Pablo Sandoval regrets taking Red Sox contract over Giants in 2014

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Sandoval admits he regrets leaving Giants for Red Sox in 2014 originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea

One of the most loveable characters on the Giants teams that won three World Series in five years from 2010-2014 was Pablo Sandoval, or “Kung Fu Panda,” as many commonly referred to him.

Sandoval spent seven seasons in San Francisco and then cashed in as a free agent, signing a five-year $90 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. However, in an interview with GQ's Joseph Bien-Kahn, the now 35-year-old says he’d make a different decision.

“I should have stayed. I know. I learned my lesson,” Sandoval told Bien-Kahn when asked if he should have taken the Giants’ offer over the Red Sox deal. “But I’m happy I went through it, man, because I kept my eyes open and learned a lot of things.”

While in San Francisco, Sandoval was a beloved player, with many fans in the stands wearing their panda hats cheering on their homegrown slugger. But the loveable and larger-than-life character didn’t travel with him to Boston.

The third baseman hadn’t earned the runway, and there was no loyalty from Red Sox fans. Furthermore, much like with the Giants, the issue regarding his weight did make its way to Boston, which got louder considering the market.

“We make mistakes. We can make errors. And you know, it’s part of the game,” Sandoval said. “But fans don’t realize that we are human beings. We got lifestyle. We have problems, too. We have off-the-field things. And they don’t understand that.”

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Former Giants outfielder Hunter Pence also shared his thoughts on Sandoval’s rise to fame as part of those World Series-winning teams and cashing in on the big deal from the Red Sox.

“He was so young. People don’t realize that because he was so talented, he’s having to make these wild decisions at such a young age,” Pence told GQ.

“It’s tough in this world to know who to trust and who’s telling you what. There are a lot of people pulling you a lot of directions, especially being a part of three World Series and winning a World Series MVP. Being that young, it’s tough to manage.”

Sandoval isn’t on an MLB team this season, as the former Giant is currently playing for the Olmecas de Tabasco of the Mexican League.

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