Pablo Sandoval, Bruce Bochy share one last emotional day as Giants

Pablo Sandoval, Bruce Bochy share one last emotional day as Giants

SAN FRANCISCO -- Giants manager Bruce Bochy had four words for Pablo Sandoval when he walked down the Giants' dugout steps at Oracle Park: "It's been a joy." 

It was a bittersweet moment for player and manager. Bochy entered his final month as a MLB manager on Sunday, while Sandoval entered the great unknown. 

Sandoval will undergo Tommy John surgery on Wednesday, ending his season and possibly his career with the Giants as he enters free agency this upcoming offseason. Before he goes under the knife, though, Bochy sent Sandoval to the plate one last time to pinch-hit for pitcher Sam Coonrod in the bottom of the seventh inning against Padres pitcher Luis Perdomo, in what wound up being an 8-4 loss for San Francisco.

The result was a grondout to third baseman Manny Machado. The moment was much larger. Giants fans rose to their feet, giving Sandoval a rousing ovation

When asked after the game what was going through his mind, Sandoval let his emotions out after 10 seasons in San Francisco. 

"Everything," Sandoval said before lowering his head in attempt to shield his tears. "I wanted to cry in that moment but I hold on to it. It's great, it's great when you feel the love from the fans." 

Sandoval wasn't the only one who was honored by the Giants on Sunday either. The start of September kicked off the final month of the regular season, one in which the team will honor Bochy. Early in the game, a banner was unveiled on the left-field wall that read, "Thank You Boch!"

The gesture was a surprise to fans and players alike. 

"He's like a dad to me," Sandoval said when asked about Bochy. "This guy is special. He's done a lot of things for this organization, for this city. This is just one of the things that you're gonna see. He earned that. He's won three World Series. That means a lot for everyone." 

Bochy is used to the festivities by now. Everywhere he goes this season is a farewell tour, which usually includes a whole lot of wine as a going away gift. This month will be different in front of the home fans, though. 

While his focus is still leading the Giants to wins, Bochy admitted the banner made him emotional. It was also another sign that his time has almost run out. 

"It's another reminder this is my last month," Bochy said. 

To Bochy, however, this day belonged to Sandoval. There's been ups and downs with The Panda in San Francisco. He's been a World Series hero and hailed as a villain when he skipped town to sign a lucrative contract with the Red Sox and spoke negatively about nearly every Giant aside from his manager. 

Through it all, however, he's captivated a fan base like only a handful of others have. 

"I think you look at what he's done, how he plays, his love for the game. That comes out every time he comes to the ballpark, and I think they appreciate that," Bochy said. "Of course, there's his talent. What he's done here, what he's meant for this organization. They were showing their appreciation, so yeah, he's right up there [with the most captivating Giants]."

Bochy and Sandoval have been together for nearly a decade now. Their bond has grown through good and bad, just like any other family. But Sandoval left his impression with those that have been a Giant for a much shorter amount of time, too. 

Outfielder Kevin Pillar was traded from the Blue Jays to the Giants in April, and Sandoval welcomed him to the clubhouse with open arms. 

"I met a great friend here," Pillar said when asked about Sandoval. "He's been great to me. My locker was a couple over and as bodies came in and out of here, he asked me to be next to him and I don't take that lightly. It's been great getting the opportunity to get to know him and share stories with him, and I'm praying for him." 

Whatever the future holds for Pablo Sandoval, he rightfully will forever be a Giant.

Giants coach Justin Viele recalls Mike Yastrzemski calling MLB shot

Giants coach Justin Viele recalls Mike Yastrzemski calling MLB shot

When Giants fans look back on Mike Yastrzemski's rookie year, they surely remember the 21 homers, his successful return to Baltimore, and that magical series at Fenway Park. Justin Viele, one of Yastrzemski's new hitting coaches, watched all that from afar, recalling some conversations he had with Yastrzemski long before Giants fans knew who the outfielder was. 

Viele was taken in the 37th round out of Santa Clara in 2013 and played two seasons as an infielder in Baltimore's minor league system before getting into coaching. He was Yastrzemski's teammate and roommate, and years later they were reunited when Gabe Kapler picked the 29-year-old Viele as one of his hitting coaches on a revamped staff. 

Viele joined the Giants Insider Podcast this week and recalled the early days with Yastrzemski, which included plenty of conversations about their futures. In particular, Viele vividly remembers a trip to the beach with current Orioles Trey Mancini and Austin Wynns when they were all in the instructional league. Viele hasn't forgotten what Yastrzemski said as they rode along in the backseat of Mancini's truck. 

"I remember vividly him saying, 'I'm going to make it to the Major Leagues. I'm going to be a big league player.' And I remember just thinking, man, I cannot honestly say the same thing," Viele said, smiling. "I literally knew if I were to say it I would have just sounded so phony because I didn't truly believe that. Playing with Yaz and playing with Trey, these guys were on a different level, mentally and physically. Everything they did was just so cool to watch.

"When Yaz said that, I'm like, I know he's going to make it. Just from the conviction and way he said it I knew he was going to make it. That was a really cool memory for me."

[GIANTS INSIDER PODCAST: Listen to the latest episode]

Viele hit just .211 in two years in the minors, and he said he could tell back then how some players were just wired differently. He remembers thinking every game was the most important game of his life, while Yastrzemski and Mancini -- who hit 35 homers last year for the Orioles -- always kept an even temperament. 

"Everything was so calm," he said. "They have this focus of what they want to accomplish that day and they go play the game and the game just looks so easy, and for me it was not that way. It was really cool to watch."

Viele has forged his own path, one that's just about unprecedented in the game. He began his coaching career in 2015 and spent two years at his alma mater before coaching in rookie ball for the Dodgers, where he worked under Gabe Kapler and Farhan Zaidi. He was the hitting coach in A-ball last year and was promoted to minor league hitting coordinator before Kapler called with a surprising offer to help lead a big league staff. 

[RELATED: Zaidi encouraged by what he's seeing from Giants]

Viele has gotten into that job at a remarkably young age, which is ironically the opposite of the path Yastrzemski took. It took Yastrzemski six years in the minors to get his first shot, but he certainly made the most of it. His former roommate wasn't at all surprised to see the success on the field last year. 

"When he came up and he started doing what he was doing, I was not shocked," Viele said. "I was like, yep, I was expecting that. It was probably cool for him. The Orioles didn't bring him up at all and then he goes and does that. Hopefully they saw that -- obviously they did -- it is cool to kind of prove that yeah I can do this and I should be up here."

Field to Table: How to make Oracle Park's Crazy Crab Sandwich at home

Field to Table: How to make Oracle Park's Crazy Crab Sandwich at home

It was more than just a kooky mascot that roamed Candlestick Park and captured our hearts. It captured our taste buds as well. 

With Giants baseball on indefinite hiatus due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we wanted to bring the ballpark to you by creating the Crazy Crab Sandwich at home.

NBC Sports Bay Area has teamed up with to create the "Field to Table" cooking show, where we'll attempt to cook our favorite ballpark treats from home.

Giants studio host Kelli Johnson, Giants insider Alex Pavlovic and "Shelter on Base/Triples Alley" member Anthony Garcia all attempt to make the Oracle Park delicacy from scratch in the second installment of "Field to Table."

Here's the recipe they used:

- Crabmeat (pasteurized)
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
- Lemon wedges
- Sliced sourdough bread
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Sliced tomato
- Garlic (1 clove, chopped)
- Parsley (chopped)
- Salt and pepper to taste

[RELATED: How to make Oracle Park's famous garlic fries at home]

Check out the video above to see their cooking skills on display.

Receive $25 off a $100-or-more order on by using the promo code "NBCSPORTS"