From the makers of “Why are we trusting Hanley Ramirez?” comes the sequel nobody was asking for. \
You thought Hanley was an issue at first? Well wait til you see an even bigger problem across the diamond. Coming right now to a laptop or smartphone near you, he’s the largest hole in the Red Sox roster, it’s Pablo Sandoval starring in “Why are we trusting Hanley Ramirz 2: Kung Fu Boogaloo”.
Yeah yeah I know, calling Pablo Sandoval a “bigger” problem and the “largest” hole is the lowest of low hanging fruit. But if someone puts a f*cking balloon right over the plate you take it out of respect, you punish that pitcher for throwing a meatball… a literal meatball… like a big sweaty fatty blob of meat.
So apparently Sandoval was supposed to report to camp on Saturday and has yet to show. Now, personally, I don’t know how I’ve let Kung Fu Panda 3(hundred pounds) slip through the cracks this winter. Why I haven’t been hammering Sandoval more this offseason? I mean when Hanley forgets to bring a f*cking glove to camp with him, it’s easy to go blind with stupid stupid rage, but I should’ve seen this one coming.
I know we all like to point at Hanley as the biggest bust last season, but when you look at the numbers between the two they’re not that far away. In 2015, HanRam hit .249 with 19 HRs and 53 RBIs. Not good right? Well Pablo hit .245 with only 10 HRs and 47 RBIs, and he did that in 21 more games than Hanley.
“Well what about fielding?”, you ask like an idiot. Silly valued consumer whose patronage we all appreciate, I was getting to that. Hanley Ramirez’s first season as an outfielder was an unmitigated disaster, with a fielding percentage of only .969 and -19 defensive runs saved. “Surely that was by far the worst fielding performance for the Red So last year” you might say, to which I would reply, “Oh my God, would you stop interrupting me and chill out for five goddamn seconds? CHRIST!”. But yeah it’s way closer than you think. Sandoval, in his natural position, the one he’s played almost exclusively for his entire career, managed a putrid .947 fielding percentage with -11 defensive runs saved.
Absolute dumpster fire.
So what does all of this mean? It means that despite all of the flack than Hanley Ramirez has caught over the past 6-8 months, Pablo Sandoval has been just as bad, if not worse than him. At least Hanley Ramirez showed up to Spring Training when he was supposed to. Granted he’s probably spent more time this winter with his thumb up his bum than in his glove, but at least he puts in the effort to pretend like he’s trying.
And what’s worse is, unlike at first base, there’s not good backup plan at third. Travis Shaw showed signs he can play 1B in this league and can replace Hanley when (not if, when) he peters out. But what happens Sandoval’s Rascal dies in the middle of Walmart and he can’t make it to Fenway in time? Yoan Moncada and Rafael Devers are still playing single-A ball and won’t be full time big leaguers for at least another full season if not longer. Are we gonna play Brock Holt for 130 games? I like the Brockstar as much as the next guy but once he passes 250 PAs his numbers just don’t hold up. It’s not a viable contingency plan.
Look, I’m not saying Pablo Sandoval can’t bounce back. In fact, if he actually did lose weight like John Farrell claims he did, I think he’s more likely to rebound than HanRam. But if he comes back looking like Rick Ross the Red Sox are in big, BIG trouble…