Past World Series heroes have had nicknames like the Sultan of Swat, Mr. October, the Yankee Clipper. But now when that august club holds its mythical meetings, it will have no problem welcoming a portly Venezuelan who won the MVP of the 2012 World Series - Kung Fu Panda.
Welcome the Panda? The other guys will quickly embrace him. That club has been stuffy too long; those fellows are ready to let their hair down and enjoy their first food fight.
Oh, they'll love Pablo Sandoval, even if he makes it hard for them to kick back in their leather chairs and smoke their pipes. Panda tends to fire up a room. Or a ball field.
Elegant and splendid, he is not. Sandoval's batting helmet is a toxic waste site. He starts the game looking like he just played a double-header. His strike zone is as big as McCovey Cove. His plate discipline is - just kidding, he has none. He is, uh, portly.
But Panda has heart, and he is as tough as a Detroit bouncer.
And he is ready for prime time. Sandoval crushed the hearts of the Detroit Tigers and led the Giants to a World Championship.
All around the Bay Area, polite debates and fistfights are breaking out over who is the Giants' World Series MVP. There are seven or eight legitimate candidates. Who isn't a candidate?
But the vote is in, and if you step back and look at the big picture, it's an easy call.
Sandoval hit three homers in Game 1 on pitches he had to chase all over the ballpark to reach. He sent the Tigers into shock, and they'll spend all winter lying on couches, staring at the ceiling and telling their therapists about nightmares involving a tobacco-chewing Kung Fu Panda.
Panda earns World Series MVP
San Francisco Chronicle | Oct 29