If it wasn’t clear to Red Sox Nation what type of player Shane Victorino was before he ran full bore into the bullpen wall at Fenway on May 12 – it was pretty apparent afterwards. The Flyin’ Hawaiian was tracking an Emilio Bonifacio home run at full speed before jumping and colliding side on with the top of the wall, sending his glove sprawling into the Jays bullpen. Later he would tell the Boston Globe, “My philosophy is catch ’em all. Not at all costs, but that day I didn’t realize the wall was that close”.
Even at age 32 the Red Sox were prepared to give Victorino a 3 year $39m deal and his commitment to play hard in every game was likely a big factor as Ben Cherington attempted to recode the Boston clubhouse.
This week Victorino has been catching up with old friends as the Philadelphia Phillies arrived at Fenway for the first two of a four game home-and-home series yesterday. He’ll be reunited with players such as Jimmy Rollins, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels with whom he won the World Series in 2008. Unfortunately, he won’t be eligible to play against them as he’s currently residing on the 15 day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. Hamstring strains can happen at any time to any player, but injury is an ongoing concern for anyone with as many hard driven miles on the clock as Victorino.
Despite missing 18 games so far Victorino is on pace for roughly the same number of steals and home runs as last year – when splitting time with the Phillies and Dodgers – and has compiled his best batting average since 2009. The Hawaiian will be looking to build on those numbers from June 4 when he’s eligible to return from the DL, someone just make sure he’s always ready for Koji Uehara time!