Ding Dong City

Everyone in Red Sox Nation will remember were they where when Manager John Farrell announced that Rookie sensation Travis Shaw aka Mayor of Ding Dong City, would be the Opening Day third baseman for the Boston Red Sox.

“For right now to start the season this is what’s best for our team,” said Farrell.

The Mayor of Ding Dong City

It’s kind of hard to disagree with him, especially after the spring that Shaw had. This spring the Mayor has hit .333, 2 Home Runs, 10 RBI’s and an OPS of .886. Now for me, personally I’m a believer that spring stats don’t mean much in the sense of a preview of what’s to come. But, with that said I do believe that having a good spring CAN play you into the starting lineup, but in this case I think it’s because of something even bigger.

It’s no secret that Farrell is on the “hot seat”, so management HAS to put the best possible product on the field and that’s why we will all be seeing Shaw to open the season. Shaw came into camp hungry and ready to hit the ground running.

Who’s Hungry? Ding Dong City, is.

Sandoval came into camp hungry, hungry for snacks and the food spread and literally couldn’t hit the ground running even with his impressive 17% massive frame. So it’s almost a no-brainer to go with Shaw and see what he can give us in what could be the most important month of April in Farrell’s managerial career.

Do I think The Mayor of Ding Dong City will be the third baseman for the whole season? Hell No. Do I think this is only a temporary fix until Pablo can show some progression and improvement offensively and defensively? Yes. Shaw’s rise to the majors and his popularity in Boston is great to see for the game, but I’m not 100% ready to jump on the Shaw-mobile quite yet, especially when you have Sandoval and his “$17 million dollar salary and his 17% body fat” riding the pine to begin the season.

But for fun, lets say Sandoval doesn’t improve and just can’t cut the mustard and continues to be a bench guy going into June/July…

  • Do the Sox trade him? Doubtful, unless they swallow their pride and eat up a good chunk of money.
  • Do they release him? Very possible, but you’re still going to be on the hook for the remainder of his gut-sized $95 million dollar contract.

Bottom line, Red Sox Nation is ready for the Mayor to hit massive Ding Dong’s all around the league. But if he can’t we have to come to the realization that Pablo and his stash of Ding Dong Cakes will be waiting in the wings.

No One Should Poke at Sandoval’s Weight

When the Red Sox arrived in Fort Myers last week to begin spring training one thing that almost everyone immediately focused on was Pablo Sandoval’s weight. A less-than-flattering photo showing Sandoval’s gut hanging over his shorts in mid throw flooded social media, making Red Sox fans scowl with concern that Panda’s weight could lead to another poor season. Not only is it unfair to body shame Sandoval, it also contributes absolutely nothing positive to the Red Sox as they prepare for the 2016 season. Red Sox nation should instead throw its own weight behind Panda and the rest of the team in order to avoid a third straight disastrous season and bring another World Series Championship back to Boston.

Sandoval's weight

Sandoval claims that his body weight is now at 17%, down from 23% last season, putting him in the “good” category and above most acceptable levels. If these numbers are true, then the last thing anyone should focus on is ridiculing Sandoval’s weight, especially going into a season where morale is going to be essential for the team. While Sandoval will probably always be on the stockier side, history shows us that weight gain doesn’t always mean it’s all over for a player. Take Babe Ruth for instance.

Ruth faced a similar, yet much more dangerous, scenario in 1925 when his weight ballooned to 260 lbs in the off-season. After supposedly binging on too many sodas and hot dogs before a pre-season game (some suggest alcohol was involved) Ruth was hospitalized for weeks in what became known as “the bellyache heard ’round the world.” Fortunately, the following season Ruth worked hard to shed the weight, after which he would go on to lead the American League in runs, walks, and home runs for the next three seasons. A key factor to keep in mind here is that Ruth was 30 years old at the time he turned it around and lost the excess weight, the same age that Sandoval will turn this year. If history is any indication of what is to come, since Panda is already working hard to stay fit, then the 2016 season could definitely shape up to be one of his best. Early reports from spring training suggest that Sandoval is prepping well for what could become a strong season for him with Red Sox manager John Farrrell stating this week, “His righthanded swing is much more consistent than what we saw at any time last year.”

Sandoval doesn’t need put-downs over his weight. Instead, Sandoval needs encouragement. When he starts to play well then fans need to let him know with cheers. Sandoval needs to know that we have confidence in him (I do). A little encouragement can go a very long way and in Sandoval’s case, he’ll need all he can get. Cheers, not finger pointing, is what will help Panda and the Sox capture another World Series title.