This script went through a couple of overnight changes, since it went from Boston chasing both Pablo and Hanley to Boston reportedly having signed them both…
Emotions aside, I think Pablo’s going to regret this one…And so are Boston pitchers (Jon Lester, are you paying attention?
Pablo is a very good defender in some ways. He has amazing reflexes and reactions, and is very sure-handed. Say what you want about his size, but he’s willing to dive, and usually if he can reach a ball he’ll stop it and make good plays, the start of this season notwithstanding. But what he doesn’t have is a ton of range.
However, for the past three years, Brandon Crawford has ranged at shortstop, his range and strong throwing arm taking care of the 5-6 hole, and providing the Giants with strong infield defense all around. Maybe now it’s fitting that one of final memories of that infield will be this tag-team of Sandoval and Crawford…
***snicker*** “Off the glove of Santiago…”
Hanley Ramirez, though, is a statue. Actually, a statue is better. At least a statue will kick the ball in predictable ways. Hanley is one of the worst defensive shortstops in baseball, and many teams only wanted him as a third baseman…and now, he’s a shortstop again.
Now, I don’t expect Sandoval and Ramirez to be the starting left side of the infield for five years. I’m not sure they’ll last two. Sandoval will eventually move to first or DH, sure…but that still leaves Hanley as a nightmare, somewhere, for Red Sox pitchers.
And that’s before the fans. Especially this year.
If the left side of that infield performs as expected, New England is going to turn on those two, as the big free agents with big free agent expectations, faster than Benedict Arnold. Actually faster, since Arnold agonized over his decision for months… And then the sports radio and the media…and if Pablo thought that the #FatChat on KNBR was bad, well, it’s only going to be so much worse in Boston.
I’m not mad that the Panda will be leaving San Francisco. I’m sad. Disappointed. Pablo was the most fun-loving ballplayer I’d ever met. I’ll never forget his stealing the golf cart from the groundskeeper at Municipal Stadium as a San Jose Giant, and going “Vroom vroom” as he sped around the warning track at 2.8 MPH. Or when, after he was established as a big leaguer, he’d just show up in San Jose, unannounced to anyone, to watch his old friends. He handled a lot of troubles with grace, and he left us with a lot of memories.
Wednesday, I might do a more formal goodbye…but this offseason got a lot more depressing.