Shane Victorino's departure from the Red Sox was not sudden or unexpected. It came long after his last game as a productive member of the team, with more than 200 games of mediocrity and injury in-between.
That made it no less emotional when the fan favorite of 2013 said goodbye.
Shane Victorino is one of those players who gets a reputation around the league. There's no shortage of fans out there who can't stand the sight of him, but it's in the same way Dustin Pedroia gets heat from outside of Boston. You hate to face him, but you understand you'd love to have him when he's at his best.
We Red Sox fans are one of two fanbases lucky enough to really experience that other side. Yes, he had his brief stint with the Dodgers, but that wasn't the Shane Victorino we got to watch in 2013. That season will forever be marked by Fenway singing 'Three Little Birds' (a song Victorino says he won't be bringing with him out of respect to Boston fans) and Victorino pounding his chest after big hits.
Eventually, 2015 will end much as 2014 did before it. We'll forget about all this misery, writing it off as just another one of those years that every baseball team experiences. But 2013 will stand forever. We'll never forget this:
Thank you, Shane!