Pablo Sandoval part of new '3 Amigos,' not thinking about taking DH job from David Ortiz

Mike Petraglia
November 25, 2014 - 6:10 pm
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Ever since meeting David Ortiz in the minor leagues in 2008, Pablo Sandoval has always had a tight relationship with the Red Sox slugger. Now, that relationship figures to get even tighter. Sandoval was playing for San Francisco's Double-A team in Richmond, Va. when he met Ortiz, who was rehabbing a wrist injury with the Portland Sea Dogs. There was a story circulating that the two had dinner last week and that Ortiz spent the evening recruiting him. Sandoval set the record straight Tuesday. "It's false that we had dinner last time I was in town," Sandoval said. "It's not even true. I was talking to him. He gave me advice [in the minors] that I always carry with me and don't forget those things. Now that I'm here, and we do a Pepsi commercial together. He's just a funny guy. To be his teammate is going to be exciting, to be 162 games, postseason, it's going to be very exciting to spend time with him. "The only thing we talked about was it's a great organization. They take care of your family first. That's one of those things that made my decision clearly when I came here last year to meet with Ben. It's one those things that he told me, family is first [in Boston]. That's what care about. That's why I love to be a Red Sox now." Sandoval said he's also excited to join new teammate Hanley Ramirez, who was introduced five hours later Tuesday at Fenway Park. "We are good friends, we have a good relationship," Sandoval said of Ramirez. "We had dinner [Monday] night. Now being on the same team is going to be fun. He's funny. He loves his teammates." Ortiz, Sandoval and Ramirez carry a lot of potential for a dynamic middle of the order. So good, as a matter of fact, that Sandoval said there's a nickname being thrown around in the organization. "It's exciting for me to be with Hanley and David Ortiz," Sandoval said. "Like everyone says right now in media relations, it's the '3 Amigos.' It's just exciting to be part of this lineup and this organization." There is the likely possibility that Sandoval will be playing for the Red Sox well after Ortiz retires, leaving a hole at the DH spot. But Sandoval insisted Tuesday he isn't thinking about that at all right now. "€œNo. I want to prove myself that I can be a third baseman on this team for the rest of my career," he said. "That'€™s what I'€™m going to work through with this organization right now. I want to be a better defensive player, prove that I can play third base." This past season, Sandoval was third among NL third basemen with a .971 fielding percentage and put together a career-best 73-game errorless streak from May 25-August 22. His lifetime .960 fielding percentage at third base ranks third among active major league third basemen with least 750 games at the position. He has also played first base (63 games, 55 starts) and catcher (14 games, 12 starts) in his major league career. As for being clutch, Sandoval also has that in common with Big Papi. Only Ortiz (.455) has a higher World Series batting average than Sandoval (.426) among those with at least 50 plate appearances in the Fall Classic. A year before Ortiz won the World Series MVP, Sandoval was named MVP of the 2012 World Series, in which he hit .500 (8-for-16) in the Giants'€™ four-game sweep of Detroit. Sandoval has reached base safely in 36 of his 39 career postseason games for a .344 batting average (53-for-154), best in major league history among those with at least 150 postseason plate appearances. Now all he, Ortiz and Ramirez have to do is get to the Fall Classic together.
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