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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