Pumped up Panda sees snow for first time

Third baseman eager to spend time with teammates, heading to camp early

Pumped up Panda sees snow for first time

LEDYARD, Conn. -- It took Pablo Sandoval nearly three decades to see and feel snow for the first time, and that left him feeling like a kid on Christmas morning on Saturday. The discovery only added to Sandoval's excitement about joining the Red Sox.

"First time," said Sandoval, who hails from Venezuela and made his previous baseball home in San Francisco. "As a little kid, you want to play with that. At my age, 28, seeing snow for the first time is the greatest time."

Sandoval looked at home wearing his white Red Sox jersey on Saturday as he milled around Foxwoods Resort and Casino for the club's Winter Weekend.

"This is the game for the fans," Sandoval said. " ... Respect the fans is one of the things on my mind. Especially a new team, respect them and show you love the game, play hard for them."

The third baseman is so eager to get started that he plans on getting to Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 2, three weeks before position players are due in camp.

"As soon as possible, I'm going to get out there and get close to those guys. It's going to be fun," said Sandoval.

Manager John Farrell recently hinted that Sandoval will hit fifth, with Dustin Pedroia, David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez hitting in front of him.

"I think it's a deep lineup," said Sandoval. "We're going to help each other, because we have protection out there. Pedroia, Big Papi, Hanley, myself, [Mike] Napoli. A couple young guys. It's going to help a little more to do our job, not try to do too much or get greedy and just try to take advantage of things."

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.