“The Panda” was at center stage in the 2012 postseason†when he hit six home runs for the San Francisco Giants, three in Game One of the World Series. He was named the Most Valuable Player of that Fall Classic and won another title with San Francisco two years later.
After signing a lucrative free agent deal with the Boston Red Sox, Sandoval’s career took a downward turn. In his first season with the Sox, the hefty third baseman managed career-lows in batting, homers, and runs batted in. The team gently urged him to lose weight, but in the spring of 2016 Sandoval reported several pounds heavier. Despite his massive salary, he lost his third base job to Travis Shaw. In an appearance in the first week of the season, Sandoval broke his belt when he took a mighty swing at the plate, adding embarrassment to his list of woes in Boston. The next week he was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder injury that baffled his teammates and the front office, because it was suffered when he wasn’t playing.