Photo: Chad Finn, Boston.com
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When he arrived at Fenway Park on Thursday for his introductory news
conference, Victorino walked in and appeared upbeat, wearing jeans,
sneakers and a hoodie.
"I'm going to be fun. I'm going to be loud. I'm going to talk a lot.
You're going to get what you get," he said. "It's going to be me. I'm
going to go out there and play 100 percent."
When he first began talks with the Red Sox, it didn't matter to him that the club missed the playoffs the last three seasons.
"There is no convincing," he said. "It's Boston. That in itself says it
all. It's the Red Sox. It's a storied franchise. It's still, to me, if
you look around the game of baseball there's one rivalry you speak of,
it's the Yankees and Red Sox.
"There was no selling. I look at the guys and the chemistry on
this team. ... I look at the makeup of the team, the guys, so this is
one of those teams you can turn around and that's the goal. We don't
want to be known as the team that didn't make the playoffs. I want to be
that team that makes the playoffs."
ESPN - Red Sox announce Victorino deal
Guy's going to be handed nearly $40 million over the next three years. He better be pumped!
While the time to second-guess this signing has long passed, I'm still not a huge fan. Victorino certainly isn't a bad baseball player, and he absolutely checks off some of the Sox 'needs'. But I was really hoping the Sox would get swept up in a youth movement.
But Gomes, Napoli, Dempster, Victorino? I'm certainly not getting my wish. At least Cherington was able to lock them all up on shorter deals.
Putting my temper tantrum because I didn't get my way aside, I think Victorino is the right guy for this clubhouse. And maybe he's worth signing for that alone (OK, even I don't believe that). His energy and enthusiasm may not penetrate some of the older, crustier guys, but it will give some of the young'ns a nice contrast to how things have been the last 17 or so months.
My fear is that things stay sour when it comes to actually winning baseball games, and Victorino gets slapped with the 'Doesn't Care' tag over his happy-go-lucky ways. Someone better tell him that if the Sox go on a three game losing streak, he better show up to the clubhouse like he's attending a funeral. Not playing America's most beloved pastime.
Of course, as he mentioned during the press conference, Victorino comes to Boston by way of Philly. Equally tough fanbase, equally poor at meeting their lofty expectations. Not that I paid much attention to Victorino before a week or so ago, but he seemed to manage that situation fairly well.
Hey, at least we're welcoming Victorino and not Josh Hamilton. Also, the Angels are drunk. Someone take their wallet.
Rest of the links:
Herald - Ryan Dempster deal gives boost to starting rotation | Sox’ new acquisitions merely Band-Aids | Globe - Enthusiastic reception for Shane Victorino | Red Sox agree to terms with Ryan Dempster | WEEI - The age and risk of the Josh Hamilton class, ages 32-36 | Cherington: 'Issues' with Napoli deal remain | CSNNE - Cherington sidesteps questions regarding Napoli | Victorino: 'I'm looking forward to 2013'