While Pablo Sandoval remains on the disabled list for a shoulder strain that may or may not be real, the Red Sox third baseman’s relationship with food is being scrutinized. Comcast Sports Net’s Sean McAdam was on Toucher and Rich today and reported that when Sandoval was with the San Francisco Giants, the team made sure he couldn’t order room service from the hotels during road trips.
McAdam believes that Sandoval—who’s in the second year of a five-year, $95 million contract—actually worked to get in shape for the season, but his eating habits undermined all of his effort. Listen to the segment, or read the transcription:
I know somebody whose job it was to check in on Sandoval in the offseason, in South Florida where he was supposed to be getting into shape, and he told me he would show up at this gym at 7:00 in the morning, and said, “I couldn’t beat him there.” In other words, Sandoval was already there when he showed up, every time, unannounced at 7:00. He would stay there for the entire morning, and then you see what kind of shape he showed up in, so it isn’t an unwillingness to work. Look, I’m not even playing a doctor on the radio this morning, but it certainly seems like this guy has some sort of significant eating disorder, because if you’re putting that much time in at the gym, and it’s supervised, and it’s all programmed out, and then you walk into camp, the way he did, you must be eating an awful lot to counteract the work you’re doing.
And I’ll tell you another anecdote. This is how concerned the Giants were when he played for them ... they would make special arrangements at the hotel the Giants were staying in to not allow him to order room service. They would tell the front desk management, “If he calls down for room service at night after games, do not send anything to this room.” They went to great measures to try to cut down on those eating binges, and it would only work for a time because he would find someplace to get food.
Meanwhile, Sandoval’s former trainer Ethan Banning talked to the Boston Herald about how difficult it was to get the MLBer to monitor his weight. Banning said that Sandoval once gained 21 pounds in 21 days, and had legitimate problems with controlling how much he ate:
“I care about him greatly,” said Banning, who lost touch with Sandoval after the 2011-12 offseason. “But it’s a tough love. He needs to be smart enough to say there’s a problem. It’s like the alcoholic that won’t admit he’s an alcoholic: well, you can’t address that you’re an alcoholic if you don’t ever admit there’s a problem. He’s got to address that.
“He’s proven to me and shown consistently that he’s got to have somebody like me holding his hand doing that. And it’s not an exercise thing, it’s an eating thing. Obviously exercise is an important factor in it, a very important factor, but eating is going to be the component that needs to be managed and monitored. We had a chef on staff that cooked all his meals.”
Sandoval has one walk and no hits in seven plate appearances this season.