Why Pablo Sandoval's Giants Return Isn't a Surprise Bruce Bochy – NBC Sports Bay Area and California

GLENDALE, Ariz. — After Pablo Sandoval's first day in Giants camp this week, he received a text from the man who was there when it all started. Bruce Bochy was just closing the loop, after a lot of back and forth over the offseason.

At the Cactus League's annual media day, Bochy said he wasn't shocked at all that Sandoval showed up at Giants camp as a non-roster invitee. While Sandoval was sending training videos to Giants president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi looking for a job, he was doing the same with Bochy.

“I knew he had the drive and passion to come back, which is very good for him,” Bochy said. “He's gotten an invitation to major league camp and he's going to show what he can do. He looks good from the videos I've seen. I haven't seen him in person yet, but I sent him a text last night saying congratulations.”

“He's worked hard. You know Pablo – he's always loved the game and I can see, even when he's done, he should stay in the game as a coach or whatever he wants to do, because the guy plays the game the way he wants to do it.” “You like the players to play. He has joy and enthusiasm.”

Bochy was still in San Diego when Sandoval made his first appearance in Giants camp nearly two decades ago, but on Monday, Sandoval returned to the Giants on a minor league deal. At 37 years old, he's looking to make an unexpected comeback, and Zaidi was happy to bring that energy back to camp — and stop the barrage of text messages.

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“We had to sign Pablo because the training videos he was sending me were taking up all the space on my phone,” Al-Zaidi said on Monday.

Bochy is in a familiar place when he returns to spring training. He's coming off his fourth World Series title, and he said Monday he's excited that the Giants will honor the 2014 title team and the Core Four this summer.

Sandoval is the latest member of that team still in Giants camp, although two other stars from that era hope to continue digging in the batting box this spring. Both Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt have expressed interest in playing this season, but both remain free agents.

“I don't know where they are in terms of their desire and their appetite and all that, but you look at the remaining free agents for sure, I'm amazed, certainly with those two,” Bochy said. “I think it's the world of both of them. Whatever they want, I wish the best for them. They've done so much for me and I appreciate that so much, and I'm pushing for them to get what they want.”

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