Ship the Panda out of town as soon as possible

Bill Foley (@Foles74)
Contributing Writer

The Red Sox should get rid of Pablo Sandoval, and not just because he was on Instagram during Wednesday’s loss to the Braves.

Sandoval, who was always clutch in the postseason while helping the Giants win three World Series titles, has been on a tear lately. At the plate, anyway.

The Panda has an eight-game hitting streak going. He has two hits in six of those games, including the last five straight.

Sandoval has five doubles, a home run and an Earth-shattering triple in that stretch, raising his batting average to .270.

So, trade him while he’s hot. Ship him to a contender that might not realize that he can’t, or more likely won’t, play quality defense.

Maybe the Sox could find a sucker in Detroit, where the Tigers still remember the Panda’s Reggie Jackson moment in the 2012 World Series.

Offer to pay a big chunk of what’s remaining on Sandoval’s five-year, $95 million deal. Heck, pay all of the money if you have to, just get rid of a guy who clearly has no concept of being a team player.

That was apparent in Boston’s 4-2 loss to the Braves Monday night when Sandoval hit his 200th career double. After celebrating as if he knocked in the go-ahead run, Sandoval quickly pointed to Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons that he wanted the ball.

Peter Abraham’s notebook in the Globe shows just how absurd that is.

Sandoval hit a ground-rule double for his 1,000th career hit later in the game, and it is understandable that he would want that ball.

The 200th double, however? Who knows they have 199 doubles heading to the plate?

Usually when a player hits his 200th double someone tells him about it later. His reaction is something like, “Oh, really? I didn’t know that. Got any seeds?”

Sandoval, though, acted a bit surprised the game wasn’t stopped so the Red Sox could present him with a major award, even though none of those doubles helped Boston win a game.

It was as if he didn’t realize his team was about to lose its seventh straight game. He clearly didn’t care about that.

Everybody knows about the defensive woes that have plagued Sandoval since he came to Boston. He has nine errors on the season. That number would be much higher if it wasn’t for his sever lack of range on the hog corner.

Last season, when he was playing for a contract in San Francisco, Sandoval committed 11 errors while playing respectable defense for the Giants.

The Red Sox can do much better at third base, even if it means paying for Sandoval to play somewhere else.

They could put Brock Holt at third. Holt, who is often accused of being a “four-A player” even while batting .314 with an .857 OBS, will at least give the Red Sox an honest effort every night.

It’s safe to say the Brock Star will never be accused of being on Instagram during a game, like Sandoval admitted to doing.

The Red Sox benched the Panda for his Instagraming on Thursday, but, really, the Red Sox should not care if Sandoval is on his phone while teammates are at the plate.

That is, as long as he is checking out the real estate market in Detroit.