Just three years ago, Pablo Sandoval caught the final out of the 2014 World Series and cashed in with a five-year, $95 million contract from the Boston Red Sox.
But Sandoval's time in Boston was nothing short of a disaster.
Now, after being released by the Red Sox in July, Sandoval is back in San Francisco with the Giants.
On Monday, the former World Series MVP opened up in an article published by The Players' Tribune.
Then I chose to go to the Red Sox, and … what can I say? Leaving San Francisco was so emotional that when I got to Boston, I just tried to forget about everything and play my game.
But it wasn't that easy.
For the first time since I had come to the United States as a teenager, I had to learn a new culture. I had to start all over.
I tried very much to fit in, and I think that was part of the problem.
It's the same thing when I step to the plate: When I try too much, I struggle. And when you're trying so much to fit in, it's difficult to perform.
At the end of the day, I just never felt comfortable in Boston. It had nothing to do with the organization, or my teammates, or the fans, or the city. Everybody was great to me. I think it was just something that happens sometimes - you don't feel comfortable somewhere, or you don't fit in, even if you're in a place you chose to be.
In Boston, I was lost.
It just never felt like home.
And then I got released, and it was the worst feeling. I knew it was coming, but when it actually happened, it felt worse than I had even imagined it would. I felt like my career was over - like everything I had worked for my whole life was just … you know … done. All the great memories. All the great times you have playing this game. And one day, it can all be gone like that.
A few hours later, Red Sox manager John Farrell responded to Sandoval's comments via CSNNE.com:
"I don't know that you ever anticipate it's going to be a bad fit going into this. I'm aware of some of the comments that he made. Coming to Boston was his choice. Whether it was leaving an organization that he grew up in, so to speak, or coming to a place under the circumstances that he did, a lot of expectations, a pressure place to play -- that's not to say that San Francisco is not -- but for one reason or another, I think he might have outlined many [of] the reasons why he didn't feel comfortable here.
"I think we went to many steps that took into account his needs on and off the field as best we could."