The Boston Red Sox and San Francisco Giants are reportedly the favorites to sign slugging third baseman Pablo Sandoval. I love Pablo Sandoval. He’s built like a fire hydrant that eats a box of donuts every four hours, but he’s surprisingly deft with the glove, he’s got a bazooka for an arm, and he’ll swing at pretty much anything–and usually hit it. Plus, he’s got a fantastic nickname: Kung Fu Panda.
It’s that nickname that makes me wary. Sure, it’s funky and cool and kind of cute…but just imagine what would happen if the chuckleheads at NESN got a hold of it. We’re talking about the evil masterminds behind the Wally Wave and those graphics that tell everybody Daniel Nava’s favorite restaurant is the Cheesecake Factory. Giving them a player nicknamed Kung Fu Panda is like handing them an incantation that’ll open up a portal to the deepest realms of hell. It’d probably go something like this…
Don Orsillo: Coming up to the plate…the Kung Fu Panda.
Jerry Remy: What did you say, Don? Something about Chinese food?
Orsillo: That’s Pablo Sandoval’s nickname: Kung Fu Panda.
Remy: Really? When I was playing guys had nicknames like Spike or Smoky.
Orsillo: It’s a new day, Jerry. Second basemen standing in right field, instant replay, players named for cartoons.
Remy: What cahtoon?
Orsillo: It’s called Kung Fu Panda. Your grandchildren haven’t made you watch it?
Remy: I don’t know. I usually fall asleep. Is that the one with the fish?
Orsillo: No. He’s a panda, and he learns kung fu.
Remy: That’s like karate, right?
Orsillo: Kind of, Jerry. They’re both martial arts.
Remy: So why do they call him Kung Fu Panda?
Orsillo: Well, I bet it’s because he eats a lot of eucalyptus, like a panda. But now, let’s throw it down to Gary Striewski with a special report. Gary?
Gary: Thanks, Don. Panda-monium is sweeping Red Sox Nation. Today, NESN and Pablo Sandoval…well, we helped him make a new friend. Check this out!
Cue footage of Pablo Sandoval and Wally at Franklin Park Zoo with an actual panda. Wally offers the panda a high five and it stares at him blankly in response. Sandoval smiles awkwardly like he thinks he shorted.
Gary: Looks like the pandas had a great time! Back to you, Don!
Orsillo: Thanks, Gary. I almost couldn’t tell them apart!
Remy: The green one was Wally, Don.
Orsillo: I’ve just been told we made an error earlier. Pandas do not eat eucalyptus. They eat bamboo. Thanks to Twitter user @RedSoxSweetie for helping us out. Who knew?
Remy: Bamboo? I had that in a salad once out in Pittsburgh. You think Joseph Abboud’s ever dressed a panda, Don?
…and so on and so forth until your humble narrator hangs himself from the back porch with his David Ortiz jersey. So please, Mr. Sandoval, stay in San Francisco.