A rough season for Pablo Sandoval ended on a great note for him, but one that may not prove to be so great for his team. Sandoval was designated for assignment by the Boston Red Sox in July just two and a half years into a five-year, $95-million contract, making him one of the biggest free agent busts ever, and things didn’t get much better after his former team, the San Francisco Giants, signed him to a minor-league deal a week later. Sandoval hit just .212/.269/.354 in 32 MLB games with Boston this year and .224/.263/.359 in 46 major-league games with the Giants.
But Sandoval did wind up hitting a walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth during San Francisco’s final game of the season Saturday against the Padres. The problem? That 5-4 win cost the Giants first overall draft pick in 2018. Here’s the home run, a solo shot to right field:
Of course, Sandoval shouldn’t be blamed for going out there and doing his best. And just because something happened in Game 162 doesn’t make it necessarily more significant; the wins and losses earlier in the season matter just as much, it’s just that their consequences are more apparent at the end of the year. And the 64-98 Giants could still have wound up with the first overall pick if the Tigers had won, but they lost to Minnesota 5-1. But it feels beautifully apt for this miserable San Francisco season that even a great moment for Sandoval personally, and a nice way to end the year overall, wound up hurting the team’s draft position. Now this is Giants’ baseball that really is torture.