With the San Francisco Giants mired in a miserable season, sitting a whopping 18 1/2 games out of a playoff spot as August looms, Hunter Pence could scarcely contain his enthusiasm Thursday about possibly getting Pablo Sandoval back.
“I think it’s exciting. He’s done so many amazing things here,” Pence told Andrew Baggarly of the Mercury News. “He’s always been one of those personalities that kind of fits in with the Giants and the Bay Area. I know there’s been all sorts of stuff – I haven’t listened or heard all of it – but I’ve always enjoyed Pablo. I’m very grateful for the times that we played together and the remarkable things he’s done in clutch situations.”
On Wednesday, shortly after Sandoval was released from his ill-fated, five-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, it was reported that the 30-year-old third baseman had agreed to a minor-league deal with the Giants, who employed him from 2008 through 2014. Sandoval promptly denied reaching an agreement with his former club, noting that he won’t make a decision until Friday, but it appears Pence is keen to have him back.
“I enjoyed his playful creative spirit,” Pence added. “Who knows? There’s been just a great bond between him and this city and what he’s done here for the most part.”
He continued: “I think a lot of people have fond memories of him.”
Before heading to Boston, Sandoval was a fan favorite in San Francisco, where his oversized personality, reliable bat, and knack for postseason heroics made him one of the club’s most beloved players of the last quarter-century. In seven seasons with the Giants, Sandoval earned a pair of All-Star appearances, twice received National League MVP votes, and helped the club to three World Series titles, putting up an .811 OPS in 869 games and averaging 15 homers and 27 doubles per year while hitting .344/.389/.545 in 39 postseason contests.