Sandoval visits Giants and remembers old teammates

Sandoval visits Giants, reminisces about former teammates who originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO β€” When Pablo Sandoval entered the coaches room of the Giants clubhouse on Friday afternoon and found Brandon Crawford, his longtime teammate pointed out that it was a gathering of two players from position who share the franchise record for the lowest ERA. Entering the field a few minutes later, Sandoval laughed and offered a correction.

“I threw more innings,” he pointed out.

Sandoval was all smiles on Friday as he returned to Oracle Park for the first time since his playing days ended. After playing in the Mexican league last year, Sandoval is enjoying life at home in Miami with his family. He said his body and mind felt good.

“I don’t have to worry if I hit or if I don’t play,” he said. “I’m healthy. It’s good.”

Sandoval is back in town for an autograph signing and said he was “happy and excited” to see former teammates and many veterans he played against. He also spent time chatting with rookie outfielder Luis Matos, a fellow Venezuelan who grew up watching Sandoval.

β€œI also know who he is. He is young, I am,” Sandoval said. “He has great talent.”

Sandoval hung out near the cage during batting practice and spent some time catching up with manager Gabe Kapler, who still has fond memories of his brief stint with Sandoval in 2020.

“I’m glad Pablo is here,” Kapler said. “One thing about Pablo that was really refreshing was that even at the end of his career he still wanted to play all the time. He wanted the big moment, he was always prepared in the cage. It’s tough to be a veteran player and maintain that youthful enthusiasm for playing baseball.

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Asked about his favorite memories of Sandoval, Kapler smiled and mentioned how much cologne Sandoval wore.

“It’s a compliment: you could still smell Pablo,” Kapler said. β€œHe was very intentional about his scent. I walked in the canoe, you knew Pablo was there, it smelled good, you’re ready to play baseball.

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