Giants & A’s

Matt Kawahara, Bay Area baseball beat writer

Leading Off: Sandoval cleaning up at plate this season

04/09/2013 12:00 AM

04/09/2013 7:49 AM

So what if Pablo Sandoval has mustard stains on the front of his XXXL jersey and a half-eaten kielbasa stuffed in the back pocket of his pants (non-sliding side, of course)?

The man affectionately known as Kung Fu Panda – or merely Panda – by Giants fans for the past five seasons is cleaning up at home plate early this season, gobbling up pitchers for two home runs, five RBIs and a .318 batting average through the first six games of the season.

But it's obvious he also has been cleaning the plate at home – and around the Mission District's finer Venezuelan restaurants. His expanding waistline makes him look at least 20 pounds heavier than his listed weight of 240 pounds.

Sandoval is not the only major leaguer whose belly hangs over his belt buckle. Fellow slugger Prince Fielder in Detroit is listed at 275 pounds, and pitchers Bartolo Colon in Oakland and CC Sabathia with the Yankees could do some damage at Hometown Buffet.

The Giants could force Sandoval to lose weight. But would a hungry, stomach-growling Panda be as effective at home plate as one who just ate rotisserie chicken and empanadas?

And at third base, Sandoval already has made the highlight reels with some great defense.

As long as he's producing and playing his position, let Sandoval eat and be merry.

It ain't over until the fat man swings.

What to watch

NCAA women's championship, Connecticut vs. Louisville, 5:30 p.m., ESPN: Coach Geno Auriemma and UConn look for their eighth national title.

Today's poll

Do you care if Pablo Sandoval is overweight?

Not as long as he's hitting.

Yes, he'd be a better player.

Vote above or leave your comments in the comments field; or go to www.sacbee.com/sports

Monday's results

Would you prefer to know the future of the Kings before their final game on April 17?

Yes: 65%

No: 3%

It doesn't matter: 32%

Total votes: 688

Call The Bee's Victor Contreras, (916) 326-5527. Follow him on Twitter @SacBeeVictor.

About This Blog

Matt Kawahara has covered baseball for The Sacramento Bee for three years. Kawahara, a McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley graduate, joined The Bee in 2010. Before joining Sports, he was a general assignment news reporter. Reach Kawahara at mkawahara@sacbee.com. Twitter: @matthewkawahara.

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