Sox, and … what can I say? Leaving San Francisco was so emotional that when I got to Boston, I just tried to forget about everything and play my game.
But it wasn’t that easy.
For the first time since I had come to the United States as a teenager, I had to learn a new culture. I had to start all over.
I tried very much to fit in, and I think that was part of the problem.
It’s the same thing when I step to the plate: When I try too much, I struggle. And when you’re trying so much to fit in, it’s difficult to perform.
At the end of the day, I just never felt comfortable in Boston. It had nothing to do with the organization, or my teammates, or the fans, or the city. Everybody was great to me. I think it was just something that happens sometimes — you don’t feel comfortable somewhere, or you don’t fit in, even if you’re in a place you chose to be.
In Boston, I was lost.
It just never felt like home.
Prior to Monday's game, Red Sox manager John Farrell said the Sox did what they could to help Sandoval.
"I don’t know that you ever anticipate it’s going to be a bad fit going into this," he said. "I’m aware of some of the comments that he made. Coming to Boston was his choice. Whether it was leaving an organization that he grew up in, so to speak, or coming to a place under the circumstances that he did, a lot of expectations, a pressure place to play -- that’s not to say that San Francisco is not -- but for one reason or another, I think he might have outlined many [of] the reasons why he didn’t feel comfortable here.
"I think we went to many steps that took into account his needs on and off the field as best we could."
Pablo Sandoval is back in the bigs and back where he had his greatest success.
The San Francisco Giants, mired in last place in the National League West, called up Sandoval from Triple-A Sacramento on Saturday after placing first baseman Brandon Belt on the seven-day concussion list. The Panda, a World Series hero for the Giants in their championship years, was released by the Red Sox last month after a less-than-stellar 161 games over three seasons (.212 in 2017, .237 overall) in Boston.
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He'll likely start at third base tonight against Arizona Diamondbacks right-hander Tijuan Walker.
Sandoval, 30, will still be paid nearly $48 million for the three years remaining on his contract by the Red Sox. The Giants are on the hook only for a prorated portion of the major league minimum for the rest of this season.
Sandoval was hitting .207 with two extra-base hits in 29 at-bats for Sacramento after hitting .222 with two singles in nine at-bats for Class A San Jose.