Which type of plate discipline is eating Panda?

Papelbon's Poutine

Homeland Security
SoSH Member
Dec 4, 2005
19,615
Portsmouth, NH
That wasn't my point. Shame on me for thinking that a professional athlete making that amount of money should feel some sort of obligation to present himself in better shape.
This is making a rather large assumption that he is just a lazy piece of shit.

Fact is that he's performed quite well in similar physical condition for a good portion of his career, well enough in fact to garner a $95M contract. He says he is in better shape, the team agrees (at least publicly) and independent reporters are agreeing, saying he looks much more agile and capable.

Whether that bears fruit or if it's just him being willfully ignorant to the detriment many presume his weight is playing towards his decline is another conversation. But bottom line is that short of gastric bypass or something as similarly extreme, some people simply can try everything there is and not have an ideal "athlete's body". As you age it gets harder. It's not easy for every person to come back the next year like John Lackey and look like a completely different person.

This is exactly what I meant earlier when I said it's like people are rooting for him (and Hanley, re:his friggin glove for gods sake) to fail. It's been three days of camp and already he is a monster for not having met the demands of his fan base and the media based off a handful of pictures taken the first day. Let's actually see how the guy performs before we bury him, maybe?
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
OK so back to the meat of the post that you quoted from...

Here's where I'm at with Sandoval's weight. Let' suppose for one moment that it had absolutely no bearing on his past performance or injuries. Should we not be concerned that a player who signed a $95M contract will continue to show up to spring training another year older and still out of shape?
Age is something you cannot do anything about and a separate issue. If it had no bearing before then why would that change? All you are doing is begging the question and assuming your outcome despite previous experience. It remains gratuitous.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
This is making a rather large assumption that he is just a lazy piece of shit.

Fact is that he's performed quite well in similar physical condition for a good portion of his career, well enough in fact to garner a $95M contract. He says he is in better shape, the team agrees (at least publicly) and independent reporters are agreeing, saying he looks much more agile and capable.

Whether that bears fruit or if it's just him being willfully ignorant to the detriment many presume his weight is playing towards his decline is another conversation. But bottom line is that short of gastric bypass or something as similarly extreme, some people simply can try everything there is and not have an ideal "athlete's body". As you age it gets harder. It's not easy for every person to come back the next year like John Lackey and look like a completely different person.

This is exactly what I meant earlier when I said it's like people are rooting for him (and Hanley, re:his friggin glove for gods sake) to fail. It's been three days of camp and already he is a monster for not having met the demands of his fan base and the media based off a handful of pictures taken the first day. Let's actually see how the guy performs before we bury him, maybe?
Honestly Pap, you took that from what I wrote? You've also mentioned a couple of times that it seems like many here are rooting for Sandoval and Ramirez to fail. Speaking for myself, nothing could be further from the truth. I can't imagine anyone who calls themselves a Red Sox fan rooting for these two guys or anyone on the team to fail. Just like anyone else on the roster, I want them happy, healthy and productive.
 
Last edited:

Al Zarilla

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Dec 8, 2005
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San Andreas Fault
Honestly Pap, you took that from what I wrote? You've also mentioned a couple of times that it seems like many here are rooting for Sandoval and Ramirez to fail. Speaking for myself, nothing could be further from the truth. I can't imagine anyone who calls themselves a Red Sox fan rooting for these two guys or anyone on the team to fail. Just like anyone else on the roster, I want them happy, healthy and productive.
I don't care if Pablo is a miserable SOB like Ty Cobb, as long as he's a top third 3B-man. This thread is like the movie where you say "this is where I came in", and I'm not helping. I had a brief thought of linking it to a Giants board but they're having enough glee over the Sandoval to Duffman transition.
 

Rovin Romine

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Age is something you cannot do anything about and a separate issue. If it had no bearing before then why would that change? All you are doing is begging the question and assuming your outcome despite previous experience. It remains gratuitous.
The effects of age (or weight) aren't able to be discretely quantified. Every human has a relatively unique physical (and mental) make up - yet there are patterns. I think you're engaged in specious logic-chopping and are set against the idea that a person's weight and age may be significant factors in their ability to perform physical activity and/or recover from injury. While that's absurd, it's made particularly absurd in the context of MLB performance, where the margin between success and failure is very slim. You seem to have been led there out of a PC concern for how the board discusses over-weight individuals (which is fair game), instead of addressing that issue directly.

Why don't you provide your own analysis as to what you think is going on with Sandoval.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I don't care if Pablo is a miserable SOB like Ty Cobb, as long as he's a top third 3B-man. This thread is like the movie where you say "this is where I came in", and I'm not helping. I had a brief thought of linking it to a Giants board but they're having enough glee over the Sandoval to Duffman transition.
Yeah, I'll def settle for healthy and productive. Two out of three in baseball ain't too shabby.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
The effects of age (or weight) aren't able to be discretely quantified. Every human has a relatively unique physical (and mental) make up - yet there are patterns. I think you're engaged in specious logic-chopping and are set against the idea that a person's weight and age may be significant factors in their ability to perform physical activity and/or recover from injury. While that's absurd, it's made particularly absurd in the context of MLB performance, where the margin between success and failure is very slim. You seem to have been led there out of a PC concern for how the board discusses over-weight individuals (which is fair game), instead of addressing that issue directly.

Why don't you provide your own analysis as to what you think is going on with Sandoval.
Some of them most certainly can. Your problem is you aren't even trying or using any deductive reasoning. You cannot even address the fact that he was fat before and instead try to make it personal about me. I'm arguing your assertion/ideology; deal with it.

There are all manner of sports measurables to measure cardio, flexibility, agility, strength, speed, weight, height, etc. You can make a comparison of his performance athletically from before, when he was still fat, to now. You can do similar things with timeframes of injury as opposed to an average or any other baseline. This notion that you cannot do it 'discretely' is ignorant. If you're going to make your case that it's a problem then actually make one. Your simply reading CHB and similar inflammatory tripe and assuming it's true.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
Honestly Pap, you took that from what I wrote? You've also mentioned a couple of times that it seems like many here are rooting for Sandoval and Ramirez to fail. Speaking for myself, nothing could be further from the truth. I can't imagine anyone who calls themselves a Red Sox fan rooting for these two guys or anyone on the team to fail. Just like anyone else on the roster, I want them happy, healthy and productive.
You cannot see how someone would take your claim that he doesn't uphold "some sort of obligation to present himself in better shape" as being him being lazy or otherwise unreliable?

You can want someone you think lazy to do better. You cheering him on is all about him doing it in the way you want though nonetheless.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
Age is something you cannot do anything about and a separate issue. If it had no bearing before then why would that change? All you are doing is begging the question and assuming your outcome despite previous experience. It remains gratuitous.
Then let me speak from my own experience and forgive me for assuming that it may apply to others in general terms. As someone who has carried extra weight around for most of my life, I find that every few years when I make the effort to loss weight (usually 20-25 lbs.) I feel more rested, I feel less winded when I push myself, my joints feel better, there is increased flexibility. As I age, that benefit becomes more noticeable to me and honestly I feel more productive at work and at home. I'll never be blessed with the ability of Pablo Sandoval, I've never had to train as an athlete nor has my body had to endure the punishment of a 162 game baseball season, but I know what it's like to carry extra weight and the effect it has on someone who's not enduring the rigors of professional sports. Perhaps it's wrong, but it's what I'm basing my concerns on. What are you basing your lack of concern on?

You cannot see how someone would take your claim that he doesn't uphold "some sort of obligation to present himself in better shape" as being him being lazy or otherwise unreliable?

You can want someone you think lazy to do better. You cheering him on is all about him doing it in the way you want though nonetheless.
There is a difference between someone being lazy (not my word) and having opportunity to do better. The two can go hand in hand, but are not exclusive to each other.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
Then let me speak from my own experience and forgive me for assuming that it may apply to others in general terms. As someone who has carried extra weight around for most of my life, I find that every few years when I make the effort to loss weight (usually 20-25 lbs.) I feel more rested, I feel less winded when I push myself, my joints feel better, there is increased flexibility. As I age, that benefit becomes more noticeable to me and honestly I feel more productive at work and at home. I'll never be blessed with the ability of Pablo Sandoval, I've never had to train as an athlete nor has my body had to endure the punishment of a 162 game baseball season, but I know what it's like to carry extra weight and the effect it has on someone who's not enduring the rigors of professional sports. Perhaps it's wrong, but it's what I'm basing my concerns on. What are you basing your lack of concern on?

There is a difference between someone being lazy (not my word) and having opportunity to do better. The two can go hand in hand, but are not exclusive to each other.
I am not the type that worries about things I cannot control? Glad you were able to lose the weight.

I recently have gone down from 220 to 205 and feel better. Don't know how its impacted me athletically. Mostly I notice I get better reactions from people.
 

Rovin Romine

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Some of them most certainly can. Your problem is you aren't even trying or using any deductive reasoning. You cannot even address the fact that he was fat before and instead try to make it personal about me. I'm arguing your assertion/ideology; deal with it.

There are all manner of sports measurables to measure cardio, flexibility, agility, strength, speed, weight, height, etc. You can make a comparison of his performance athletically from before, when he was still fat, to now. You can do similar things with timeframes of injury as opposed to an average or any other baseline. This notion that you cannot do it 'discretely' is ignorant. If you're going to make your case that it's a problem then actually make one. Your simply reading CHB and similar inflammatory tripe and assuming it's true.
I haven't read the CBH in about 7 years. Not even accidentally.

So. Why don't you provide your own analysis as to what you think is going on with Sandoval?
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I am not the type that worries about things I cannot control? Glad you were able to lose the weight.

I recently have gone down from 220 to 205 and feel better. Don't know how its impacted me athletically. Mostly I notice I get better reactions from people.
"Things I cannot control" Funny you should mention that as I've lived by this for quite some time now. "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." Whether you see at as prayer or just as the message that it conveys, I think it's sound advice. That said, we all have things that concern us outside of the things that we see as truly impactful in our own lives. Sandoval's weight doesn't mean a rat's ass to me personally, but as a fan I'm concerned about this issue. I don't suspect any of us here give it a second thought to this when we lay our heads down at night, but this is a forum, we all have opinions and this is mine. Glad you dropped a few pounds and are feeling better as well.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
I haven't read the CBH in about 7 years. Not even accidentally.

So. Why don't you provide your own analysis as to what you think is going on with Sandoval?
And yet you are parroting his Sunday article. It is what it is.

Other than it being besides the point? Because I don't think there is enough data to make an informed judgment so I withhold doing so. I want to see how he performs in spring training at the very least before I claim there is a problem in the first place.

He was still fat the entire time. You can still come up with measurables to ascertain performance. We may not be privy to them but that's okay. It's okay to not know. It's not okay to bluster certainty.
 

EvilEmpire

paying for his sins
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Apr 9, 2007
17,464
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So. Why don't you provide your own analysis as to what you think is going on with Sandoval?
You're arguing with someone who has a total of 10 posts on SOSH, with all of them addressing Panda's weight issue. There is nothing wrong with that, hell, it could be someone who knows him and wants to stick up for him. Or an underemployed Sox intern. Or his mom. Or whatever. Point being, this issue is important to him/her. Enough to create an account for. I don't think you or anyone else is going to sway them. And that's OK.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
You're arguing with someone who has a total of 10 posts on SOSH, with all of them addressing Panda's weight issue. There is nothing wrong with that, hell, it could be someone who knows him and wants to stick up for him. Or an underemployed Sox intern. Or his mom. Or whatever. Point being, this issue is important to him/her. Enough to create an account for. I don't think you or anyone else is going to sway them. And that's OK.
Nice. Categorize so as to marginalize; complete fantasy too. I'm a EE living in south texas. Been a Sox fan since Clemens left UT to join the Sox. Did not follow him after he jumped ship and acted like a prima donna.

The objective truth is important to me. Still waiting for an explanation as to how his weight could be cause for his performance last season when he has been as heavy and had good seasons prior to that. You guys repeatedly ignore the argument.
 

EvilEmpire

paying for his sins
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Apr 9, 2007
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Nice. Categorize so as to marginalize; complete fantasy too. I'm a EE living in south texas. Been a Sox fan since Clemens left UT to join the Sox. Did not follow him after he jumped ship and acted like a prima donna.

The objective truth is important to me. Still waiting for an explanation as to how his weight could be cause for his performance last season when he has been as heavy and had good seasons prior to that. You guys repeatedly ignore the argument.
There is no objective truth that anyone here is going to puzzle out. No objective truth that Panda's obesity has a measurable impact on his performance. No way to tell how much, or if, his obesity limits his ability to achieve more of his athletic potential. I think most of us understand that. But I think people generally do know and understand that obesity can limit a persons athletic performance. And that obesity can exacerbate age-related decline. And it is OK for Boston fans to wonder (and worry) if that applies to Panda, and to speculate, if so, as to what it might mean for the team's performance. Nothing wrong with that at all. Pretty typical fan behavior. Many of us worry about lots of different things about players without perfect information.

As to marginalization, I was joking about your possible identity. I really don't think you're Panda's mom. Really, I don't. I wasn't joking that it is very clear this issue is important to you. You've never posted about anything else. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think it is a pretty good indicator that your opinions on this issue are pretty set.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
There is no objective truth that anyone here is going to puzzle out. No objective truth that Panda's obesity has a measurable impact on his performance. No way to tell how much, or if, his obesity limits his ability to achieve more of his athletic potential. I think most of us understand that. But I think people generally do know and understand that obesity can limit a persons athletic performance. And that obesity can exacerbate age-related decline. And it is OK for Boston fans to wonder (and worry) if that applies to Panda, and to speculate, if so, as to what it might mean for the team's performance. Nothing wrong with that at all. Pretty typical fan behavior. Many of us worry about lots of different things about players without perfect information.

As to marginalization, I was joking about your possible identity. I really don't think you're Panda's mom. Really, I don't. I wasn't joking that it is very clear this issue is important to you. You've never posted about anything else. There is nothing wrong with that, but I think it is a pretty good indicator that your opinions on this issue are pretty set.
Who are you to judge that there can be no objective truth? You sound like him saying that there is no way to quantify the impact.

Again if his weight was cause for the decline then why didn't it happen in previous year? I am saying that it would have the same impact in all the years he's been fat. You talk around this issue over and again and are unable to address it head on.

My opinion on the issue is based on the above. You have done nothing to change my mind regarding it as you fail to even acknowledge the deduction. It's not overly important to me. I just find it amusing how you two beat around the bush.

Kidding or not its still an attempt to pigeonhole me so as to discredit. Typical fan, nonobjective etc. It is what it is.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
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Nov 2, 2007
21,090
Santa Monica
Who are you to judge that there can be no objective truth? You sound like him saying that there is no way to quantify the impact.

Again if his weight was cause for the decline then why didn't it happen in previous year? I am saying that it would have the same impact in all the years he's been fat. You talk around this issue over and again and are unable to address it head on.

My opinion on the issue is based on the above. You have done nothing to change my mind regarding it as you fail to even acknowledge the deduction. It's not overly important to me. I just find it amusing how you two beat around the bush.

Kidding or not its still an attempt to pigeonhole me so as to discredit. Typical fan, nonobjective etc. It is what it is.
Are you being completely obtuse on purpose? Their basic premise is an extremely overweight person will most likely age poorly. Panda has been in decline for a number of years now. Thats a fact. Last year he fell off a cliff, we were all hoping he'd show up 20lbs lighter as we were led to believe by the manager.

And everyone on this board is pulling for Panda, except for Evil Empire.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
Are you being completely obtuse on purpose? Their basic premise is an extremely overweight person will most likely age poorly. Panda has been in decline for a number of years now. Thats a fact. Last year he fell off a cliff, we were all hoping he'd show up 20lbs lighter as we were led to believe by the manager.

And everyone on this board is pulling for Panda, except for Evil Empire.
He's 29 years old not 35. I get what your ideology claims; I'm asking you people to back it up with something substantive. Substantiate it in someway that isn't a assumptive assertion.

Give me an empirical example of a baseball player that was overweight at 29 years old that had a similar decline. I can give several who don't. Kruk, Gwynn, Puckett, Vaughn, Fielder, Pendleton, et al don't match your assumption. Give examples by all means.

I'm not arguing that you don't want him to do well. Are you obtuse? All I get out of this is that your upset that your expectations weren't met. Boo friggin hoo.
 

Lars The Wanderer

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Jul 15, 2005
3,833
San Francisco
He's 29 years old not 35. I get what your ideology claims; I'm asking you people to back it up with something substantive. Substantiate it in someway that isn't a assumptive assertion.

Give me an empirical example of a baseball player that was overweight at 29 years old that had a similar decline. I can give several who don't. Kruk, Gwynn, Puckett, Vaughn, Fielder, Pendleton, et al don't match your assumption. Give examples by all means.

I'm not arguing that you don't want him to do well. Are you obtuse? All I get out of this is that your upset that your expectations weren't met. Boo friggin hoo.
Randall Simon
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,090
Santa Monica
He's 29 years old not 35. I get what your ideology claims; I'm asking you people to back it up with something substantive. Substantiate it in someway that isn't a assumptive assertion.

Give me an empirical example of a baseball player that was overweight at 29 years old that had a similar decline. I can give several who don't. Kruk, Gwynn, Puckett, Vaughn, Fielder, Pendleton, et al don't match your assumption. Give examples by all means.

I'm not arguing that you don't want him to do well. Are you obtuse? All I get out of this is that your upset that your expectations weren't met. Boo friggin hoo.
I'll give you a great example of an overweight ballplayer that has declined a lot over four years in their late 20's...Pablo Sandoval

As far as the other fat guys listed above, I'm not sure how many of those guys were bulked up on roids or took other PEDs that was rampant in that era.
 

The X Man Cometh

New Member
Dec 13, 2013
390
He's 29 years old not 35. I get what your ideology claims; I'm asking you people to back it up with something substantive. Substantiate it in someway that isn't a assumptive assertion.

Give me an empirical example of a baseball player that was overweight at 29 years old that had a similar decline. I can give several who don't. Kruk, Gwynn, Puckett, Vaughn, Fielder, Pendleton, et al don't match your assumption. Give examples by all means.

I'm not arguing that you don't want him to do well. Are you obtuse? All I get out of this is that your upset that your expectations weren't met. Boo friggin hoo.
Jeff Zimmerman did some research into this using a binary definition of 'overweight' (3 1/4 lbs or more per inch of height) and found that the heavy set aged a good deal quicker. Now, the extent to which this establishes any causation rather than just being an observation of past results is something else. But its hardly a wild claim.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-will-prince-fielder-age/

The other problem with comparing Panda to names like Kruk, Gwynn, Puckett, Vaughn and Fielder, is they had avenues to success available to them that Panda does not. They could largely afford to play first if they had to, or DH if the role were available, and still be productive players. Gwynn or Puckett? Those guys were HOF-caliber hitters and didn't have to even put a glove on to earn their salary. Kruk is a caricature now but its easy to forget he was an outstanding hitter. Sandoval's athleticism is more important to who he is than any of those names. If he isn't the defensive third baseman he's capable of being, a lot of his value is gone.

Will Panda play better than he did last year? Surely, and that wouldn't be an accomplishment. Will he be a 2-win player? Between the trend his career has followed in recent years, his profile as a bigger player who relies on contact outside the strike zone, and the fact that sticking at his position is a question mark.... I'd be ecstatic if we actually got 2 wins out of him at this point.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
I'll give you a great example of an overweight ballplayer that has declined a lot over four years in their late 20's...Pablo Sandoval

As far as the other fat guys listed above, I'm not sure how many of those guys were bulked up on roids or took other PEDs that was rampant in that era.
Circular arguments and wishcasting. How droll.
 

Kooler Than Bert

Lamer than Ernie
Dec 19, 2015
16
Texas
Jeff Zimmerman did some research into this using a binary definition of 'overweight' (3 1/4 lbs or more per inch of height) and found that the heavy set aged a good deal quicker. Now, the extent to which this establishes any causation rather than just being an observation of past results is something else. But its hardly a wild claim.
http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/how-will-prince-fielder-age/

The other problem with comparing Panda to names like Kruk, Gwynn, Puckett, Vaughn and Fielder, is they had avenues to success available to them that Panda does not. They could largely afford to play first if they had to, or DH if the role were available, and still be productive players. Gwynn or Puckett? Those guys were HOF-caliber hitters and didn't have to even put a glove on to earn their salary. Kruk is a caricature now but its easy to forget he was an outstanding hitter. Sandoval's athleticism is more important to who he is than any of those names. If he isn't the defensive third baseman he's capable of being, a lot of his value is gone.

Will Panda play better than he did last year? Surely, and that wouldn't be an accomplishment. Will he be a 2-win player? Between the trend his career has followed in recent years, his profile as a bigger player who relies on contact outside the strike zone, and the fact that sticking at his position is a question mark.... I'd be ecstatic if we actually got 2 wins out of him at this point.
Appreciate it man. Good stuff. For the rest of you this is what a substantive argument looks like.

Looks like Panda is at a crossroads. Hopefully he gets that age 30 bump though.

Puckett, Gwynn and Pendleton stayed in the field but I get your meaning. Thanks for the input and compelling argument.
 

doctorogres

New Member
Aug 27, 2010
118
FWIW, Panda dropped 40+ pounds going into the 2014 season and still declined, though in line with previous seasons and nowhere near as bad as 2015. Sabathia started dropping weight in 2013, and significantly more going into 2014 and fell off a cliff. These points are brought up in a WEEI article asking a nutritionist about Pablo's health. These numbers also struck me:

Soolman cites research that 95 percent of people who attempt to lose weight regain it all within one to five years. Sixty percent end up heavier than when they started.

"So if Sandoval decided, 'OK, this winter, the Red Sox told me to lose weight, I'm going to go lose weight,' he might, there's 1-in-20 chance he'll be able to do it, but there's a 12-in-20 chance he'll end up heavier," Soolman said. "And I think, looking at his history, that's some of what we might be seeing."​

Now you could certainly make the case that as a professional athlete Panda needs to try harder than the average Joe to lose the weight and keep it off. I don't necessarily disagree. It is a little striking to consider, however, that trying to lose weight may contribute to weight gain further down the road.

Who are examples of athletes who have lost significant weight going into a season and improved? Lackey I think was more a result of needing TJ...
 

Drek717

Member
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Dec 23, 2003
2,542
Are you being completely obtuse on purpose? Their basic premise is an extremely overweight person will most likely age poorly. Panda has been in decline for a number of years now. Thats a fact. Last year he fell off a cliff, we were all hoping he'd show up 20lbs lighter as we were led to believe by the manager.

And everyone on this board is pulling for Panda, except for Evil Empire.
Prove the bolded please, because prior to 2015 his three year OPS were .789, .758, .739 with OPS+ values of 123, 116, and 111 and wRC+ values of 118, 117, and 112.

In short, the raw numbers moved within the realm of statistical noise and with each step of normalizing for yearly park and league wide effects it shrunk. That is not a decline. That is a plateau. People need to stop spreading this "decline" FUD. It doesn't even hold up on the defensive side where 2012-2014 were -5, -5, 4 by DRS and 1.4, -6.3, 3.5 in UZR/150.

Sandoval changed from an above average offense/average defense 3B with bad ball hitting skills with very streaky performance for three years running to the worst full time player in MLB. That didn't come from a gradual decline. Maybe it has to do with his weight or weight with respect to age or whatever. Maybe it had to do with the fact that his left leg from knee to ankle got basically blown apart in the middle of the first half and in an attempt to play through it he only made things worse. Maybe he just really, really struggled with the change to the AL. Maybe some combination thereof. But trying to pass of his massive decline in 2015 as something predicted by his prior season numbers is a conclusion you only draw if you're being 1. lazy and mathematically flawed in your assessment or 2. outright disingenuous.

If Sandoval 2016 is a 95% of Sandoval 2014 we'll all jump for fucking joy.
 

nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
22,101
Rogers Park
FWIW, Panda dropped 40+ pounds going into the 2014 season and still declined, though in line with previous seasons and nowhere near as bad as 2015. Sabathia started dropping weight in 2013, and significantly more going into 2014 and fell off a cliff. These points are brought up in a WEEI article asking a nutritionist about Pablo's health. These numbers also struck me:

Soolman cites research that 95 percent of people who attempt to lose weight regain it all within one to five years. Sixty percent end up heavier than when they started.

"So if Sandoval decided, 'OK, this winter, the Red Sox told me to lose weight, I'm going to go lose weight,' he might, there's 1-in-20 chance he'll be able to do it, but there's a 12-in-20 chance he'll end up heavier," Soolman said. "And I think, looking at his history, that's some of what we might be seeing."​

Now you could certainly make the case that as a professional athlete Panda needs to try harder than the average Joe to lose the weight and keep it off. I don't necessarily disagree. It is a little striking to consider, however, that trying to lose weight may contribute to weight gain further down the road.

Who are examples of athletes who have lost significant weight going into a season and improved? Lackey I think was more a result of needing TJ...
Getting the 2014 narrative is key, IMO: in particular, he lost a ton of weight and couldn't hit a lick in April (.564 OPS for the month), scuffling until going on a tear in May, and holding mid-.700s OPS through the year. And then he had a fantastic postseason: .366/.423/.465.

He gains a fair amount of weight through the season. It's hard to look at April and October and take seriously the contention that his offensive performance tracks his weight.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
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Nov 2, 2007
21,090
Santa Monica
Prove the bolded please, because prior to 2015 his three year OPS were .789, .758, .739 with OPS+ values of 123, 116, and 111 and wRC+ values of 118, 117, and 112.

In short, the raw numbers moved within the realm of statistical noise and with each step of normalizing for yearly park and league wide effects it shrunk. That is not a decline. That is a plateau. People need to stop spreading this "decline" FUD. It doesn't even hold up on the defensive side where 2012-2014 were -5, -5, 4 by DRS and 1.4, -6.3, 3.5 in UZR/150.

Sandoval changed from an above average offense/average defense 3B with bad ball hitting skills with very streaky performance for three years running to the worst full time player in MLB. That didn't come from a gradual decline. Maybe it has to do with his weight or weight with respect to age or whatever. Maybe it had to do with the fact that his left leg from knee to ankle got basically blown apart in the middle of the first half and in an attempt to play through it he only made things worse. Maybe he just really, really struggled with the change to the AL. Maybe some combination thereof. But trying to pass of his massive decline in 2015 as something predicted by his prior season numbers is a conclusion you only draw if you're being 1. lazy and mathematically flawed in your assessment or 2. outright disingenuous.

If Sandoval 2016 is a 95% of Sandoval 2014 we'll all jump for fucking joy.
I think you did. Every year his OPS goes lower, thats the very definition of decline. Its not FUD, its a fact.

Age 24 2011 .909 OPS
Age 25 2012 .789 OPS
Age 26 2013 .758 OPS
Age 27 2014 .739 OPS
Age 28 2015 .658 OPS

Thats a pretty linear decline, not huge, but certainly not a plateau. As far as last seasons cliff dive, I do agree with you that injuries and a new environment probably hurt his performance. We both know defensive numbers vary all over the place year to year.

95% of 2014 implies a .702 OPS, I guess we are OK with that result, not sure I'm 'fucking jumping with joy'

disingenuous? that wasn't really necessary
 
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nvalvo

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
22,101
Rogers Park
I think you did. Every year his OPS goes lower, thats the very definition of decline. Its not FUD, its a fact.
Another fact is that league-wide offense fell sharply during the same period, and his home park for many of those seasons played even more as a pitchers' park. So the fairly steep decline in raw OPS might be better understood as a milder decline in adjusted numbers, so mild as to almost not be a discernible decline at all. That's what he's talking about.
 

doctorogres

New Member
Aug 27, 2010
118
I think you did. Every year his OPS goes lower, thats the very definition of decline. Its not FUD, its a fact.

Age 24 2011 .909 OPS
Age 25 2012 .789 OPS
Age 26 2013 .758 OPS
Age 27 2014 .739 OPS
Age 28 2015 .658 OPS
League OPS:
2011 .720
2012 .724
2013 .714
2014 .700
2015 .721

In this context his 2013 and 2014 "decline" are -.021 and +.004 relative to the league average's variance. Pretty insignificant. 2012 and 2015 stand out, though. Was surprised to find that the league's OPS was up a tick last year.
 

benhogan

Granite Truther
SoSH Member
Nov 2, 2007
21,090
Santa Monica
Another fact is that league-wide offense fell sharply during the same period, and his home park for many of those seasons played even more as a pitchers' park. So the fairly steep decline in raw OPS might be better understood as a milder decline in adjusted numbers, so mild as to almost not be a discernible decline at all. That's what he's talking about.
never mind...move on, not adding anything to the conversation
 
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Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
Again if his weight was cause for the decline then why didn't it happen in previous year? I am saying that it would have the same impact in all the years he's been fat. You talk around this issue over and again and are unable to address it head on.
.
Pablo Sandoval OPS plus, thus adjusted for league average and park factors, last 5 years: 155, 123, 116, 111, 76

QED. Whether it is because he refuses to get himself in condition to play baseball, or because he has no plate discipline and the usual age-related decline in ability to square up a baseball due to almost imperceptible changes in eyesight or reflex quality, doesn't really matter.

Pablo Sandoval is more than likely a bad baseball player right now. My guess is that 2016 will come in around the average of 111 and 76, which will still be less valuable than Garin Cecchini probably will be for the Brewers, especially adjusting for salary. The Red Sox have him at $70+ million for another 4 seasons. Not good.
 
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geoduck no quahog

not particularly consistent
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Nov 8, 2002
13,024
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What's left to be said?

We've established who'll get to say "I told you so" or "See, he doesn't suck" in July. Meanwhile, I don't see any trades or alternate 3B on the market, so he's playing for the Boston team.
 

Plympton91

bubble burster
SoSH Member
Oct 19, 2008
12,408
What's left to be said?

We've established who'll get to say "I told you so" or "See, he doesn't suck" in July. Meanwhile, I don't see any trades or alternate 3B on the market, so he's playing for the Boston team.
I guess the remaining question is, will they have the guts to not play him if someone who is paid less money is outperforming him? When Brock Holt is on one of his hot streaks, will they bench Sandoval and play Holt? Suppose Moncada is at Pawtucket putting up a .310 / .430 / 450 line, will they bring him up on August 1st? Or will Sandoval's contract make him the third baseman as long as he isn't a gaping hole of suck?
 

Montana Fan

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Oct 18, 2000
9,180
Twin Bridges, Mt.
I guess the plan is to hope that he puts up the 90 OPS+ you threw out there and then try to dump him after the season. They'll owe him just shy of $60 million for three years. If they have a good reason to eat half of it, Moncada raking in AAA scenario, then I expect they will.
 

sackamano

Member
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Apr 1, 2004
693
on the river
Pablo Sandoval is more than likely a bad baseball player right now. My guess is that 2016 will come in around the average of 111 and 76, which will still be less valuable than Garin Cecchini probably will be for the Brewers, especially adjusting for salary.
Cecchini would have more value to the Brewers than Panda would to the Sox even if he retired, using your "guess" analysis. Middlebrooks is also in the Brewers camp. Think double the no value.
 

YTF

Member
SoSH Member
I guess the remaining question is, will they have the guts to not play him if someone who is paid less money is outperforming him? When Brock Holt is on one of his hot streaks, will they bench Sandoval and play Holt? Suppose Moncada is at Pawtucket putting up a .310 / .430 / 450 line, will they bring him up on August 1st? Or will Sandoval's contract make him the third baseman as long as he isn't a gaping hole of suck?
First let me say that I think this is a VERY fair question that isn't asked enough. I've always been curious about the thought process that a certain player makes too much money not to play. A team presumably signs players based on trying to put in place the team that gives them the best chance to win. I realize that every team may have different financial constraints, but within their budget they will fill needs based on who they think may give them the best chance to succeed. Whether your team payroll is $80M or $250M that's what you've committed to. If at any point Brock Holt or anyone else provides you a better chance of winning, your payroll hasn't changed. When you've committed X amount of dollars to winning, why would you force one player into the lineup based on his individual contract if that player is not your best option to win? All things being equal in regards to the total investment in your team what's the greater sin? Benching an underperformer making $20M per season or sitting a guy who may provide you with a better chance of winning?
 

shaggydog2000

Member
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Apr 5, 2007
11,922
First let me say that I think this is a VERY fair question that isn't asked enough. I've always been curious about the thought process that a certain player makes too much money not to play. A team presumably signs players based on trying to put in place the team that gives them the best chance to win. I realize that every team may have different financial constraints, but within their budget they will fill needs based on who they think may give them the best chance to succeed. Whether your team payroll is $80M or $250M that's what you've committed to. If at any point Brock Holt or anyone else provides you a better chance of winning, your payroll hasn't changed. When you've committed X amount of dollars to winning, why would you force one player into the lineup based on his individual contract if that player is not your best option to win? All things being equal in regards to the total investment in your team what's the greater sin? Benching an underperformer making $20M per season or sitting a guy who may provide you with a better chance of winning?
In economics they call it a sunk cost. You paid the money for something already, you have to ignore that past payment when you figure out what makes the most sense from now. Contracts are pretty much treatable as fixed upfront payments in baseball, because you can't get out of them. So once you sign someone to a contact you should make the best decision on who to play from there based on their abilities. But that doesn't factor in that players usually get those big contracts for good reasons, like a track history of performance, which can't be ignored. Brock Holt has a track history of ending up a regular season with slightly below league average hitting numbers and a whole slew of positions played. Pablo Sandoval was once a very good 3B. He was an all-star twice and finished in the top ten in MVP voting once. He also bounced back from a sub-par 2010 where he was a below average hitter with his best season in 2011. Guys get longer leashes with a history of performance. Sandoval used up a heck of a lot of leash last year. It will be interesting to see how much he has left, and whether he needs it.
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Jun 30, 2006
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In economics they call it a sunk cost. You paid the money for something already, you have to ignore that past payment when you figure out what makes the most sense from now. Contracts are pretty much treatable as fixed upfront payments in baseball, because you can't get out of them. So once you sign someone to a contact you should make the best decision on who to play from there based on their abilities. But that doesn't factor in that players usually get those big contracts for good reasons, like a track history of performance, which can't be ignored. Brock Holt has a track history of ending up a regular season with slightly below league average hitting numbers and a whole slew of positions played. Pablo Sandoval was once a very good 3B. He was an all-star twice and finished in the top ten in MVP voting once. He also bounced back from a sub-par 2010 where he was a below average hitter with his best season in 2011. Guys get longer leashes with a history of performance. Sandoval used up a heck of a lot of leash last year. It will be interesting to see how much he has left, and whether he needs it.
And what happens with those decisions right there are likely what will determine whether it's Farrell or Lovullo answering the media's post-game questions in September.

It's not just Sandoval and Holt that need to be juggled; Castillo and Bradley and Hanley and Shaw and Young and perhaps even the ghosts of Murphy and Boesch and Brentz. There are so many pieces that can be shifted around in order to try to perfect the rubiks cube that is the 2016 Red Sox, before the season ends.

What turnings to make so that each one fits is Farrell's job, and although Spring Training doesn't really matter for anything with regard to roster decisions (except health, of course), all these players should be scrutinized on a daily basis so that, when the games count, the respective leashes are of appropriate length.
 

keninten

New Member
Nov 24, 2005
588
Tennessee
I guess the remaining question is, will they have the guts to not play him if someone who is paid less money is outperforming him? When Brock Holt is on one of his hot streaks, will they bench Sandoval and play Holt? Suppose Moncada is at Pawtucket putting up a .310 / .430 / 450 line, will they bring him up on August 1st? Or will Sandoval's contract make him the third baseman as long as he isn't a gaping hole of suck?
Having a new GM who didn`t sign him could help in that the best player plays. If a GM gives a player a big contract and the manager doesn`t play him, it could be perceived as showing him up or "not being on the same page"..
 

DourDoerr

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Oct 15, 2004
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I guess the remaining question is, will they have the guts to not play him if someone who is paid less money is outperforming him? When Brock Holt is on one of his hot streaks, will they bench Sandoval and play Holt? Suppose Moncada is at Pawtucket putting up a .310 / .430 / 450 line, will they bring him up on August 1st? Or will Sandoval's contract make him the third baseman as long as he isn't a gaping hole of suck?
I'm on record somewhere in a long ago thread as being violently opposed to the Sandoval signing and promised to avoid making myself miserable by looking through this thread, but like a moth to a flame or Sandoval to a buffet here I am and wondering what the downside is to benching an underperforming Pablo. He quits playing? And how would we tell?

Perhaps the embarrassment of sitting on the bench might finally motivate him to lose some weight and give himself a chance to compete. Hopefully, he'll be all right and this is all moot, but if the Sox continue to play a slumping Sandoval, well, you're sending the message that you value appearances over performance. I don't think that's conducive to a winning culture.

I'd be very surprised if the players on this team who worked hard over the winter don't privately think Sandoval is risking the team's chances of winning. Or, to look at it another way, if Pablo had come in to camp in shape, I'd guess he'd have a lot of political capital with those same players. It's difficult to get upset over someone who's worked hard and simply can't play at a high level anymore.
 

Corleone

Sleeps with the fishes
Jul 24, 2015
67
The boys are here at least another season. Here's to HanRam and the Panda pulling a Lackey and re-inventing themselves for a playoff run..
I have faith.

Second biggest ? this spring is the Manager. That in itself might be the bigger story.
 

PrometheusWakefield

Member
SoSH Member
May 25, 2009
10,507
Boston, MA
With an average defensive third baseman, the Red Sox would have the second best projected team defense in baseball this year, behind only the Royals.

With our actual joke of a "third baseman"? We're sixth.
 

doctorogres

New Member
Aug 27, 2010
118
I'd be very surprised if the players on this team who worked hard over the winter don't privately think Sandoval is risking the team's chances of winning. Or, to look at it another way, if Pablo had come in to camp in shape, I'd guess he'd have a lot of political capital with those same players. It's difficult to get upset over someone who's worked hard and simply can't play at a high level anymore.
From the Speier article in this thread:
Sandoval would set his alarm for 4:30 a.m. from Monday through Saturday. His morning workout ran from 5 a.m. to 7:30, following by a hitting session (emphasizing his righthanded swing starting in mid-November) from 8 a.m. to about 9 or 9:30, followed by yoga at 11 a.m., rest, and then an afternoon lift from 3-5 p.m., a 12-hour, six-day-a-week routine.

“He worked his [expletive] off,” said one team official.
and
For all of the scrutiny that his physique has elicited, Sandoval insists that he is in position to do just that. He suggests that he’s seen the markers of improvement both offensively – where his timing as a righthanded hitter in live batting practice sessions has appeared well ahead of most teammates – and in the way that he’s been able to move in the field.
I'm not necessarily saying the Sandoval signing was a great decision, but he stands a fair chance to rebound, and the degree to which people are freaking out over a picture, before actual games are played, is absurd. This is baseball. Have an argument with a fan of any other sport and the first thing they bring up is that you can be fat and still be a good player. Freaking Bartolo Colon just had an age 42 season with a 3.84 FIP.