Pablo Sandoval

Why Bochy wasn't surprised by Sandoval's return to Giants

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

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

"I knew he had the drive, the passion to get back in, so good for him," Bochy said. "He's getting an invite to major league camp and getting to show what he can do. He looks good from the videos I saw. I haven't seen him in person yet, but I sent him a text last night saying congratulations.

"He worked hard. You know Pablo -- he has 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 you love players to play. He has the joy and enthusiasm."

Bochy still was in San Diego when Sandoval first showed up at Giants camp nearly two decades ago, but on Monday, Sandoval returned to the Giants on a minor league deal. At 37, he's looking to make an unlikely comeback, and Zaidi was happy to bring that energy back to camp -- and stop the barrage of texts.

"We had to sign Pablo because the workout videos he was sending me were taking up all the space on my phone," Zaidi said Monday.

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

Sandoval is the last member of that team still in Giants camp, although two other stars from that era hope to still dig into a batter's box this spring. Both Brandon Crawford and Brandon Belt have shown interest in playing this season, but both are still free agents.

"I don't know where they're at as far as their desire and appetite and all that, but you look at the free agents that are left and sure, I'm surprised, and certainly with those two," Bochy said. "I think the world of both of them. Whatever they want, I wish the best for them. They did a lot for me and I'm very appreciative of it, and I'm pulling for them to get what they want." 

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