Fri Jan 29 12:14pm EST
Budding Giants star Pablo Sandoval(notes) has returned to the Bay Area and the timing couldn't have been better. After dropping the biscuit before the game, Kung Fu Panda was able to see my Blackhawks pull within one point of the Sharks for the top spot in the NHL.
He also gave all those fawning Bay Area fans a chance to see the results of his offseason weight loss plan. It's hard to see beneath that figure-hiding San Jose sweater, so let's go with the first-person description of SF Weekly's Joe Eskenazi:
"(He) appears to have worked his way from chunky to beefy."
No word if the next stop for the San Francisco third baseman is "husky," but after he attended a television taping with the comedy-inclined Sandoval, I think we can count Eskenazi among those who are firmly in Panda's fan camp.
"While the rest of his colleagues appear to have gotten the memo that suit jackets and dress shirts with no tie is the way wealthy young men dress these days, Pablo showed up wearing a hoodie, two shiny earrings, and what could only be described as a Latino faux-hawk. Didn't matter. He was great.
"He humorously described his efforts to make his mother back in Venezuela stop feeding him so much ('It's not you, ma! It's for my career!'). When asked what made mom's lasagna the best in the world, he noted 'It's the love.'"
And yes, they really do make lasagna in Venezuela. It's called pasticho.
As I've said before, it's a good thing for Major League Baseball to gain a guy who has a sense of humor and is extremely marketable to fans. That he's hit .333/.381/.543 over his first 717 major league at-bats doesn't hurt, either.