Barb Caffrey's Blog

Writing the Elfyverse . . . and beyond

Pablo Sandoval, and Point of View

with 12 comments

Folks, I’m a baseball fan, so maybe this will make more sense to me than to you. But here goes…

A few years ago, third baseman Pablo Sandoval was on top of the world. His then-team, the San Francisco Giants, had won the World Series, and his power hitting was a big part of that effort. He had every right to feel proud, much less satisfied, and he certainly did.

But he also became a free agent, able to sign with any team, not too long after achieving that pinnacle. And because he was feeling buoyant, or maybe just because he was feeling “immature” (his own words now, but I’m getting to that), he got very angry with his team, the Giants, and signed with the Boston Red Sox instead.

Now, just signing with another team is not a big deal. (Yeah, it hurts as a fan when your favorite players do this, but it’s a part of the 21st Century baseball fandom experience.) But saying bad things about your now-former team is a big deal.

But at the time, Sandoval’s point of view was that he was a big power hitter. Surely, playing in Boston with the Green Monster (a very famous wall, for non-baseball fans) was going to help his power numbers. And anyway, he was frustrated with the Giants because they’d told him he had to keep his weight down. (My guess there is that the Giants wanted Sandoval on the field, and to keep him free from injury. But that’s definitely not how Sandoval took it. As a larger-sized person, I completely understand that impulse, mind you…but I digress.)

Unfortunately, Sandoval’s belief did not carry water. He went to Boston, but didn’t do particularly well. He ended up fighting nagging injuries, appeared to gain weight (which may have contributed, but may not have), and because he’d signed a very large contract, quickly fell out of favor with the Boston fans.

Then, he was designated for assignment this year, and given his outright release. Which is a very humbling thing for a baseball player…not something anyone ever wants, even though Sandoval’s contract was and remains guaranteed so he will be paid.

This story has a happy ending, of sorts, because Sandoval was re-signed by the Giants to a minor league deal. And Sandoval apologized for his previous comments, saying he was “immature” and that he really hadn’t felt that way. (My guess is, he was just angry over a wide variety of things, and didn’t know how to express himself.)

So, Sandoval adjusted his point of view, and realized that he’d had a good experience in San Francisco after all. The fans loved him there; the front office treated him well; he’d been given good medical support; and he’d played well.

That’s why he is back with the Giants farm system, and is attempting to get his hitting stroke back.

Now, what’s the lesson the rest of us non-baseball players can learn from this?

Sometimes, life is all about the point of view. And our point of view may not be accurate. We can make mistakes. And when we do, we have to own up to them.

It’s not easy, no. But if you can swallow your pride — as Sandoval did in signing a minor-league deal with the Giants — you have a chance to still achieve your heart’s desire.

I know I’ve made my share of mistakes in this life. I can’t take all of them back. (Some of them, I would not take back, because that’s the only way I learned. But again, I digress.) But one thing I have learned is that Sandoval’s reaction here was right on the money; he told his pride to take a hike, and did what was necessary to try to rejuvenate himself and his career.

More of us should be like Pablo Sandoval. (Further writer sayeth not.)

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12 Responses

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  1. Redemption is a theme often seen in baseball. See Jay Johnstone’s books for other stories.

    kamas716

    July 25, 2017 at 1:38 am

    • I agree, Kamas. And I’ve read two of Jay’s books; I think there’s a third out there, but my library system wasn’t able to get it. (Never fear, I’ll figure out a way.)

      Jeff Cirillo — a retired former Brewers player — is another guy who had to go through a cycle of redemption like this. Cirillo completely lost his hitting stroke after signing a very big contract, got DFA’d, ended up I think in the Mexican League, learned all the IF positions (as originally he only played third base), and regained his hitting stroke as he learned humility.

      Cirillo, as a person, probably needed all of that in his life. But I’m sure it was painful.

      He did appreciate what he had much more after he’d regained it, though — of that, I am certain.

      Barb Caffrey

      July 25, 2017 at 4:56 pm

      • I have the third book, it’s not nearly as good as the first two in my opinion.

        kamas716

        July 25, 2017 at 8:52 pm

      • Yeah, Ron Luciano’s later books were not as good as his first two, either. (I think he did three, four, or was it five?) It’s like they ran out of stories, perhaps?

        Barb Caffrey

        July 26, 2017 at 12:48 am

  2. Thanks for sharing this story! I’m not a baseball fan (nor fans of any sports 😅) but this is written well for me to understand. 😀
    I agree with the message too; stuff that happen to us may not be fantastic in our point of view at the time, though hopefully we’ll learn from them eventually. 😀

    Nicolle

    July 25, 2017 at 8:40 am

    • Thanks, Nicolle. 😀 I’m glad you enjoyed it.

      Yeah, you never know until you’re at a crisis point exactly what you’ve had, sometimes. I think Pablo Sandoval underestimated his good fortune, and burned bridges thinking that good fortune would always be there.

      Fortunately for him, his old team still believes he has something left, and now he can work on redeeming himself (as Kamas said in his comment about redemption being a big theme in baseball).

      Not every team would’ve had him back, considering what Pablo S. had said about them. But the Giants are apparently more forgiving than some…either that, or they figure Pablo S.’s upside is so great, it’s worth discomfort on both sides for a bit until they can figure out what else Pablo might be able to do for the Giants.

      Personally, I prefer to be a bridge builder rather than a bridge burner. (Maybe I should talk about that soon?) And my guess is, Pablo S. has just figured out why that’s preferable… 😉

      Barb Caffrey

      July 25, 2017 at 4:58 pm

      • Yeah, it’s great that his old team are willing to get him back! Life is full of ups and downs so good fortune isn’t always there. I prefer to be a bridge builder too and it’ll be great if you write about that next. 😀

        Nicolle

        July 25, 2017 at 8:35 pm

      • I plan to, but it’ll be after the Christmas in July celebration I’m taking part in over the next few days. 😉

        Barb Caffrey

        July 26, 2017 at 12:48 am

      • No worries and enjoy the celebration! 🎊🎉🎈

        Nicolle

        July 26, 2017 at 5:38 am

      • I shall try. 🙂 Enjoy your day, Nicolle. 😀

        Barb Caffrey

        July 26, 2017 at 12:45 pm

      • Thanks and same to you, Barb! ❤️

        Nicolle

        July 26, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      • Doing my best, Nicolle. 🙂

        Barb Caffrey

        July 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm


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