TV and Pablo
The Giants and Comcast will make the announcement tomorrow or Wednesday, but you heard it here first: On Friday night at 6:30, Comcast Sports Bay Area will broadcast the first installment of a series called “Inside the Clubhouse.” The hour-long show is, more or less, a taped version of the “Chalk Talk” held for a group of season ticket-holders inside the clubhouse last month. Jon Miller moderated a panel that included Barry Zito, Bruce Bochy, Brian Sabean and Bill Neukom. You’re unlikely to hear a more candid conversation about the Giants present and future. (See my December 22 post for some details of the Chalk Talk.)
The Giants are hosting the second Chalk Talk of the winter on Wednesday, again inside the clubhouse. This one will feature Kevin Frandsen, Fred Lewis and again Miller and Bochy. I’ll be attending and will pass along the highlights.
Thanks, obsessivegiantscompulsive, for your great questions after my last post. I know I can’t answer all of them, but they certainly got the wheels spinning. I’ll take your first question first – some Pablo Sandoval history.
Sandoval, as you know, lit up the clubhouse as soon as he arrived. He is one of those people who make you smile just to look at them. He carried himself like a veteran on the field – particularly, of course, at the plate — but in the clubhouse and even during pregame warm-ups, he was like a kid who sneaked in through a hole in the fence and can’t believe no one has tossed him out yet. Everyone loves him. A few weeks after Sandoval’s arrival, Zito already was calling him his favorite player.
Here is what I know so far about Pablo.
* His father works in management at Monaca Corporation, Venezuela’s second-largest food producer.
* His mother has a small company that sells electronics such as Ipods and televisions. Because she worked long hours, Pablo’s grandmother essentially raised him.
* Pablo is one of five children. His one-year-old sister died when she was a year old in a car accident (Pablo’s mother, Amelia, was driving). Pablo was seven at the time and counts his sister’s death as one of the lowest moments of his life (along with the death of his grandmother three years ago). He has three older brothers. The oldest (29) is a police officer, the second oldest (28) is a criminal attorney and the third, Michael, 26, is also a baseball player, currently in the Mexican League. He was released by the Minnesota Twins last year after reaching the Double-A level.
* He, his wife Yoletzade and their one-year-old daughter, Yoleadny Carolina, lived with Pablo’s parents in Carabobo last off-season but have now found a house of their own to buy, about 20 minutes from his parents. They closed on it at the end of the season.
* Parents stressed education rather than sports, but Pablo convinced his parents to let him sign with the Giants at 16 because his older brother Michael was already in professional baseball in the Twins organization. Pablo talked by phone to Michael every day during the season last year.
* His mother traveled from Venezuela to see Pablo play in the Futures Game in July. Pablo said she cried watching him.
* Pablo began in youth baseball as a shortstop because he idolized Omar Vizquel. He started to believe he could be a major-leaguer when he was 15. During a tournament in Cuba with a Venezuelan team, a scout told Pablo he had the talent to go as far as he wanted. He began working harder after that, lifting weights at the gym.
* The scar under his left eye is sort of baseball-related. He had a plastic baseball bat when he was just a year old and was hitting the family’s pet Doberman with it. The dog bit him on the face. (The family got rid of the dog . . .)