For seven years in San Francisco, Sandoval could have been a test case for Weight Watchers. The Giants put his girth front and center, making annual demands on him to slim down. They devised Operation Panda, a dietary and conditioning program, and tried to curb his overeating by limiting his ability to order room service on the road.
Sandoval would lose weight, but then gain it all back either by enjoying too much home cooking in Venezuela in the winter, or falling into bad habits during the season.
Regardless of his size, Sandoval had success. He was a two-time All-Star and the 2012 World Series MVP. He achieved a level of popularity in San Francisco that he need not buy a drink there — even though his career earnings total $53 million and the Sox owe him $54.8 million more through 2020.
“He didn’t tell me this, but just talking to him, it kind of seemed like after he won the three World Series and Boston signed him to a big deal, it’s like maybe you lose a little motivation,” Ferrer said. “That’s just kind of how it felt to me.”
The Sox will have among the highest payrolls in baseball, even though Henry directed president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski to stay below $195 million to avoid exceeding the luxury tax threshold for a third consecutive year. And ownership green-lighted the December trade for ace lefty Chris Sale, which meant sending top prospects Yoan Moncada and Michael Kopech to the Chicago White Sox but didn’t require parting with a big-league player.
David Price and Rick Porcello chat as the Red Sox gather for a team meeting before Friday’s full-squad workout.
It raises the question of how Red Sox ownership defines success, especially when the Belichick-Brady Patriots have raised the standard for every franchise across professional sports with their dynastic 15-year run.