More stretching is in Sandoval's future.
In what they hope will be a productive and fan-friendly effort to help rotund third baseman Pablo Sandoval shed some pounds, the Red Sox are rolling out a new fan initiative during the homestand starting tonight:
Push-Ups with the Panda.
Before each inning the Red Sox take the field, the barcodes from five tickets will be announced to the crowd and listed on the center field scoreboard. Those fans holding tickets with matching codes will be invited onto the field to do 20 push-ups with Sandoval.
"Sandoval's mobility at third base has been a disappointment," says general manager Ben Cherington. "Balls we saw him get to during the playoffs last year are finding holes, and at the plate he's not whipping the bat around at the same rate either. He's a great guy, but he's just too damn fat."
In another move geared to help Sandoval, Cherington says the team is considering installing a water fountain by the third base coach's box. Sandoval had to leave a game earlier this season due to dehydration, so it is hoped that walking by the fountain each inning will prompt him to stop for a quick sip.
"We checked with the league office," says Cherington. "Although the water fountain will be in foul ground, balls bouncing off and then caught will be outs. This might help us too when it comes to Sandoval's mobility issues."
Sandoval could not be reached for comment, but shortstop Xander Bogaerts thinks these would both be good moves.
"I'm running myself ragged out there trying to get to the balls that Pablo can't," says Bogaerts. "I've worn out three pairs of cleats already. Maybe the extra water and extra exercise will get me some extra rest too."