Pablo Sandoval

Pablo Sandoval discusses release from Red Sox, being 'mocked' by fans

Pablo Sandoval discusses release from Red Sox, being 'mocked' by fans

Pablo Sandoval and the Boston Red Sox mixed like oil and water.

When Sandoval signed a five-year, $90 million contract with the Red Sox prior to the 2015 season, he was supposed to bring a championship pedigree and a solid bat. Instead, the veteran third baseman was a complete flop, batting .245 in 2015 and appearing in just three games over the next two seasons before Boston released him in July 2017.

In a recent interview with ESPN's Marly Rivera, Sandoval -- now a regular contributor for the San Francisco Giants -- admitted that release was tough to swallow, even if it was warranted based on his performance.

"Being let go by the Red Sox hurt, especially because I was coming back from an injury and going through so many things in my life," Sandoval told Rivera.

After showing up overweight to 2016 spring training, Sandoval suffered a shoulder injury that required surgery in May. According to Sandoval, that injury and his weight issues brought on the full wrath of Red Sox fans.

"Being in Boston was a learning experience," Sandoval said. "The truth is that it was a great organization, and I have nothing against [the Red Sox]. And the fans, they are demanding, they want to see their players contribute. They want to see the best of them. And I learned from that.

"And, of course, lots of comments were made. I was mocked many times for my weight, but I learned to use all that as inspiration and as a learning experience."

Indeed, Sandoval continues to be the butt of jokes in Boston, especially considering the Red Sox are still paying him through 2020 on a buyout. But with Sandoval revitalizing his career in San Francisco and Rafael Devers emerging as Boston's third baseman of the future, it appears the split worked out for both parties.

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Red Sox fans couldn't believe Pablo Sandoval won Giants' 'Heart and Hustle' award

Red Sox fans couldn't believe Pablo Sandoval won Giants' 'Heart and Hustle' award

We'll give you two words to describe Pablo Sandoval's tenure with the Boston Red Sox.

We're guessing you won't choose "Heart" and "Hustle."

That's why Red Sox fans may have done a double take Tuesday when the San Francisco Giants announced their 2019 "Heart and Hustle Award" winner was none other than Sandoval.

Yes, that's the same Sandoval who put up career lows with the Red Sox in 2015 after signing a five-year, $90 million contract and played just three games in 2016 after showing up to training camp overweight.

Let's check in on Red Sox writers and fans who learned of Sandoval's award in real time:

All snark aside, you could make the case that Sandoval deserves this award. The 32-year-old has revived his career since returning to San Francisco in 2018 and is hitting a respectable .269 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs as a role player for a Giants team with few other bright spots.

That's a tough pill to swallow for the Red Sox, who still owe Sandoval $18 million this year on a buyout and have watched the veteran third baseman thrive everywhere but in Boston.

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