Hill: Panda needs to perform to quiet Red Sox media, fans

Rich Hill grew up in the Boston suburbs and last year pitched for the Red Sox, so he has some insight into the razzing that third baseman Pablo Sandoval is getting from the fans and media in Boston for carrying too much weight around his gut.

Sandoval, the former Giant, is listed at 5-foot-11, 255 pounds, and based on the photos from the Red Sox’s workouts over the weekend, the second number is very likely an underestimate.

Hill, likely to be the A’s No. 2 starting pitcher to begin the season, said he thought Sandoval “was a great teammate’’ last year and is distressed to see the way a firestorm has erupted over Sandoval’s weight. It’s not the first time that the man known as Panda has had weight troubles.

“I don’t find it at all amusing,’’ Hill said Monday. “It’s not a matter of what you look like. It’s about how you go out and play, and for the time I was there last year, I thought he did all right.’’

Signed away from San Francisco a year ago by the Red Sox, Sandoval put together a slash line of .245/.292/.366 for Boston, numbers that were 43, 47 and 86 points below his career standards. So, yes, he failed to hit his weight.

Fans wasted no time in turning on him, and that seems to be carrying over to this season.

“Boston is a city of immediate feedback, good or bad,’’ Hill said. “That’s one of the things I like about it. You do well, you hear about it. You don’t, and you hear about that, too. It seems to me he just needs to go out and have the kind of year he’s had in the past and this blows over.

“I guess he’s always had weight issues. He just needs to go out and perform.’’


Melvin sends get-well wishes to `best manager in baseball’

Oakland A’s manager Bob Melvin said he sent get well wishes to Giants manager Bruce Bochy Thursday night after hearing that Bochy had been admitted to a Scottsdale hospital after his physical exam revealed the need for an operation that inserted two stents into his heart.

“That’s scary, and he’s talking like it’s no big deal,’’ Melvin said. “He’s the best manager in the big leagues.

“I don’t know if that gets caught in the physicals they gave 10 years ago or when I was playing.’’

Melvin said Thursday that the only quirk he’d had during a physical was when as a player he was detected as having a heart murmur. It turned out to be something of an overly vigorous heart.

“It turned out my heart was too strong,’’ he said, shaking his head.


Film producers looking for stories from 1989 quake series

Do you have any special memories of the 1989 earthquake that changed the lives of many of us living in the Bay Area a quarter of a century ago?

Electric City Entertainment is putting together an exploration of the Loma Prieta quake that hit just moments before the scheduled start of Game 3 of the Series between the A’s and Giants.

The film will be the second in ESPN’s 30 for 30 series produced by Jamie Patricof, whose first ESPN film was Straight Outta L.A.

This current film will be looking back at the 1989 series from the perspective of 25 years having elapsed. In addition to using archival footage, the producers are looking for personal and previously untold stories from the fans’ perspective.

If you have a story to tell about that day and that World Series and are interesting in sharing it, you can write it down or out together a video and send it to thedaytheseriesstopped@gmail.com.


Sogard and Posey do battle for `Face of Baseball’ Monday

OK, let’s get right to it – the MLB Network’s “The Face of Baseball’’ campaign is just hokey.

Using Twitter to pick one player on each roster to represent that franchise, then put them in a series of head-to-head fan votes is just a little over the top.

But since it’s pitting the Giants vs. the A’s, it may be time to look past that.

Monday morning fans will be asked to vote on Twitter on Eric Sogard of the A’s against Buster Posey of the Giants in the third round bracket of the competition.

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Starting series with a day game has its drawbacks

It’s unusual for the first game of a homestand to be a day game, and as such, the building up to Monday’s Memorial Day game between the Athletics and the Giants at the Coliseum was a little out of the norm.

Neither team took batting practice, the A’s having flown in from Houston Sunday night and the Giants having made the trek from San Francisco early Monday morning.

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