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To Sandoval, active winter no detriment

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The World Series-shortened offseason was even briefer for third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who spent part of the Venezuelan Winter League campaign playing for Magallanes. But it was a labor of love.

Sandoval took considerable pride in excelling for his hometown team, which he led to the league title. Sandoval, named the Most Valuable Player in October's four-game World Series sweep of Detroit, earned the same honor in the seven-game Venezuelan championship series by hitting .300 with three home runs and nine RBIs. Sandoval doubled twice and homered while going 3-for-5 as Magallanes defeated Lara in the Game 7 clincher, 11-9.

"I wanted to play because it was important for me, my family and my friends," Sandoval said on Wednesday.

Sandoval, who'll also compete for Venenzuela in the World Baseball Classic, insisted that he has received enough rest. His idle time included a trip to Las Vegas in December to serve as a judge in the Miss Universe pageant. Sandoval said that he delivered a simple response upon being asked to join the panel: "I'm in."

Sandoval could have been expected to watch replays of his three-homer extravaganza in Game 1 of the World Series. But he didn't.

"That's the past," he said.

Sandoval also sported a fresh tattoo of a panther on the outside of his right arm. He can keep the ink, but Giants manager Bruce Bochy wants Sandoval to shed an unspecified number of pounds before the club's April 1 opener against the rival Dodgers at Los Angeles.

"He's got to lose a little bit; he knows it," Bochy said.

Sandoval said that he remained somewhat bothered by the case of colitis that sent him to the hospital in mid-January. He suspected that unclean water caused his illness.