SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Pablo Sandoval returned from injury to start in the Giants’ loss to the Dodgers Monday night. The hefty third baseman had two hits, but showed no sign he had slimmed down in rehab.

“That’s a tough one,” John Madden told the KCBS Radio morning crew. “I had that problem as a coach with a number of players. If you’re going to get on him, what are you going to do about it if he doesn’t (lose weight)?”

John said he felt his star tackle with the Raiders, Art Shell, had a chronic weight problem.

“I was always on him about his weight. But Art Shell was an all-pro that eventually became a Hall of Famer, eventually became one of the greatest tackles that ever played. But he had a weight problem. What was I going to do about it? Take money away from him? I wasn’t going to say you can’t play, because he was still better than anyone else… It’s a lot tougher than to just give an ultimatum, you know, ‘lose weight.'” Madden agreed that a player’s longevity and susceptibility to injury need to be considered, and can be discussed in contract negotiations. “But if he’s still your best player, he’s still your best player,” John said.

The Dodgers’ young Cuban star, Yasiel Puig, had a solo home run and a second RBI to lead the Dodgers’ 3-1 victory over the Giants.

“He really is something, that’s fun to watch,” Madden said.

Puig is hitting .440 with seven home runs in just 20 games.

“You just keep wondering, can he keep it up? When is he going to come down to earth and when is he going settle into who he’s going to be? And I don’t think that’s happened yet.”

The Chicago Blackhawks took the Stanley Cup with a 3-2 win over the Boston Bruins Monday night. Madden said Chicago sports fans deserve another championship.

“They’re the best,” John said. “The thing about Chicago fans is they back their teams when they’re bad. I mean they’ll fill the joint out when their team is in last place.” (9:30)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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