Shane Victorino has not played in the majors since 2015. He will rejoin a MLB team this season, though it will be on a one-day contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. This is a neat move because as much as Victorino was a big part of the Red Sox’s 2013 World Series run, he should and will be remembered as a Phillie first, making his retirement spot fitting.
But just because the Phillies will get the honor of being Victorino’s last team, doesn’t mean fans in Boston can’t take a moment to remember the good times with the Flyin’ Hawaiian.
Victorino signed with the Red Sox on Dec. 13, 2012. It was one of a number of cheap signings with upside by the organization that winter, as then GM Ben Cherington tried to construct a roster that could bounce back from the disaster that was the 2012 season. The Red Sox, in their one and only year under Bobby Valentine, went 69-93 following the epic collapse and chicken and beer fiasco of 2011. Needless to say, the team was not in the best position when Victorino came to town. They would be less than a year later.
Coming into that 2013 season, his first with the Red Sox, Victorino had already logged time in parts of nine seasons, mostly with the Phillies. In that time he won three Gold Gloves and was named an All Star twice. In the year before he came to Boston, he had been dealt during the season to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Over the course of the entire 2012 season he had been fine, but far from an impact player swimming in free agent offers the following winter. He slashed .255/.321/.383 with an OPS+ of 91 in 154 games with the Phillies and Dodgers.
He made the 29 other teams that did not sign him look stupid in 2013, though. In a bounce -back year for the ages, Victorino set a career-high batting .294 while driving 43 extra-base hits and stealing 21 bases. He was also worth 6.1 wins above replacement, which was higher than any mark he ever had before.
Of course, the regular season heroics were dwarfed by what he did in the playoffs that year, especially in game six of the American League Championship Series when he hit a go-ahead grand slam against the Detroit Tigers.
That blast not only ended up winning the game for the Red Sox but the series as well, sending them to the World Series where they beat the St. Louis Cardinals 4-2 to claim their third world championship since 2004. Victorino didn’t do much in the first five games of the World Series, but went 2-for-3 with four RBI in game six. I guess game six is just his favorite time to play.
Unfortunately, Victorino’s magical 2013 season did not carry over into 2014 and beyond. Nagging injuries held him to 30 games in 2014 and he would be traded to the Angels in 2015 after playing 33 games with the Sox. He has not played at the MLB level since.
Now that he is officially calling it quits, its a depressing day, but let’s not dwell on the sadness. Instead, let’s remember the fantastic season Victorino had for the Sox in 2013 and his dominance in game sixes.
Does that sweep say more about the Sox or the Nationals? (Nick Cafardo; Boston Globe)
The Red Sox need Jackie Bradley Jr. to be productive. Luckily his defense has been stellar, making him a 0.5 win player despite some struggles at the plate. (Darren Hartwell; NESN)
I know its July 5, but let’s look back at June. (Matthew Kory; The Athletic) ($$)