Leading Off

It’s good to be Pablo Sandoval these days

Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval celebrates with fans at a parade to commemorate their 2014 World Series Championship on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. The team celebrates it’s third World Series Championship in five years.
Giants third baseman Pablo Sandoval celebrates with fans at a parade to commemorate their 2014 World Series Championship on Friday, Oct. 31, 2014 in San Francisco, Calif. The team celebrates it’s third World Series Championship in five years. pkitagaki@sacbee.com

This, that and the other thing:

▪ It’s not every day that a 5-foot-11, 255-pound man with a beard and belly feels like the Belle of the Ball, but that’s what Pablo Sandoval must feel like as baseball’s most courted free-agent third baseman. Sandoval is in Boston, where he will be wined and dined on Tuesday by the Red Sox, who are “all in” to sell Panda hats at Fenway Park next summer. Imagine a lineup with Dustin Pedroia, Yoenis Cespedes, Sandoval and David Ortiz.

▪ While Sandoval would fill Boston’s need for a third baseman, he would create a huge hole for San Francisco. The Giants either would have to find a third baseman through free agency or a trade or from within. As valuable as Buster Posey is behind the plate, don’t be surprised if you see No.28 taking ground balls next spring if Sandoval leaves. How long can Posey continue to take a beating behind the plate? After five seasons, it may be time to change his position to prolong his career. With Brandon Belt at first and Andrew Susac looking as if he’s ready to start at catcher, don’t dismiss the idea of Posey moving to third. When manager Bruce Bochy was asked about the possibility a few years ago, he told reporters: “Oh, I believe he could play third base. He’s got good hands with his athleticism, and he’s got good awareness.”

▪ You’ve got to hand it to the Kings. Even when they blow a 26-point lead and lose, they refuse to go down without a fight. But it’s unlikely that Sacramento’s protest – announced by the league Monday – of Thursday night’s 111-110 loss at Memphis will be upheld. Of course, there wouldn’t have been a Grizzlies back-door-basket at the buzzer or a need for the Kings to protest had Jason Thompson simply remained in the key to guard the basket with 0.3 seconds left instead of being lured away from the play. We’re still scratching our heads about that one.

Victor Contreras

vcontreras@sacbee.com


What to watch

NBA, Kings vs. Pelicans,

7 p.m., CSNCA: Pelicans big man Anthony Davis will give the Kings all they can handle.


What to do

Women’s college basketball, UC Davis at Sacramento State, 7 p.m.: It’s not Connecticut, but the Hornets will do.

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