Last year it was Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval who were taking heavy heat in Boston. Now, it’s just Sandoval.
Sandoval is not in the Red Sox lineup for their home opener because he is not a regular. And while his name might not be announced when the starting lineup is being introduced, he is on the team so he is going to play at some point.
So far, 2016 has not gone over so well with Sandoval, striking out, breaking his belt, making errors and play on an infrequent basis. Sandoval had not been a bench player until now, and it does not seem to be working out well for him.
Because he is making $17.6 million this season, he has been under more scrutiny. Twitter has been all over him and a fan in Toronto even brought him a backup belt for him.
The way he has been received and talked about online is known. But what will happen the first time his name is announced at Fenway? Whether it be a pinch-hit, defensive replacement or a start in the lineup, it is bound to happen at some point.
The first Spring Training game, there was nothing but love for him and Ramirez. But then again, Ramirez is quickly transforming himself into a fan favorite while Sandoval lost his starting job and then his agent felt the need to make some strange comparison to him being a Ferrari in a garage.
This one could go either way. Even David Ortiz has been booed at Fenway for not running out a ground ball at 39 years old.
Either way, people pay money for their tickets and are entitled to do what they want. Sandoval is a member of the team trying to help the Red Sox win game. But he has not lived up to the money either.