It's hard to hate Pablo Sandoval. As maddening he is to watch and as frustrating as he can be, he'll make plays or hit an impossible pitch and then flash a huge smile or blow a massive bubble.
Then all is forgotten...
...until the next time he drives you nuts.
We all know people like this. Lovable people that drive you effing crazy. You either learn to live with it, and accept their flaws, or you cut bait with them and move on with a more stress-free, yet less exciting life.
Panda's propensity for the big moment and the incredible hot streaks are as common as his ice cold valleys, and his weight fluctuations-- the main issue he faces as a big leaguer.
The weight struggles are not going to go away, and it will likely affect him for the rest of his life. Trust me, I know.
Sure Panda and I have lost the weight before. It all comes down to motivation. His is related to money and baseball, and mine was more "lady" related (if you catch my drift).
But beware of the motivational changes that occur. As with me and my successful wooing of my lady and the subsequent happiness that comes with reaching a goal, there is inevitable backsliding. Because what happens? You feel good, you're having success, you look good, you're crushing baseballs. What would some In 'N Out hurt? Maybe some epic Animal Fries? You've earned it after all.
This is how it happens.
Next thing you know, you've signed that fat contract extension, you've made that girl your girlfriend, and if you don't pay close attention and stick with what got you there. All the sudden, you've gained that weight back.
You've seen it a hundred times.
This post isn't here to analyze Pablo's numbers, trends, or what he might make in his next contract. It's simply a cautionary tale about how people work, and their flaws. You can't un-love eating food, just like you can't turn a conservative into a liberal or a Giants fan into a Doyer.
It all comes down to motivation, and sometimes the love of whatever game you're playing isn't enough to keep someone off the liquor or away from the bread. In Pablo's case, he should want to stay in the good shape he's supposedly in, and he should absolutely request to have weight clauses included in his contract, not simply accept them as conditional additions from Giants brass or dodge the responsibility by signing with another team that didn't include said clauses.
He should want to remain good on the field and good in jeans. A huge guaranteed contract without stipulations is like turning Lindsay Lohan loose on the streets of Manhattan with a purse full of cash and team full of enablers.
He knows himself better than that, and so do I.