Pablo Sandoval Has Gone From The Lovable Kung Fu Panda To Dragon Ball After Shedding 38 Pounds This Off-SeasonFebruary 25, 2011 – 7:00 am by Steven Cuce
Although the San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series, Pablo Sandoval had a very disappointing season for himself personally. The man nicknamed “Kung Fu Panda” hit a a career low .268 with 13 home runs and 63 runs batted in last season in 152 games played. In the postseason he played in only 6 games and had 17 plate appearances with 3 hits and 2 runs batted in. Sandoval had come into the MLB in 2008 and became a fan favorite in the Bay Area due to his hard work ethic and his big weight, thus getting the nickname of “Kung Fu Panda.”
It had been known that Kung Fu Panda came into spring training last year out of shape and unprepared, which led to a down year for Sandoval. The Giants went as far as benching the third basemen making him pretty much a reserve player by seasons end. Sandoval supported his teammates throughout the postseason and went into the off-season motivated to prove everyone wrong. He worked out with Barry Bonds and reported to spring training having shed 38 pounds. This could be the making of a bounce back year for Kung Fu Panda. His new teammate Miguel Tejada has changed his nickname to “Dragon Ball.”
[Pablo Sandoval before he lost weight. See after picture below.]
Pablo Sandoval joined KNBR in San Francisco with Razor and Mr. T to discuss the difference between this off-season and last off-season, does it make him more confident now that he has lost this much weight, did he put on a pair of old pants and say “Holy Smokes,” how did he end up working out with Barry Bonds and were the Giants okay with that, can we still call him “Kung Fu Panda” now because you’re really not the big man anymore and what did it feel like coming into spring training this year prepared. (Editor’s note: Steve did the best job possible transcribing this interview. It surely wasn’t easy)
What was the difference between last off-season and this off-season where you came back to look like a completely different person?
“Yeah, yeah, you know last year things happen for a reason you know, but last year wasn’t me doing the workouts. I went back to Venezuela. I lost like months on the workouts more of it being in the paper so that, but this year I get my off-season workouts being there like routine every day. Wake up every morning to get out what the workout program seeks and qualifies. They ask “Are you slipping?” I’ve never done this before, but I’m happy you know I’m happy. Although those things happen, last year was last year. This is a new year.”
Doesn’t it just make you feel more confident losing weight and you feel good? Doesn’t it make you feel good?
“Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. You don’t want to stop. You starting seeing pounds coming off, kind of things like that. You lose weight like that. You know you feel comfortable about yourself. All the workouts you keeping doing, but the workouts I keep doing, I keep working hard.”
Did you put on a pair of your pants after working out this summer that you had worn in the past and went “Holy Smokes?”
“Yeah I did it. I did it. A got a couple of pants that I have been wearing for one year you know and one’s I’ve been wearing after a workout. I’ve been wearing all those pants.”
We heard you were working out with Barry Bonds. How did that happen and were the Giants okay with that?
“No you know it was the off-season. I lost working out with them you know I was getting little tips about my size. Guys like Barry [Bonds] hitting home runs in the major leagues just sitting there next to you like that you know talking to you, giving you little tips, keeping you managed in the right procedure and having workouts now. I’ve been doing all the right things. It’s one of those things you never want to forget.”
Can we even call you Kung Fu Panda now? We’re going to have find you a nickname based on these pictures we’re seeing of you now. We barely recognize you with all the weight loss?
“Yeah. Yeah. Nah,nah, man. Miguel [Tejada] put a new nickname today. We was thinking about it ‘Dragon Ball.’ [Hosts: What?]‘Dragon Ball.’[Hosts: What?] ‘Dragon Ball.’ No like ‘Dragon Ball.’ Yeah. Miguel Tejada gave me that nickname. No I don’t watch it [The cartoon Dragon Ball Z].”
How did it feel to show up this year? Give me the mindset coming in being prepared?
“Exciting. Exciting to get back with my teammates. Excited to get back to work again. I never have felt that great as I’m feeling right now. You know before or anything like that. I’m very excited to be around my teammates. I’m going to happy tomorrow the games are starting. I’m going to happy.”