Found August 28, 2013 on isportsweb.com:
At one point this offseason for the Boston Red Sox, Shane Victorino’s name was raising eyebrows. Fast forward a few months, and he is back at it again, this time for different reasons. Victorino signed with the club on December 13, 2012 to a startling $39 million dollar contract. I’m not even going to pretend I liked the signing, I thought it was a mistake as soon as the ink dried. Considering the Red Sox had the option to resign fan-favorite Cody Ross, Victorino seemed like a bit of a reach. After all, Ross’ swing was built for Fenway, he hit 22 homers and drove in 81 RBI’s in his lone year in Boston, and had a knack for the dramatic hit. Meanwhile, after a successful career in Philly, the 32-year-old Victorino found himself on the market after a down year with the Phillies/Dodgers. He seemed headed in the wrong direction of a nice career and I didn’t see him getting paid that handsomely from anyone, never mind the Boston Red Sox. Shane Victorino Ben Cherington had made the vow to stay smart in free agency by not dishing out any big contracts with several years attached, and surprisingly, stood pat on that idea. The Sox bargain shopped all winter , and besides Victorino, they really only spent some semi-serious money on Mike Napoli (originally signed, 3 yr. $39 million). The appreciation for a guy like Victorino doesn’t truly settle in until he’s on the team you watch everyday. It sounds bizarre, but he’s really a five-tool player. I know when people hear “five-tool player, ” they think of these phenom athletes like Mike Trout, or Bryce Harper, but that’s not always the case. Victorino has speed, fields well, throws well, and can hit for contact and power. Maybe the power is a stretch, but he’s got more pop in his bat than I previously thought. The point is, he does everything really well and brings a tremendous amount of energy with him to the ballpark while doing so. After deciding to murder baseballs last night (3-3, 2 HR’s, 7 RBI’s, and 4 R), Victorino is on an absolutely blistering pace over the last two weeks. He’s got 4 homers and 11 RBI’s in his last 10 games, and has been in the middle of everything lately. The decision he made to  almost exclusively bat right-handed has been paying off. His slash this month, .313/.384/.576, is by far his best of the season, and even though that .576 SLG is somewhat of an outlier for what he normally produces, his OBP is not. Having him at the top of the order is proving fruitful for Boston’s offense who specialize in grinding out pitchers, and putting runners on base. If you put enough people on base, the runs are destined to follow and Victorino is playing his role to a T this year. All this, and I haven’t even mentioned his defense yet. In 827 innings played, Victorino has only committed 3 errors (.988 fielding percentage), and has 9 outfield assists. His work in right field has been nothing short of spectacular, especially with his unfamiliarity with Fenway Park’s dimensions entering the season. Balls bouncing off into the right field corner tend to give most players who’ve experienced it trouble, but Victorino gets to the ball so quickly, it rarely has time to get all the way back there. With an outfield that features both him, and Jacoby Ellsbury, you have to hit a rope to get it into the gaps. I’ve eaten my fair share of crow in my years. It never tastes good, but sometimes a healthy plate of crow is just what I need and Shane Victorino is serving it up this time. So it’s my pleasure to admit that the “Flyin’ Hawaiian” was worth every penny.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
RELATED ARTICLES

Your Morning Dump...where Victorino is suddenly a free agent bargain.

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump. The three-year, $39 million deal that the Sox gave to Shane Victorino in December was subject to considerable scrutiny. No other club was willing to come close to the $13 million a year that the Sox gave the...

Shane Victorino: Every little thing gonna be all right

The Guru Contributing Writer Red Sox right fielder Shane Victorino has been battling back issues and a left hamstring injury, but as his Bob Marley walk up song says, "don't worry about a thing." Tuesday night, Victorino hit his 100th career home run in the third inning, added home run 101 in the fifth and had a career-high seven RBI as the Red Sox clobbered the...

John Lackey Says Goal Is for Team to Win Games, Not Concerned About Individual Record (Video)

Despite John Lackey recording his 17th quality start of the season, he walks away with the no-decision Wednesday night after giving up three runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings of work. The ND doesn’t mean much to the right-hander, however, as he was less concerned about his individual record and just happy the team was able to come away with a win after staging a late-inning comeback...

David Ortiz Amazed by Strength of Jimmy Fund Patients, Parents (Video)

As the longest-tenured player on the Red Sox roster, David Ortiz has a wealth of experience working with the Jimmy Fund. Ortiz stopped by WEEI’s Salk & Holley during the Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon on Tuesday to share some of those experiences. The slugger expressed just how impressed he is by not only the patients at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, but also their parents, who...

Six-Year-Old Jack Curran Celebrated Beating Leukemia With Dustin Pedroia (Video)

When you look at 6-year-old Jack Curran, you would never believe that this little bundle of energy has been undergoing cancer treatments for nearly half his life. Jack was diagnosed with leukemia at age 4, began treatment almost immediately and, after two years, was finally declared cancer-free last month. When Jack and his family heard the good news, Jack’s favorite player, Dustin...

Jerry Remy To Miss Balance Of 2013 Season

NESN announced late last night that Red Sox icon Jerry Remy will miss the remainder of the 2013 season. Remy has been away from the broadcast booth since August 16th, when his son Jared was charged with the murdering his girlfriend. Remy released the following statement, "I am full of grief for the Martel family. My thoughts and prayers continue to go out to them. My wife and...

Carpe Avis!: Sox Swim Upstream & Beat O's, 4-3

 (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)It's too bad the Red Sox didn't make last night's comeback against the Seattle Mariners. That way, the metaphor of salmon swimming upstream would work geographically. But, maybe there are some carp swimming up the Chesapeake Bay. We digress. Mike Carp flared a little looper that scored the eighth-inning winning run in a 4-3 comeback...

Please Support The Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon

This time every year—for the past 11 years—the Jimmy Fund partners with the Boston Red Sox, WEEI Sports Radio Network, and New England Sports Network (NESN) to strike out cancer in children and adults through the Jimmy Fund Radio Telethon. The 12th annual event will take place Tuesday, Aug. 27 and Wednesday, Aug. 28 on WEEI (93.7FM) and NESN. Over the span of two days and two...

Why I Give to the Jimmy Fund

Today, the Red Sox are hosting the WEEI/NESN Jimmy Fund Radio-Telethon to raise money and awareness about the Jimmy Fund.  Last Monday was the fourth anniversary of the day my mother passed away from cancer. The following is a re-post of my September 25, 2009 entry entitled “Baseball as a Coping Mechanism,” which should explain why even a broke grad student like myself makes...

Four Real? Red Sox vs Orioles 8-28-13

Mike Carp drove in the winning run Wednesday to give Boston a 4-3 victory over the visiting Orioles (Jim Rogash/Getty Images) Jan-Christian Sorensen Contributing Writer Don’t be surprised if you spot Boston starter John Lackey on the corner of Lansdowne Street one day soon with a tin cup and a cardboard sign reading “Brother, can you spare a run?" The Sox have scored...

White Sox-Red Sox Preview

The last time Ryan Dempster took the mound, he couldn't catch a break - from the Yankees or, later, the commissioner's office. The right-hander will look to get it together on Friday night as he leads the Boston Red Sox into a three-game series with the streaking Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. In his last start, Dempster (6-9, 4.77 ERA) was pounded by New York, surrendering...

NESN Names More Substitutes For Jerry Remy

NESN announced today that Dennis Eckersley would continue pairing up with Don Orsillo on TV broadcasts of Red Sox games through Thursday. Then, Friday through Monday, Orsillo will be joined by Jon Rish—who quit WEEI last April before that radio station experienced its major shake-ups (that persist to this day). Also on Friday, Hall of Fame baseball writer Peter Gammons will be...

Stephen Drew Starts at Shortstop Against Left-Hander Wei-Yin Chen in Series Opener With Orioles

The Red Sox will return home Tuesday night to face the Baltimore Orioles, and with the O’s going with a left-hander to open the series, it seemed to make sense to start Xander Bogaerts at shortstop to make his home debut. However, it will be Stephen Drew in the lineup to begin the three-game series, which also opens a nine-game homestand. The left-handed-hitting Drew will get the...

Fenway Park, Jimmy Fund to Attempt Guinness Record for Most People Sending a Text Message Simultaneously

Fans at the ballpark on Tuesday night have a chance to set a Guinness World record while helping a great cause. Between the top and bottom halves of the fifth inning during the Red Sox-Orioles game on Tuesday night, fans inside Fenway Park will attempt to break the record for “Most people sending a text message (SMS) simultaneously.” The current record stands at 1,070 people...

Follow FenwayNation On New Mobile Apps

Thanks to FenwayNation's YardBarker with FOXSports.com affiliation, our readers can once again access our content via mobile apps. You can now download YardBarker's free iPhone or ANDROID mobile apps HERE. Once you activate the app, simply place your setting just on "Boston Red Sox" and you will receive all of FenwayNation's posts—as well as those of other...
Red Sox News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.