The San Francisco Giants put any contract extension talks with Pablo Sandoval on hold earlier this month. With that uncertainty now set to loom for the rest of the season, manager Bruce Bochy wants to be sure that Sandoval stays focused.
Speaking on Sunday about the situation, specifically Sandoval’s struggles so far this season, Bochy said the following (quotes from MLB.com):
He’s the only one who can answer that I guess, if it’s on his mind. The one thing you don’t want Pablo to do is to get away from playing the game the way he normally plays it — with a lot of passion and enthusiasm. Thinking about the contract, it can be a distraction. He assured me it’s not.”
Bochy also said he hopes Sandoval can be a key player for the Giants this year, something he punctuated with something of an admonishment:
I certainly hope so. He’s got to keep his focus here.”
How Sandoval will respond over the course of the long season remains to be seen. But for one day on Sunday, Sandoval responded quite nicely. In the team’s rubber game with the Colorado Rockies, he made a number of great plays at third base and delivered this shot of a home run.