Red Sox third baseman Sandoval receives World Series ring
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Pablo Sandoval had his latest sparkly World Series ring visible in his locker at the Oakland Coliseum.
He is as proud of it as the first two he won with the San Francisco Giants, in 2010 and `12.
''All three are great,'' he said. ''It's hard to get one.''
The Red Sox slugger received the bling Sunday night from former manager Bruce Bochy, CEO Larry Baer and general manager Bobby Evans at Boston's team hotel, and said they spent about 30 minutes together. That stirred up memories from Kung Fu Panda's successful tenure with San Francisco despite any souring of the relationship in recent months.
Sandoval believes his comments during spring training expressing frustration at the team's handling of negotiations last year and those that he only missed Bochy and Hunter Pence ''came out the wrong side.''
''Because if I'm going to tell every name that I miss, it's going to be a long interview,'' he said, sitting in Boston's dugout holding a makeshift press conference. ''I just said those names because Bochy's like my dad, always believed in me, Hunter's the greatest player I've been playing with. It's nothing about my teammates, nothing about the fan support. But things came out the wrong side.''
Sandoval received a $95 million, five-year contract from the Red Sox in November to start fresh across the country after winning three World Series titles in five years. He was the 2012 World Series MVP. The Giants had offered nearly an identical deal, but had been willing to consider pushing it closer to $100 million.
''I feel good. A new team, a new challenge that I picked,'' he said. ''I'm happy the way I am right now, doing my job. That's the only thing that I care about.''
The Red Sox have appreciated Sandoval's energy and spirit on and off the field.
''Brought a lot of life and hard work and intensity between the lines. He's fit in very well in our clubhouse,'' manager John Farrell said.
Sandoval expressed gratitude toward the Giants for giving him a chance as a Venezuelan teenager, and said he learned from now team president Brian Sabean - even if he didn't agree with how negotiations were handled. Contract talks stalled last spring before the 2014 season began.
''Nothing bad. What am I going to say? Why am I going to feel something bad? He taught me a lot of things,'' Sandoval said of Sabean. ''It's part of his job. He's doing his job, I'm doing mine, so no hard feelings.''
But, added, ''I accept what I said, I agree with what I said.''
Sandoval, who spent his first seven major league seasons with the Giants, walked around San Francisco on Monday before a night game at Oakland and said he wasn't stopped by any fans and probably went mostly unnoticed. If anything, he would like the fans to know he always ''gave them 150 percent on the field.''
''They know inside this is our job. I respect them, I know they respect me,'' he said. ''It's great. I love the feeling of being back. It's different but I had to come from the business side. It's just hard.''
Bochy and Sandoval still trade texts and he values the manager's insight and advice to this day.
He said he will always appreciate his time with San Francisco, but knew
''I feel great. They gave me an opportunity to be in professional baseball,'' he said. ''They gave me an opportunity when I was 16 years old. They opened the door to be in the big leagues. They gave me three rings. Why am I going to be sad about it?
''Now I have to move on,'' he said.