Pablo Sandoval says he looks back at his decision to sign with the Boston Red Sox as a mistake, but also an experience that he grew from.
Sandoval, who’s currently playing in Liga Mexicana de Beisbol, reflected on his MLB career in a recent interview with GQ’s Joseph Bien-Kahn. After seven seasons with the San Francisco Giants, Sandoval signed a five-year $90 million contract as a blockbuster free agent signing for Boston.
It didn’t work out.
“I should have stayed. I know. I learned my lesson,” Sandoval said to GQ. “But I’m happy I went through it, man, because I kept my eyes open and learned a lot of things.”
Sandoval had gone from a beloved postseason hero with Giants to one of the most disastrous free agent signings in Boston history. Sandoval struggled on the field as well as with his weight, a consistent issue for him during his career. Media in Boston were quick to pounce on Sandoval’s struggles.
The Red Sox ultimately cut ties with Sandoval part way through his third season in Boston. He finished his Red Sox career batting .237 with a .646 OPS over 161 games.
Sandoval says that athletes make mistakes all the time. However, he adds criticism from fans can often come without any compassion for athletes when they aren’t perfect.
“We make mistakes. We can make errors. And you know, it’s part of the game,” he Sandoval said to GQ. “But fans don’t realize that we are human beings. We got lifestyle. We have problems, too. We have off-the-field things. And they don’t understand that.”
After his time in Boston, Sandoval returned to San Francisco midway through the 2017 season. He was designated for assignment in September of 2020 and landed with the Braves, going on to remain there through part of the 2021 season.
Sandoval was traded to Cleveland at the trade deadline, but was released soon after. On February 7, 2022, he signed with the Acereros de Monclova of the Mexican League before being waived on May 27. Shortly after, he was claimed off of waivers by Olmecas de Tabasco. In 29 games, Sandoval is hitting .343 with a .956 OPS and six home runs for Olmecas.
Story by Nick O’Malley, masslive.com