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The poop on Camp Panda

Nov 16, 2009, 11:02 AM EDT

Last week Bob told us all about “Camp Panda,” the intensive conditioning regimen for the Giants’ portly slugger Pablo Sandoval.  Fresh details today from the San Francisco Chronicle:

With a host of others, including Giants head trainer Dave Groeschner and strength and conditioning coordinator Ben Potenziano, infielder Pablo Sandoval climbed Phoenix’s Camelback Mountain on Thursday, 54 minutes up, 38 minutes down, and thought he was done for the day.

Then, Potenziano gave him the bad news: another weightlifting circuit and 30 more minutes of cardio.

“He was a little poopy-pants the rest of the afternoon,” Potenziano said. “He wasn’t his happy self.”

Lucky he got the panda nickname first, because otherwise there’d be no way he’d avoid being called poopy-pants for the rest of his career.

Beyond that, however, it’s a fascinating read.  The extent to which the Sandoval and the Giants are working on his diet and putting his body through the wringer is impressive.  How many times have you wondered what would have happened if a guy like Mo Vaughn or Kevin Mitchell or Dimitri Young had taken care of themselves? With Sandoval, we’re going to get to see it.

That is, if he can keep up the discipline as he heads down to his native Venezuela for winter ball.  His trainer is a bit worried:

As Potenziano said, Sandoval is an “icon” in his home country, where people will tackle each other to provide him food and drink.

That includes Sandoval’s family. Potenziano has urged [Sandoval’s brother] Michael to “attack their mom” to make sure she prepares healthy and prudently sized meals.

Moms are rough when it comes to portion control.  But can I make one request?  Given what’s been happening with ballplayers’ families in Venezuela lately, do you suppose we could use a phrase other than “attack” when it comes to talking about a VZ player’s mom?

  1. Steven - Nov 16, 2009 at 12:59 PM

    The hike up Camelback should take less than 54 minutes this time of year, when the heat is reasonable — if you’re in shape. That said, there is a lot of clambering over large rocks that can potentially do nasty things to your ankles, and there is a wonderful view about a third of the way up looking west over Scottsdale, so maybe 54 minutes is reasonable for a first time. (Scrambling over those rocks is also why down isn’t all that much shorter than up.) If you’re going to Phoenix for spring training, it’s a fabulous short hike — but you do need to be in reasonable shape with stable knees and ankles. Squaw Mountain, about four miles north, is the same elevation but a steep walk rather than a scramble, far easier on the knees except for the last 100 yards.

  2. Church of the Perpetually Outraged - Nov 16, 2009 at 1:00 PM

    but what if Mrs. Sandoval is used to making such huge meals, what will happen to the rest of the family?
    Marge: There’s still more meatloaf.
    Bart: Oh, it’s impossible.
    Marge: Come on, come on, we all have to pitch in and eat your
    father’s share.
    Lisa: Why don’t you just cook less?
    Marge: I don’t do things that way, Lisa.

  3. Tony A - Nov 17, 2009 at 10:10 PM

    Watch this, he’ll probably hit .230-something with no power next season…

  4. Shaun - Dec 11, 2009 at 2:53 PM

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  5. Kerry Creque - Jan 22, 2010 at 7:46 PM

    I’ve read your blog for a couple of days and felt I should say how much I like it. Good job.

  6. Martin Franklyn - Feb 19, 2010 at 1:41 AM

    So when does the next article come out? Thanks for this one! 5 stars.

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