World Series MVP Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants was a judge during Wednesday's Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas as part of a panel that included Olympic gold medalist Kerri Walsh Jennings and Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, among others. Miss USA Olivia Culpo was chosen as the winner by the judges, the first Miss USA to win the title in 15 years.
I'm not exactly sure what the criteria were to become a judge, but Sandoval (along with Walsh Jennings and Morimoto) stood out on the nine-judge panel that included numerous fashion and beauty personalities, such as Scott Disick (boyfriend of Kourtney Kardashian), Ximena Navarette (Miss Universe 2010), Nigel Barker (fashion photographer), Diego Boneta (actor), Claudia Jordan (model/TV host), and Brad Goreski (stylist).
Sandoval's exposure on a major program like the Miss Universe pageant (which drew 6.1 million viewers according to overnight ratings) on NBC is good exposure for baseball, and for one of its bright stars on a team that has won two of the last three World Championships. Considering NBC has no stake in baseball (unlike the Olympics, represented by Walsh), the selection seems peculiar in hindsight. But that doesn't mean that it's a bad thing. Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum dominate mainstream headlines when talking about the Giants, and getting the reigning World Series MVP some face time on a major network could be a boost for MLB and the Giants.